- Inspired by seeing how nephew’s undiagnosed ADHD affected sister’s family
- 1 in 20 children affected but more than 80% undiagnosed into adulthood
- Bracelets set to improve accuracy of pre-diagnosis
- City region school set to trial new device
Liverpool City Region innovator Daniel Melo is on a hi-tech mission to improve the early diagnosis of ADHD after seeing how the condition affected his sister’s family.
Daniel’s Daresbury-based company Addhere has received a £99,000 Launchpad grant from Innovate UK to develop a bracelet that will help detect Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which affects more than 1 in 20 children worldwide.
Children with ADHD can be disruptive at home and in school, yet it often takes years before the condition is diagnosed and more than 80% remain undiagnosed into adulthood. When his nephew was found to have ADHD, Daniel vowed to find a way to help more children secure an early diagnosis.
Working closely with leading physicians and psychologists in his native Brazil, Daniel co-founded ADDHERE Technologies Ltd to create algorithms on an app that can be used by teachers, parents and healthcare professionals to help diagnose the condition.
The AI model underpinning the platform is based on 10-years of studies that evaluated, tracked and treated more than 1,500 children in a middle-income country, diagnosed with ADHD, as defined by psychologists and neuropsychologists.
The bracelets will detect sleep patterns and movements associated with ADHD, recording the data which can then be fed into the AI-powered app. Engineer, software developer and entrepreneur Daniel says the devices will make pre-diagnosis around 90% reliable – offering GP’s greater confidence when referring children to the NHS for full diagnosis.
Currently UK families can wait around 3-5 years for diagnosis through the NHS.
The Launchpad grant will help the four-strong ADDHERE team take the bracelet through the UK regulatory process and continue pre-development work to make the device ready for manufacture. Specifications for the bracelet include simple to use, customisable and inexpensive with materials being considered that can offer flexibility, durability and the right skin feel. Daniel says they are looking closely at biomaterials such as bamboo fibres.
Depending on regulatory approval, it is hoped the bracelets will be piloted at a city region school in the coming months. A further 15 UK schools have so far expressed an interest in the bracelets. The pilot will start with adults, before being tested on children, with a target age group of between 6 and 12 years old.
The company uses modern architecture modelling to guarantee full data anonymity of vulnerable children’s data.
Daniel has received support from the Department for International Trade’s Global Entrepreneur Programme and was attracted to Sci-Tech Daresbury by the high-quality facilities including the STFC lab for 3D prototyping and printing. He also cites Daresbury’s vibrant innovation ecosystem, its lower costs compared to Manchester and London, and the warm welcome as reasons for locating in the city region.
He has also received help from Innovate UK Edge and the Royal Academy of Engineering, Regional Talents Engines Program.
“One of the key advantages of the UK Innovation ecosystem for nurturing global start-ups is this amazing network, capable of leveraging the companies from the early-stage to scale-ups.”
Find out more about projects funded through the Innovate UK Liverpool City Region Launchpad Programme.