Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Indiana U start-up develops first objective test for pain and mental health


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 10th, 2019

A start-up from Indiana University (IU) aims to commercialize the first objective tests for a range of mental health issues and for pain.

According to Matthew Neff, founding CEO and president of MindX Sciences, there is currently no objective method to assess pain or mental health issues such as suicide risk, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression.

“A doctor shows you a happy-to-sad face scale and asks you to rate your pain, and then observes you. That’s it,” says Neff. “They can’t tell the magnitude of the pain because it’s a very personal subjective experience.”

MindX Sciences is developing apps and blood tests to look for biomarkers that co-founder Alexander B. Niculescu, a researcher at IU, has identified for suicide risk, depression, pain, longevity, PTSD and other indications. The technology could help doctors match patients with specific medications based on the severity of their conditions. It could also help pharmaceutical companies develop new medications.

“It’s very important to bring psychiatry into the 21st century — to make it on par with other medical specialties,” says Niculescu. “In the end, everything we are or do is reflected in the mind. If your mind is helped to function well, your whole life is happier and longer.”

MindX expects that the technology will be available to doctors within the next year through an early-access program.

“Not only will doctors be able to confirm when the patient is telling them something is causing them pain or mental distress, they will know the risk of future clinical worsening even before that,” says Neff. “Doctors will also have actionable information about what medications and nutraceuticals they can put patients on and be able to track how they are responding to treatment.”

Source: News at IU

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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