Our solution's stage of development:Early
Our solution provides a research platform (brainbase.io) to accelerate and amplify human neuroscience along with equipment and training (neurolab kit) to quickly and cost effectively seed EEG labs across the world in underrepresented countries for a large scale and inclusive understanding of the human brain.
Recent work shows stark differences in brain dynamics that are dependent on life context and can be up to 1000-fold different across global populations. Yet today, 75% of human neuroscience is conducted in the US and W.Europe usually on university students, a context relevant to <10% of humanity. Furthermore, studies typically consist of 20-50 subjects and lack standardized data formats and protocols making it difficult to aggregate and compare.
Our solution enables large scale global datasets with clear data standards that are easily analyzed and compared and will therefore lead to better tools to understand and manage brain health.
Why our solution will solve the problem:
Platforms can accelerate and amplify human productivity by providing a host of efficiencies, expanding participation and enabling collaboration. Thus far science has been relatively individualistic and has not utilized the power of platforms as effectively as other fields. Our platform provides plug and play tools to amplify the scale and speed of discovery and opportunity for developing countries to build strong ecosystems in neuroscience/neurotech far more cost effectively than in any other field. Doing so can also quickly open opportunities for direct applications in various fields from health and education to BCI to neuromarketing in these local regions.
Our target outcomes:
Our goal is to have one million EEG recordings in brainbase by 2022, that are high quality, well annotated and as representative as possible of the global population. We anticipate that doing so will spawn numerous insights and tools that better serve brain health on a global scale.
This will be driven by growing participation in brainbase from existing labs as well as the pace at which we are able to seed and grow neurolab ecosystems in under-represented regions around the world. We plan to seed 250 NeuroLabs, including 6 regional hubs, by 2022.
How we will measure our progress:
The populations we will benefit initially:
The regions we will benefit initially:
The technologies we employ:
Why our solution is unique:
Our solution is unique in the neuroscience space in its international focus, easy plug and play front end for untrained researchers, and sophisticated backend automation of data processing and parsing.
Our Neurolab kit reaches out to underrepresented parts of the world to provide a voice to the unique issues of these populations.
Our platform provides data management tools, protocols and analytics requiring minimal training to get started.
Our backend has sophisticated automation to ensure clean, complete and properly formatted metadata and EEG files. This includes features such as NLP based parsing of text based clinical histories into a searchable database.
Why our solution is human-centered:
Brainbase and the NeuroLab kit are designed to accelerate and amplify human neuroscience research by providing tools to augment individual researcher capability and expand the scope of participation. It is fundamentally a human-centered approach. As the platform grows, it will become an instrument used and also produced by the research community, one that will more equitably represent the brain health challenges of underserved populations.
How people will access our solution:
Brainbase is a cloud based software as a service (SaaS) platform with both free and subscription based options accessed through a simple online sign-up. For locations where bandwidth may impose constraints, the platform comes equipped with offline tools for easy future syncing of data.
Neurolab kit will be accessed by applying through a form on our website and training will be eventually delivered through online courseware.
Technology-Readiness Level:4-5 (Prototyping)
How we will sustain our team financially:
Brainbase will have a free version, paid subscription version and paid premium tools. Over three years, our goal is to sustain the costs of running Brainbase through platform revenue. Funds available as part of our budget for this year will support the development of v1.0 of the platform and seeding of an initial set of 10 labs to demonstrate program feasibility. Initially seeded labs will augment existing labs in related fields with direct costs limited to equipment ($5,000 - $10,000 per year).
Existing funding will also be supplemented by external grants to expand the scope of the platform and to fund the next 100 labs. For further expansion we will pursue institutional and government partnerships worldwide to engender support for human neuroscience/neurotech programs in their countries. A 3 person NeuroLab in Asia would cost $50-100,000 a year including salaries and travel costs (contrast to several $100,000s needed for a wet lab).
The factors limiting our success:
Although a non-profit, the goal is to ensure sustainability of the platform and its related costs through subscription revenue. This depends on the rate at which paid subscribers join Brainbase relative to users of the free version, and the cost of acquisition of paid subscribers.
The pace of growth in developing countries is limited by our ability to get the word out and facilitate additional funds for neurolab partners in developing countries to grow. This can be accelerated by government and university level partnerships.
How long we have been working on our solution:Less than 1 year
How long it will take to develop a pilot:We have already developed a pilot.
How long it will take to scale beyond our pilot:6-12 months
Our expected annual budget:
How much of our budget we've secured to date:
Our promotional materials:
We're looking for partners in these fields:
Why we're applying to Solve:
Inclusive brain research at scale is an important precursor to inclusive brain health. Success at global scale requires a network of partnerships and people with similar goals. Given our aligned objectives, Solve is uniquely positioned to help us reach out to a global network of governments, universities, researchers, and other actors for further partnerships in support of our program and platform.
Our current partners:
- Universidad Nacional de San Martin, Argentina (Regional Hub led by Drs. Dante Chialvo and Nadia Justel)
- Public Health Foundation of India (Research Collaboration for development of cognitive health assessments and metrics in low income children, led by Dr. Vikram Patel)
- Temple University (Collaboration for Clinical Data Acquisition with Dr. Joseph Picone)
- Tara Thiagarajan Chief Scientist & Co-Founder, Neurolab Seed