PediaMetrix Receives $1.93 million Fast-Track Small Business Award from the NIH for Development of a Comprehensive Digital Cranial Evaluation Tool for Pediatric Offices
PediaMetrix, Inc., the creator of SoftSpotTM, the only FDA-cleared mobile app for cranial evaluation at the point of care, received official notification from the National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) that it has been awarded a $1.93 million Fast-Track Small Business Award over a 2.5-year period to further develop SoftSpot for comprehensive evaluation of cranial shape abnormalities, including Deformational Plagiocephaly and Craniosynostosis.
The funding will be disbursed in two phases contingent meeting milestones, with Phase I of it ($252,000) being available effective immediately.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Fast Track Program was created to provide grants to accelerate the transition from development stage to commercialization of innovative technologies that improve human health and advance the mission of the NIH. The program also aims to foster partnerships among a variety of R&D collaborators working toward these goals. To this end, PediaMetrix has partnered for this project with the Children’s National Hospital’s in Washington DC.
“With this award, the NIDCR recognizes PediaMetrix team’s ability to bring a comprehensive mobile scanning tool to pediatric offices that can offer 3D scan of a patient’s head in a short time, provide precise measurements for different cranial indices, as well as decision support information for diagnosis of different conditions” said Dr. Fereshteh Aalamifar-founder and Chief Executive Officer and the PI of this grant.
Reza Seifabadi, Ph.D., PediaMetrix’s co-founder, COO and co-principal investigator on the project, commented, “we are grateful to NIDCR of this recognition and award- This will bring SoftSpot to a whole new level allowing pediatricians to evaluate virtually any cranial abnormalities, including craniosynostosis – a condition often requiring surgery, with high precision. Early detection will facilitate early intervention, which ultimately provides better outcome and reduce healthcare costs”.
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PediaMetrix has experience in using federal funding support to translate computer vision and AI products into the clinic through substantial grants from the National Science Foundation’s SBIR program and from the Maryland’s TEDCO Builder Fund and Seed Fund programs.
PediaMetrix has launched SoftSpot in the US market after receiving FDA clearance in October 2021. SoftSpot has been used in many practices in the US to successfully evaluate hundreds of patients.
Current version of SoftSpot uses computer vision and AI to provide pediatricians and parents with a tool for early detection and monitoring of Deformational Plagiocephaly, Brachycephaly and Schaphocephaly. These common conditions affect nearly 30% of newborns with an estimated $1B costs to the US healthcare. Currently, pediatricians do not have access to any tool for measurements of head shape deformities and delayed diagnosis has resulted in expensive and intensive treatment options.
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