|Alzheimer's detector, travel site among winners at tech fest
Technology capable of diagnosing Alzheimer's disease long before its symptoms appear won a coveted honor for innovation at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Texas in the US.
Neurotrack, which uses eye tracking to achieve a claimed 100 percent success rate, took the health technologies category in the SXSW Accelerator competition as the festival’s interactive segment drew to a close.
“It a computer-based visual cognitive test that is able to diagnose Alzheimer's disease six years before symptoms appear,’’ said Elli Kaplan, chief executive officer of the Richmond, Virginia-based upstart. “Today the only way to diagnose Alzheimer's is once full symptoms are in existence, but that's years after irreparable damage has already taken place.’’
Initial users of Neurotrack will be pharmaceutical manufacturers. But in time, Kaplan said, it will be rolled out to doctor's offices and research hospitals.
SXSW Accelerator is a showcase for up-and-coming news, social, mobile, web, entertainment, health and music technologies. One of its 2010 winners, the voice recognition software Siri, now is a standard feature in all Apple iPhones.
Other winners included the mobile advocacy app Phone2Action; Plotter, a social network for maps; mobile typing assistant Syntellia; Wanderu, a website for young budget travelers; and MakieLab, a 3D printing toy and game service.
The Accelerator winner for music technologies will be announced later this week, as the music portion of SXSW kicks off and the film segment continues.