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Helping patients with Parkinson's Disease with home-based monitoring - Interview with Nikos Moschos, PD Neurotechnology

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Bianca Iulia Simion

· 4 min read
Helping patients with Parkinson's Disease with home-based monitoring - Interview with Nikos Moschos, PD Neurotechnology
Nikos Moschos, founder and CEO of PD Neurotechnology, has +20 years of healthcare experience in private and public HMOs. He oversees the company's business strategy and execution.

We spoke with Nikos to learn more about his mission to help Parkinson's patients with technology.

Hi Nikos, you are now the founder and CEO of PDN, but we are curious about your background. What experiences led you to become a tech startup entrepreneur?

I have a background in electrical and computer engineering and an MBA in strategy and finance. I also spent 4 years as a strategy consultant for a large multinational consulting firm. That was 14 years ago... That's when I started my first job in healthcare, moving from management consulting, and from the beginning I felt like this is where I belonged. I managed hospitals, developed marketing strategies, helped build new departments and practises, and taught the public about new approaches to healthcare, all with one thing in mind: the patient!

So when my co-founders approached me to start PDNeurotechnology® to create a paradigm shift in dealing with a global pandemic like Parkinson's, the decision was very easy... The rest is history!

What is the story behind PDN? What made you decide to develop solutions for Parkinson's disease and not for other health problems?

I was inspired by a desire to help people and improve their lives in the context of a profoundly medical problem. Parkinson's disease is a very difficult disease. It is not curable, it is degenerative. The journey began in 2006 when Dimitris Fotiadis, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science, and Spyros Konitsiotis, Professor of Neurology at the University of Ioannina, took the first steps toward this research.

The goal of this research was to find out if we can map the symptoms of complex Parkinson's disease, which causes many motor problems that are very difficult to detect and record. And we could do it remotely, using artificial intelligence and wearable medical devices. This was realised from 2008 to 2011 with the so-called 'proof of concept'.

Through theoretical and practical measurements on 81 patients, it was proven that it was feasible, that symptoms could be accurately measured, and that a doctor could remotely track how things were going. The two founders teamed up with a business team of which I am the main representative. We worked for three years, seeking business funding.

Is it everything you thought it would be? What's the biggest lesson you have learned since starting PDN?

Yes, to be precise, I often feel like I am living the "Greek dream," something like the "American dream." In Greece you can do anything, provided you have a team, provided you have the right business idea, provided the recipe works; in this way things can move forward because everything is much easier than when you started. There are many sources of funding - maybe not as specialised as we would like, but they are improving, making progress and trying to bridge the digital divide.

We have a technology gap here compared to London or San Francisco or Boston. There are efforts being made; there are some very good universities; there are some very good funds and I think everything has become easier, and I also hope it will become easier in the future. Seedblink is a very good representative of the development in crowdfunding. They are general enough to cover a good spectrum of technologies, and at the same time very knowledgeable to understand and be inspired by m-health and artificial intelligence.

What problem does PDMonitor solve and how would you say it eases your customers' pain?

Unfortunately, Parkinson's disease is incurable and treatment ultimately aims to control symptoms and thus quality of life. That's exactly what the PDMonitor® does. That is, it can record symptoms at regular intervals when the doctor requests remote monitoring. So if he knows when symptoms occur, how they develop, and how they relate to current treatment, he can recommend interventions and see the results immediately. Patients can use it for 2 to 5 days, once a month, once every two months, once every six months, or once a year, depending on what the doctor requests.

Some patients are in the initial phase of the disease, called the "honeymoon" phase. In this phase, symptoms are manageable, treatment is as it should be, and the patient does not experience what's called "fluctuations," where the medication sometimes works and sometimes wears off. That's what their future will look like. Up to this point, everything is fine and you may not even notice that the patient has Parkinson's because the medication is strong and effective and everything can be found OK.

However, over time, unfortunately, the so-called "neurodegeneration" progresses, the disease evolves, and the patient again has the symptoms they had before they started treatment, but not all the time. They take the medications prescribed by the doctor during the day, but after a while the medications no longer work. The doctor then prescribes a second dose, a third dose, a fifth dose, on this journey through time, hand in hand with the disease. This is where things get complicated. Because patients must have the required dose and dosage at all times. It is impossible for a physician to have this information without having an appropriate recording device.

PDMonitor® helps physicians keep a constant eye on a patient's condition and interact with the patient and unofficial caregiver in a timely and effective manner.

How many people could use your solution? What are the European / worldwide statistics for Parkinson's disease?

What are the milestones you want to achieve with PDN this year?

2022 is a pivotal year for PD Neurotechnology®. Among other things, we expect to continue to expand our presence in a number of countries including France, Germany, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Turkey, and Cyprus, while also beginning sales in Switzerland and Israel. We also expect to make further progress on reimbursement in the UK. FDA approval is an important goal that may be achieved this year. Finally, we expect major progress in our R&D pipeline and publications.

Startups grow from failures. Have you ever had to change your product or service to better meet customer needs?

That's a good question and very true in many cases. We have been fortunate to maintain the same product strategy since PDMonitor® was founded a few years ago. The feedback from the market and key opinion leaders makes us very confident that we probably will not have to change in the future!

Where do you see PDN and your company in 3-5 years?

Our 5-year plan is to grow in selected markets, particularly in Europe and the U.S., develop an improved version of PDMonitor®, develop a special version of PDMonitor® for advanced Parkinson's treatments, and eventually develop new products for other central nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Based on preliminary studies and feedback from KOL, we are confident that this plan will help even more patients worldwide and also deliver a strong performance for PD Neurotechnolgy®.

What makes PDN so special? Why should investors choose you?

PD Neurotechnology is more than just a technology start-up. It is run by people who believe in what they do, who empathise with patients, and who truly want to make a difference in the world. Our focus is on the patient with Parkinson's disease. We know them, we understand them, and we dream of being able to offer them a better future in an otherwise devastating disease. In parallel, an investment in PD Neurotechnology is a potentially sound investment decision at this time. The fundamentals are in favour, the future looks bright, we are here to stay and drive change, so why not join us on that journey?

PD Neurotechnology raises €5 million Series A round to help patients with Parkinson's Disease with home-based monitoring. Explore the opportunity here.