U.S. Army Establishes Collaborative Research Agreement with Contect, Inc. to Investigate the Use of Speech in Concussion Detection

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The U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command to help accelerate the commercialization of Contect’s mobile app for concussion detection

Contect, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a Collaborative Research Agreement with the U.S. Army’s Medical Research and Material Command. While specific terms of the agreement are confidential, the U.S. Army will provide resources to Contect, Inc., to assist in and accelerate the development and commercialization of the Contect mobile app for concussion detection.

Currently, the Contect concussion screening app is deployed on iPads that are issued by the company to athletic trainers at schools that are participating in the Contect research program. Athletes at these schools read aloud a simple word script designed by Contect’s speech pathology experts. The app captures the subjects’ voice signals—both baselines taken before an injury and samples taken post injury—and compares low level acoustic metrics associated with each sample, to determine if a subject is potentially concussed. While currently in research and development, the Contect app does not yet indicate whether a concussion has occurred; it simply collects voice samples, associated symptoms, and outside diagnoses on the subject performed, post injury, by physicians. The company plans to make the app available to the commercial market for purchase on the App Store and Google Play after the commercial version has been released. Deployment and distribution details for the military market have not yet been released.

The Contect concussion research program is being conducted by Contect in collaboration with researchers at the University of Notre Dame, in order to demonstrate that speech analysis can be used as a method of screening for concussions. Soldiers in the U.S. Army and other branches of the military are often subject to concussions caused by explosive devices, paratrooper operations, training accidents, and incidents on the battlefield where concussion testing equipment and medical diagnosis is not readily available.

"The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command has a strong interest in brain injury assessment technologies that can be used on and off the battlefield," said Michael Husband, Product Manager, in the U.S. Army's Medical Devices Program Management Office. "The use of speech analysis on a mobile device, has the potential to address many of the challenges in assessing brain injury in the battlefield environment."

Concussion diagnostic tools are applicable to more than soldiers. There are more than 33 million athletes in the U.S. who are also at risk for sports-related concussion. The agreement highlights a strong and broad interest for solutions in both military and public health.

“The U.S. Army’s support and involvement in our concussion research underscores the importance of finding a better way to detect concussions,” said Mike Soenen, CEO of Contect. “Especially when it comes to protecting those service men and women who are protecting us back home, we are very eager to deliver to them an objective, data-driven solution that can be deployed quickly and easily in the field.”

About the Contect Concussion Research Program
To inquire about joining the Contect Concussion Research Program, email info(at)contectinc(dot)com. To learn more about the research study, visit http://www.contectinc.com.

About Contect
Contect, Inc. is a software company that is developing a mobile app which provides athletic trainers, coaches, physicians and parents a fast, simple and more objective way to detect concussions. The Contect app uses speech analysis, a novel and patented approach originally developed by researchers at the University of Notre Dame, to detect the changes in speech acoustics that occur with concussions. The Contect app overcomes the challenges with current concussion-detection methods in that it requires no medical training, can be administered in two minutes and is not prone to manipulation by athletes. Contect, Inc. was founded in 2013, by a team of software entrepreneurs and researchers at the University of Notre Dame, and is comprised of experts in voice signal processing, speech pathology and software development.. For more information, visit us at http://www.contectinc.com, on LinkedIn, or via email, info(at)contectinc(dot)com.

The USAMMA is a unique and multifaceted organization that acts as the Army Surgeon General’s central focal point and Executive Agent for strategic medical logistics programs and initiatives. The Agency’s mission is to develop, acquire, provide and sustain world class solutions and capabilities to enable medical readiness globally. Accordingly, the USAMMA’s principal skills and technologies focus on the medical logistician’s role in lifecycle management, sustaining and modernizing the medical force (Active, Guard and Reserve), supporting exercises and contingency operations, and promoting medical logistics information and knowledge.

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Shane McQuillan
Contect, Inc.
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