Sam English has a sales pitch.
“Nearly 10 percent of school children or 6 million kids are diagnosed with ADHD,” he said. “It’s a lot of people… And the diagnosis rate is increasing annually.”
Each year about 2.5 million people are assessed for ADHD, he said. His pitch is to the doctors doing those assessments.
Through his Roanoke-based company Attention Point, English is selling an online tool called DefiniPoint that is aimed at improving the clinical diagnostic process for Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.
The current process for diagnosing ADHD is typically paper-based, requiring parents, teachers and other adults who supervise a child to fill out one of a number of different assessment forms.
“It’s cumbersome and time-consuming,” said English, the founder and CEO of Attention Point.
Attention Point’s process is simpler because DefiniPoint is Internet-based, meaning there are no paper forms that have to be hand delivered or mailed to a variety of people before being returned to the doctor evaluating a child for ADHD, he said.
Plus the online process offers something else a clinical psychologist doesn’t have at his or her disposal: An algorithm that reads the results of the assessments filled out by various teachers, mom and dad and yields a single score.
Instead of relying on the clinical judgment of a psychologist to score and weigh each evaluation, DefiniPoint provides a single answer.
After years in development, DefiniPoint was launched last week at the Virginia Psychological Association’s annual conference. A luncheon sponsored by Attention Point drew 30 state psychologists, English said.
Now through the end of the year Virginia’s psychologists will have free access to the system. The plan is to launch in other states beginning around March 2013. To do that English said he has to raise more money for investors. He declined to offer specifics.
DefiniPoint is priced at $9.99 for the diagnostic materials for one person. Clinicians will also have to pay an annual fee of $49.99, which is waived the first year, English said.
The company’s product launch last week comes after more than a decade of work. In 2001, English connected with researchers at the University of Virginia who had defined the algorithm that produced the single score. English, whose background is in entrepreneurial, technology company start-ups, sought to commercialize the research.
For the past three years, Attention Point has been refining the online process and preparing for the launch, he said.