How Ethos Solutions Helped Transform Treatment for Brain Disorders

Mar 24

How Ethos Solutions Helped Transform Treatment for Brain Disorders

What began almost 20 years ago with a ground-breaking idea and a desktop computer today serves as a successful method for treating patients with brain disorders—from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The company behind the success story is California-based CNS Response, which developed a method for using brain images to identify medications best suited for treatment. As a traveling companion on the long journey, Ethos Solutions helped turn the method into a cloud-based decision-support platform for hundreds of doctors helping thousands of patients.

For George Carpenter, CEO of CNS Response, this collaboration was crucial. “We couldn’t have done without Ethos Solutions,” he says. “When we first contacted Ethos Solutions, we had several systems that were not connected and required a lot of manual data entry and manipulation. Ethos was able to connect all of those disparate systems and integrate them with a web portal so doctors can access the knowledge base to significantly improve outcomes for the individual.”

What sounds like a routine system integration job was not easy feat. The platform, known as PEER (Psychiatric EEG Evaluation Registry) Online, is based on electroencephalograms (EEGs): charts that record a patient’s brain functions much like an electrocardiogram (EKG) records heart function. Physicians can review the charts online, identify neurophysiological markers (some areas show more activity than others), and then annotate the record in one streamlined workflow.

In a final step using an integrated reference database, they can prompt the system to correlate their findings to similar findings in the system and thus determine which psychiatric medications have been most efficient in treating patients with similar EEG records.

Over the years, CNS Response has collected data from some 10,000 patients and published close to 100 EEG-medication response studies, all of which are made available to subscribing physicians through the web portal. Better yet, the physicians themselves can report their own experience with a given medication regime online, thereby significantly expanding the knowledge base in what has come to been known as crowdsharing.

It is this online availability of data that has helped thousands of patients regain quality of life by eliminating the trial-and-error element from treatment and with it unpleasant side-effects. And people have taken notice. Lately, CNS Response has received increased interest from media outlets, among them TV shows with impressive testimonials from patients who successfully overcame life-long psychiatric conditions such a depression and anxiety.

Along with this growing recognition, CNS Response is quickly gaining a larger footprint in the medical world as well. In 2013, the Department of Defense started a large clinical trial at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for veterans suffering from psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). As Carpenter points out, traumatic brain injuries in war veterans are much more prominent than previously estimated; they account for a third of the cases seen.

Other healthcare providers are waiting in the wings. CNS Response has started talks with the British Forces and private entities to bring the proven treatment approach to the United Kingdom.

In the long term, Carpenter believes, more private healthcare providers in the United States will follow suit because the CNS Response solution can do more with less. EEG hardware is inexpensive, and the data analytics and dissemination platform powered by Ethos Solutions software can bring vital information to physicians wherever they are and thus promote the key objective: to get more out of existing medications and help millions of people.