Brain monitor for newborns wins first prize at Ideate Ireland

Neurobell uses AI to aid the tracking and treatment of seizures
Dr Mark O’Sullivan and Dr Alison O’Shea, Neurobell

1 July 2022

The team behind a pocket-sized brain monitor with automated seizure detection for new-borns, was named overall winners of the 2022 Ideate Ireland business plan competition, claiming a €15,000 prize.

Neurobell, founded by Dr Mark O’Sullivan and Dr Alison O’Shea, uses patent-pending electronics and artificial intelligence that can be used by all neonatal intensive care staff, ensuring timely monitoring and treatment of seizures.

Speaking about his experience of the programme, Dr O’Sullivan said: “The Ideate Ireland programme really pushed us to challenge our market assumptions by completing customer discovery across different stakeholder groups. We now have a clear understanding of where the clinical need for our technology is greatest and how best to target that market.”




First runner-up was awarded to Sarusha Pillay and Dr Fergus McCarthy of pHetalSafe, which seeks to detect and prevent fetal hypoxia and assess fetal well-being during labour.

In joint third place was Nick Cotter of Cotter Agritech, who has developed a system that uses advanced algorithms to enable farmers to transition from blanket treating animals with antiparasitic drugs to precise applications targeting only animals that need treatment.

Sharing third place were Dr Fiona McGillicuddy and Dr Rachel Byrne of MetHealth, which provides a biomarker-based risk-stratification platform and associated digital health solution that can identify patients with complications of obesity. The two teams will split a prize fund of €5,000 between them.

The awards were presented at a ceremony at the US Embassy in Dublin.

US Ambassador to Ireland, Claire D. Cronin said: “Ireland’s start-up ecosystem has a reputation for being diverse and welcoming with an excellent network of supports, incubators, and accelerators that provide mentoring to early-stage companies. The US Embassy looks forward to supporting the Ideate Ireland awardees with their global ambition and expansion into the United States through our SelectUSA programme.”

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