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Ray Iskander, CEO, Sheds Light on Novela’s Epilepsy Mission

We’ve been hard at work on our wearable seizure diary here at Novela! Last month, we launched a campaign to jumpstart a 50-person clinical trial for patients to try our wearable diary and data platform to provide feedback that will tailor the nEureka® experience to perfection. 

We’ve already shared our philosophy on why our campaign slogan is Big Data Beat Epilepsy, but today we’re doing a deep dive into how the idea for our wearable seizure diary was born, who’s making it happen, and what our vision is moving forward. 

For the first installment of this three-part series, we sat down with Ray Iskander, CEO, to learn more about Novela’s mission.

Ray Iskander, CEO

Of all neurological disorders, why focus on epilepsy?

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases globally affecting 50 million people worldwide of all ages, with 1 in 26 Americans suffering from epilepsy at some point in their lives. The risk of premature death in people with epilepsy is three times higher than for the general population. 

Epilepsy is a serious medical condition that affects people from all walks of life around the world. The encouraging news is that epilepsy is highly treatable: it is estimated that up to 70% of people living with epilepsy could live seizure-free if properly diagnosed and treated. 

The fact that such a common neurological condition is highly treatable—but the market has yet to meet the need for optimized epilepsy treatments—is central to Novela Neurotech’s vision for creating new technologies to inspire better cures and empower people with neurological conditions. 

We’re well positioned to make this vision a reality: Novela has over 10 years of R&D experience, beginning as a spin off the University of Waterloo in Canada and later collaborating with The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to test closed-loop neuromodulation to treat epilepsy. Our R&D results have shown great promise and made us explore the opportunity for developing new closed-loop treatments in epilepsy. 

Now more than ever, we believe that the market is ripe to transform epilepsy care from costly episodic in-hospital and in-clinic treatments to affordable 24/7 at-home monitoring with personalized remote care. Thanks to the advent of connected wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT), there is a huge unmet demand and need for remote care telehealth solutions.

To this end, our nEureka® platform brings the first full-featured, integrated, simple-to-use consumer wearable seizure diary to market as a remote-care solution to the practice of epilepsy care. The result is a simple wearable that enables data-driven remote care

From the patient side, nEureka® automatically captures clinically-proven seizure-correlated biomarkers—using wearables, with no cumbersome wires required—and enables patients to self-report their seizures, track medication, and transmit this data to their clinicians for optimized treatment.

For clinicians, the nEureka® solution also enables doctors to have unprecedented complete 24/7 visibility to biomarkers and medication adherence data collected from their patients. Medication adherence is particularly important since seizure medications are critical to seizure prevention and successful treatment. Due to the current healthcare model of episodic in-hospital care, doctors have little visibility as to whether their patients reliably take their medicine or not. That’s a problem we’re determined to solve with our remote-care wearable seizure diary.

No epilepsy patient needs to wait months on end to see their doctor anymore. With nEureka®, patients or caregivers can initiate remote-care doctor visits at any time from a personal digital Portal, and doctors will have the data and insights to optimize treatment. 

It’s a win-win-win scenario: patients get the best personalized care, their caregivers get peace of mind, and their doctors get better insights and more effective interactions with their patients. 

So, why epilepsy? Because we can make a meaningful difference in vastly improving the lives of millions of people with epilepsy. We have the expertise. But more importantly, we care. We have the passion, commitment and will to see our vision through. nEureka® is the first product of its kind for epilepsy. Once clinically proven, we hope to further expand its benefits to help the lives of people living with other chronic neurological disorders as well.