Image via (shutterstock_adhd)
Image via (shutterstock_adhd)

While several other Israeli companies are pioneering treatment options for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Nes Ziona-based NeuroTechnology Solutions has put its development efforts into Internet-based software technologies that help clinicians better diagnose and monitor attention problems.

The system, Moxo Analytics , has different versions for children and adults, and delivers scores on a range of developmental, cognitive and behavioral components of ADHD making it easier to decide how to help the person suffering from the disorder.

Moxo already has the European Union’s CE mark and was introduced in Israel nearly four years ago and now claims 40 percent of the market. Clinicians in Canada, Turkey, Poland, South Africa, Mexico and Spain are using it too, and other markets are on the horizon.

According to the ADHD Institute, the worldwide prevalence of ADHD is between 5.29 and 7.1 percent in people under 18 years old. It affects up to one in 20 American children, more often boys than girls, and often continues into adulthood.

“Our company was established seven years ago by three entrepreneurs with a personal interest in ADHD and a creative approach that drew its innovation from the gaming industry. With that in mind, they developed the Moxo test – a next-generation online tool to enhance the clinician’s assessment and treatment process,” says NeuroTechnologies business development manager Karina Rubinstein.

With input from a well-known Israeli pediatric neurologist specializing in ADHD, Moxo was designed to simulate today’s information-filled computer, tablet and smartphone environments. Unlike earlier diagnostic tests still widely used across the world, Moxo presents the person being tested with a set of auditory and visual “distractors.”

“By giving a detailed picture of how an individual responds to a short test, the Moxo results enable professionals — neurologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, general practitioners, psychologists — to give recommendations on how to improve daily performance,” Rubinstein tells ISRAEL21c.

For instance, if Moxo shows a child’s attention is impaired mainly by audio distractors, a clinician may recommend that the teacher seat him or her in a quiet study area. If visual distractors are the problem, the child may do better seated at the front of the classroom.

“However, some patients actually do better with audio distractors, so perhaps they should be encouraged to do their homework with music in the background,” says Rubinstein.

Alyson Aviv, a pediatric neuropsychologist in Ra’anana who has been assessing kids for the past 20 years, tells ISRAEL21c she likes how Moxo allows her to evaluate attention under the kinds of distracting conditions children typically encounter day to day in a classroom. She uses Moxo as “part of a comprehensive battery of assessment tools.”

Moxo childrens test
A Moxo test screen showing various “distractors.”

Before returning to Israel from the United States last year, Aviv used Moxo for research in her clinic in St. Louis. That and other collaborations are continuing with US clinicians and researchers as NeuroTechnologies Solutions looks forward to eventual entry into the American market.

Is it ADHD or anxiety?

Rubinstein says that Moxo has additional unique benefits.

“Our test is image-based; it has no language or numerical component,” she says. This helps avoid misdiagnosis of learning disorders and also makes the test easy to use in any country.

After each test, the system automatically generates several detailed reports providing a measurable “attentiveness profile” with actionable data on attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity and timing relative to a normal population for the patient’s age and gender. This can help the practitioner differentiate ADHD from other disorders with similar symptoms, such as anxiety.

“The test has eight stages, and you can see in each stage how the patient performed and how each kind of distractor affected performance in terms of the four parameters we are measuring,” Rubinstein explains.

The online Moxo test also can be used to monitor a patient’s performance after the introduction of medication, counseling or treatments such as memory training or cognitive-behavioral therapy.

The system is used in more than 400 clinical settings around Israel, including large hospitals, and is “a known brand name among clinicians and parents,” says Rubinstein.

The name Moxo, the company’s website explains, is Japanese word meaning “a moment of clarity.” It refers to a martial-arts ceremony in which the warrior focuses, clears his head of detractions and views the battle in his mind’s eye.

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