Following a series A round of fundraising, a Houston digital health startup is on a bit of a hiring spree, leading to new office space the company has room to grow into.
BrainCheck, which was founded in 2015 by neuroscientist David Eagleman, is a cognitive assessment startup that has developed a software tool for primary care doctors to use to assess their patients' cognitive health so that they can more quickly diagnose and treat them for maladies like dementia.
The 19-person company headquartered in Houston — with a secondary office in Austin focused on product development — has relocated its operations from coworking space in the Texas Medical Center to an office in the Rice Village area. The move was made possible by an $8 million series A financing round that closed in October.
"It's pretty exciting to have reached this milestone where we need more space," Yael Katz, co-founder and CEO of BrainCheck, tells InnovationMap. "We were pretty much bursting at the seams in our old office."
The move comes at a time when the company is building out its team. Katz says she is looking to fill a few roles within marketing, sales, and R&D. The team expects to expand to around 25 people by the end of Q1 and then again to 32 employees by the end of the year.
The new positions are needed in part to support the company's product development growth. Rather than just assessing cognitive health, BrainCheck is piloting some automated care plan technology.
"We have a lot of new product development that's underway," Katz says. "A big focus is expanding the output of the cognitive assessment into the cognitive care management."
Following the BrainCheck assessment, this new software will automate a cognitive care plan that doctors can then customize for his or her patients.
"The care plan process right now takes a very long time for the doctors to do, and therefore is very seldom done," Katz says.
And, in some cases, care plans aren't done because there's no cure or limited medications that help these types of cognitive diseases.
"A lot of people think of dementia sometimes as something there's no treatment for," Katz says. "It's true that there are limited pharmaceutical treatments for it, but there's evidence that comprehensive management of the disease is effective."
BrainCheck has opened the door on cognitive assessment. Traditional cognitive assessment used to only be done through a lengthy process and only by a small group of neuropsychologists. It's difficult for patients to find a neuropsychologist and then book an appointment.
"There's a big need to empower primary care doctors to have that ability to assess and manage patients' cognitive help," Katz says, explaining that this creates a perfect market for BrainCheck.