PragmaClin Research Inc. is based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. PragmaClin was co-founded in 2020 by Bronwyn Bridges, a PhD student and CEO, and Gord Genge, a Parkinson’s patient, and the COO. Both are highly motivated to find disruptive solutions for managing neurological diseases. The initial product is a digital assessment solution for Parkinson’s Disease (PD), which affects ten million people worldwide. PD is one of the world’s fastest growing neurological disorders with a doubling rate of twenty years.
PRIMS (Parkinson’s Remote Interactive Monitoring System) is an integrated system that monitors, analyzes, and rates the severity of PD symptoms remotely and objectively following an internationally recognized standard rating scale. PRIMS will improve accessibility, especially for rural patients, and the high volume of granular data collected will enable clinicians to tailor treatment on an individual basis. PRIMS needs validation in a clinical setting in 2023 prior to commercial introduction.
PragmaClin was the Board Award Recipient for our recent NU Board awards https://tricofoundation.ca/nunationalawards2022/ and is an outstanding example of a student led social enterprise. We had the chance to connect with CEO Bronwyn Bridges on their spectacular journey. Bronwyn says:
“PragmaClin has developed a patient monitoring and assessment tool for supporting neurologists in their clinical assessments of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) progression. The digital cloud-based software captures motor assessment data with cameras and patient reported data through surveys and scores disease severity using smart software. Data collection is based on an internationally recognized rating scale. Patient dashboards provide patients with general information on disease status and clinician dashboards provide neurologists with detailed information on disease progression to support treatment decisions. Our system aims to increase patient throughput, increase patient outcomes, and reduce clinician burden and wait times. Our mission is to help those struggling with neurological diseases get the care that they deserve.”
Bronwyn explains that selling into healthcare is certainly not easy:
“We started as a school based idea, that over COVID transferred outside of academics and into a company. Because of this, it has been a massive learning curve discovering all of the compliance and regulatory issues that come with selling in healthcare, but also the timelines associated with this process. Trials are incredibly costly and take a long time to get started so all of our company timelines become entirely reliant on other organizations.”
Bronwyn expresses that they have learned perseverance throughout this entire process:
“Just because there was a ‘no’ once, going ahead and proving yourself and coming back stronger can make a massive difference. We have spent the last year working hard to come out on top and prove our worth in the health tech ecosystem and this is only the beginning.”
Looking to future, PragmaClin has many exciting things on the horizon and is such an inspiration to other student social entrepreneurs. Bronwyn says:
“The next steps for us as a company are to complete our first validation trial. We have a major trial lined up in the UK with Kings College in which we are trying to secure funding for. When this trial is underway we are fully on route to commercialization and first sales. We are also actively pursuing FDA clearance which is a costly and lengthy process, but hopefully pays off in the end.”