PD Neurotechnology: providing better quality of life for patients of Parkinson’s

Driving to provide patients of Parkison’s disease with the best quality of life possible, Nikos Moschos, Co-Founder and Business Director of PD Neurotechnology, and his fellow founders, are delivering a non-intrusive monitoring system that ensures carers can deliver the best care possible and patients receive what they need when they need it.

From project, to prototype, to product

“The original idea for PD Neurotechnology can be traced back to our two core founders, Professor Dimitris Fotiadis, and Professor Spyridon Konitsiotis, back in 2006. Between them, they decided to experiment with the idea of identifying the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease by utilising AI and wearable devices.

“They completed these initial studies between 2008 and 2011 where they managed to prove their concepts were possible with a high degree of accuracy, reliability, and specificity,” says Moschos.

It was here that Moschos and fellow founder Tassos Manos married the business and technology together to show that this product could be taken to market “and the rest is history,” commented Moschos. The team got to work swiftly, raising capital, and formulating the company in the UK over the next few years, believing the UK to be “the right kind of stepping stone between Europe, US, and UK markets,” said Moschos who went on to explain how the UK was a great market for medtech startups, with a plethora of legal and accounting advice on offer as well. He continued: “There were also very important incentives by the UK Government on the basis of R&D and subsidies that really helped us to start.”

Fast-forwarding to 2019, PD Neurotechnology was ready to get the ball rolling. “We had all the credentials sorted and received the CE mark and first sale for our product, the PD Monitor, by 2020.

“Today, in 2023, after three years of sales, we have around 1,500 patients who have used the device in studies or sales and around 15,000 days of monitoring experience,” enthuses Moschos.

A better quality of life and beyond

The product, PD Monitor, consists of five wearables that are worn on the wrists, ankles, and waist which each utilise accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers to harvest raw data regarding movement. Designed to be as non-intrusive as possible, these devices are worn for a few days every couple of months to track symptoms and log data. To log the data, the devices are connected to a PD Smart Box at night which simultaneously charges the devices and uploads the data. This data is then processed by AI/ML algorithms, which determine different symptoms, and formulated into easy-to-understand scorecards to be used by both patient and carer alike. This allows informed active decisions on medication, quality of life assurance, and massively improved disease tracking.

Moschos explains: “The mission is always to help patients live with this disease in as tolerable of a manner as possible. Parkinson's treatment, currently, is not disease alleviating, it is symptom managing. The problem is if you take too much [of a drug] you have harsh side effects, too little and it doesn’t manage it well enough.

“We already have solid preliminary and growing active evidence showing that this is possible!”

Beyond just the product itself, PD Neurotechnology has also used its data, which it treats with utmost care, to help push for improved treatments and the holy grail of a cure, participating in a number of studies and research projects.

The PD Neurotechnology network

London-founded in 2015 and coming to market by 2019, PD Neurotechnology has grown from its four founders to a team of around 42 full-time employees with an advisory/consultancy board behind it consisting of 25 fantastic minds. “We’ve managed to grow at a doubling rate since we started, and we’re still growing!” elates Moschos.

his team is based around its London-based UK headquarters and its Athens/Ioannina Greece-based sales, marketing, R&D, production, and clinical studies offices.

The successes and struggles

Moschos was happy to discuss some of the highlights and challenges his company has faced since its conception, with the biggest highlights being born from the biggest hurdles. For him “the biggest highlights were always meeting the various regulatory programmes,” which he touts as being “a big milestone for any medical device company.” A

chieving ISO 13485, which makes you an official medical device company, receiving the CE mark, alongside a bunch of other country[1]specific selling accreditations were among the biggest achievements Moschos described. From here “pitching and selling to European leaders” was a great accomplishment, demonstrating the product's potential and effectiveness. “We now hope that come to the end of the year we will reach the major company milestone of breaking even in terms of cash flow,” enthused Moschos. Above all, however, getting to see the end product, a patient living a more comfortable life, is what it’s all about for Moschos.

But this was no easy ride for PD Neurotechnology who, like many other hardware-based startups, struggled during the COVID period with product component shortages and time to sale. “Our first real turmoil came in November 2019. We were sourcing a few of our components from China, and in very unfortunate fashion, Wuhan of all places! We had to immediately reshuffle sourcing for various components during this time,” explained Moschos. This put a two-year roadblock on PD Neurotechnology’s plan-to-market, which could only sell very limitedly during this period. However, the time did not go to waste and the team at PD Neurotechnology used the time to run additional market studies, build up local UK and Greek connections, and test the product in the market. “It was certainly still productive, but it should have certainly been more productive financially,” reflected Moschos.

The PD pipeline

With the PD Monitor now selling in various markets across Europe, PD Neurotechnology is looking ahead with positivity and ambition. Achieving NHS clearance in the UK and expanding its market, is a big step forward and convincing more trusts of its product is next in the sales stream.

“Expanding existing markets in UK, France, Turkey, and Sweden is a priority, next step is Germany, Switzerland, other European nations and then eventually moving into the Middle East and US markets,” describes Moschos.

Looking even further ahead, PD Neurotechnology has the PD Monitor 2.0 in the pipeline, with hopes of its arrival come 2027, including additional features such as sleep monitoring, decision support for non-expert carers, or real-time hospital monitoring applications. “From there we hope to expand into multiple sclerosis and stroke rehab to provide patients of those diseases with the best quality of life possible,” closes Moschos.

This article originally appeared in the November/December issue of Startups Magazine. Click here to subscribe