BrainCheck brings in another $10M to detect, manage cognitive impairment

Original article by Christine Hall, published in TechCrunch


As the world’s population ages, more is being learned about brain health as startups leverage technology to find a way to slow down cognitive impairment.

BrainCheck, a Houston- and Austin-based company developing cognitive healthcare software to aid physicians in detecting and managing this type of care, raised $10 million in Series B funding to expand its R&D and go-to-market capabilities as it works on new digital therapeutics for Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

The round was led by Next Coast Ventures and S3 Ventures, which were joined by Nueterra Capital, Tensility Ventures and True Wealth Ventures. In addition, UPMC Enterprises and SelectQuote came on as strategic investors. The latest funding gives the company roughly $21 million in total funding raised to date, which includes a $3 million seed round in 2016 and $8 million in Series A funding from 2019.

BrainCheck’s technology acts as a bridge between patients and the limited number of neurologists, about 12,000, in the U.S. Through 10- to 15-minute tests, performed in-person or remote (via a smartphone, tablet or computer), cognitive function can be detected early and more accurately.

Based on the test, patients are assigned a Cognitive Quotient (CQ) score, which is then used to produce a personalized cognitive care plan within minutes. Over 400 neurology, primary care and geriatrics practices use the technology currently, including Mount Sinai clinicians, which are using it to track and manage cognitive impairment resulting from COVID-19.

The pandemic has changed everything across the healthcare ecosystem, Yael Katz, PhD, co-founder and CEO of BrainCheck, told TechCrunch via email.

The company always had it in mind to raise another round two years after its Series A, but Katz said the global pandemic gave them pause to see how it would impact that decision. However, due to COVID shining a light on how people perceive healthcare and became more comfortable with remote care, they saw an opportunity to continue.

The new funding will enable the company to continue to grow its team and invest in R&D. It already has several new initiatives in the works to close the loop with the patient journey that will be brought to market soon, she added.

Over the last year, BrainCheck experienced year over year revenue growth increase three times, and Katz expects the same trajectory for next year. With the Series B, the goal remains the same as it was two years ago — double down on growth.

“From the shift to remote work and an increased prioritization of mental health, to investing in preventive medicine and supporting the aging population, all of these factors have come together to make the case that what we’re doing matters, and will continue to matter,” she said. “It’s never been more important for physicians to invest in a tool like BrainCheck and improve treatment across the patient journey.”

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