Published on August 27, 2021 in The Kingstonist. By Jessica Foley
Suchi Gupta, a parent in Kingston, completing a ReadON digital cognitive therapy session with her daughter, a grade 4 student in the Limestone District School Board to enhance her reading fluency and comprehension. Source: Jyoti Singh.
Local technology company Orange Neurosciences is preparing to launch a new program to support those with ADHD and autism. Titli, the second commercial application of DigiCoT, Orange Neurosciences’ technology platform, is currently available to therapists and parents at no cost while the company is collecting feedback to improve user experience.
DigiCoT is an award-winning digital therapy platform that can help persons with learning differences or cognitive impairments be successful at school and in life, according to Dr. Vinay Singh, CEO of Orange Neurosciences.
“The platform uses the science of brain plasticity coupled with AI to create brain connections responsible for executive function and self-regulation,” he said.
While teaching as a Queen’s University professor, Dr. Singh saw his neurodiverse first-year students suffering from anxiety and depression. As a result, he, along with a team of experts in the fields of education, medicine, cognitive science, neurotech, computer engineering, business intelligence platform development, and others, created what is now Orange Neurosciences: an emerging technology company developing state of the art digital therapeutics platform to provide cognitive therapy for the neurodiverse population globally.
“Teaching as a Professor to first-year university students who expected similar levels of accommodations as they received in secondary school, and then as a parent, I saw many gaps in the support for students, including for those with learning differences and associated mental health conditions,” Singh said, noting he saw an obvious need for an effective, and affordable, solution.
“After working together with a leader in the special education field for a year, we launched Orange Neurosciences in 2017. With experience in bioinformatics, human-computer interaction, cognitive neuroscience, artificial intelligence, digital therapy, biotechnology, special education, and software engineering, we embarked on a journey to find an answer to the question: Is there an intervention to help people with neuro-differences succeed, not only at school, but in their future work life?”
ReadON was the first commercial application of DigiCoT and, according to Singh, the program is specially designed for struggling readers and ESL learners to improve reading fluency and comprehension.
“ReadON has been overwhelmingly well-received by everyone who has used it,” Singh told Kingstonist, noting that therapists and parents alike have seen “life-altering changes in the children who have used ReadON.”
Orange Neurosciences has had great feedback from users of their ReadON program, according to Singh. “We have received messages about the academic successes children are having and the behavioural changes that take place as well,” he expressed. “One example recently is a child with a learning difference who was struggling at school and just won runner-up in a spelling bee. Another student with autism spectrum who has now been able to return to his public school and participate in regular classes. Other changes include gaining self-confidence, having fewer outbursts, and being excited about reading where they once balked at tackling their schoolwork.”
The ReadON platform is in use in Canada, South Africa, India, United Arab Emirates, and Singapore. Singh said there is also interest from the Philippine government and China.
“I do feel that there is room for our governments and schools to look at innovative solutions to provide better tools for students and parents needing better options for all children, especially with exceptionalities,” Singh expressed. “This is more critical during the unprecedented COVID times where the mental health of students needs more attention.”
Titli, like ReadON, is a gamified online intervention that leverages the power of engagement with exciting gameplays, points systems and entertaining graphics. The program uses a targeted multisensory approach to create connections between the auditory and visual pathways, which, according to Singh, helps improve executive functioning skills through multiple simultaneous demands, performance feedback, and problem-solving.
Where ReadON is designed to support reading skills, Titli is designed to target core symptoms of ADHD and autism spectrum conditions. Orange Neurosciences is running clinical trials of Titli in different countries in order to get regulatory approvals for the program to become a prescription software for ADHD management.
In Canada, this cognitive therapy can be completed by a child under the supervision of a therapist or a parent trained by a therapist. At this time, parents and therapists can access Titli at no cost as the company is collecting user feedback to improve the program.
Singh said Orange Neurosciences is also seeking occupational therapists and ABA Practitioners to carry out clinical trials within their practices.
“We believe this service will be covered under grants by Ontario government and in other provinces,” he said.
“Our team will be more than happy to speak with any parents or therapists in Kingston to provide more info about our platform. Being Kingstonian, I would love to offer this program free to as many locals as possible so that they can enjoy the benefit of this revolutionary program that thousands are already using in different parts of the world.”
Interested Kingstonians can reach Orange Neurosciences over email at firstname.lastname@example.org, through their toll-free number, 1-888-565-4777, or by requesting access on the Orange Neurosciences website, https://www.orangeneurosciences.ca. A free demo for therapists is also available on their website, where the relevant link is in the top right corner.