A West Lafayette-based startup says a newly-launched version of its technology can provide greater aid to the diagnosis of concussions. brightlamp Inc., a Purdue University-affiliated company, says its new Reflex PLR Analyzer can not only be used as a diagnostic tool for traumatic brain injury, but also has the potential to serve as a biomarker for a variety of medical conditions, including autism, Alzheimer's disease and glaucoma. The Software-as-a-Service platform uses an iPhone camera to image a patient's eye and then a machine learning algorithm provides the diagnostic information.

On The INnovators with Dr. K, brightlamp Chief Commercialization Officer Noel Paul said the platform allows medical professionals to assess the pupil in a quantitative way on a mobile phone.

"A couple of things we've improved on over the last few months is really two-fold," said Paul. "We've actually compared our technology to the current standard of care and we found that our readings are more consistent, less variability which means that the readings are going to be more reliable, and the second thing we've been able to do is now be able to provide healthcare professionals a comparison of the patient's results to what normal, healthy people should be doing. So it's almost like a lab result, where the results will be red if they're outside those normal ranges."

brightlamp was co-founded by Kurtis Sluss, who serves as chief executive officer. He said in a news release the advanced functionality of the new version of Reflex helps to "unlock the diagnostic power of the pupil." 

Paul adds the potential market for the technology is very broad.

"On one hand, it can be used as an optometric or neurological vital, very similar to blood pressure or cholesterol or heart rate," said Paul. "That can have broad uses for, right now we have optometrists, ophthalmologists, nurses, EMTs, even clinical researchers using it, and then once we do some clinical validation in the concussion space and we're doing that now with IU Health and Purdue, that we can actually identify the pupil as a specific biomarker for concussion as well, so athletic trainers and sports medicine physicians can use it."

The company has received funding through various venture capital firms and angel investors. "Some of our VCs are Elevate Ventures, Purdue, as well as Ocean Capital and the common them there is they're all believing in the potential for the pupil to improve healthcare delivery."

brightlamp says the Reflex tool for concussion and traumatic brain injury is the company's first SaaS product. The company has plans for future SaaS products and services to help diagnose a wide range of cognitive-related issues.