Expectation of sophistication
We caught up with David Fox, chief business officer at Modality.ai, for a quick chat about biotech software trends
Can you tell me about how your organisation is involved with biotechnology?
We provide research data on digital biomarkers and assessment for neurological disorders and psychiatric conditions through multimodal analysis of speech and facial gestures.
Our results have been published in several scientific publications and presented at major scientific convenings, including Interspeech and the American Academy of Neurology. See www.modality.ai/publications for references.
How does your software help scientists? How has this changed over time?
Our software helps clinical researchers conduct remote patient monitoring of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including Parkinson’s, ALS, schizophrenia and depression. We have clients in the United States, as well as Germany and the Netherlands.
There’s also our focus on following standard of care methods, starting with protocols that clinicians are familiar with, such as audio/video recordings that can be reviewed, measurements that can be confirmed by reviewing recordings, and so on (versus the ‘black box’ approach of divining from a short audio-only sample).
Finally, we provide privacy with a fully opt-in, test-based system, which was designed first for the user’s data privacy.
What are the trends you see happening in your area of research?
We see integration and consolidation of audio and visual modalities to unlock important insights. In line with this approach, we are pioneering a platform, multimodal approach that offers utility across multiple conditions. This will better support clinicians as well as patients.
What are the new requirements coming from your user base?
While not a requirement for use in clinical trials, we have found an expectation of an FDA stamp of approval. We expect to receive FDA Class I device approval shortly as a requirement for clinical use and will see Class II approval later in 2022.
How might the market you are working in change over the next few years?
We expect development of even more sophisticated technologies for remote assessment of physical and mental conditions, resulting in accelerated development of drugs to treat these conditions. We also expect the most successful biotech companies to take a broader approach to health research by incorporating a wide range of biomarkers for related medical and psychiatric conditions.