DUBLIN, IRELAND — Medical device company, Neuromod Devices Ltd, has launched Ótologie, a specialist telehealth service for tinnitus. This new service will provide tinnitus patients, throughout the United Kingdom and Europe, with a private care option to avoid waiting lists and give them immediate access to treatment from its telehealth service.
The establishment of Ótologie comes as 45% of patients waiting to start treatment with a public Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) consultant faced a waiting time of more than 18 weeks, according to NHS Englandi. It also follows research from Neuromod which found that more than three quarters of people living from tinnitus in the UK have never received any treatment for their condition.
The research, which polled 251 people with tinnitus across the UK, found that 76.1% of respondents have never used any form of tinnitus treatment. It also revealed that 67.7% of those polled don’t feel adequately informed about tinnitus.
Neuromod’s establishment of Ótologie follows a successful pilot by the company to provide a telehealth service for tinnitus care to UK patients in 2021. Due to the success of the pilot, which allowed patients to avoid waiting lists and progress to treatment within days of contacting the service, Neuromod has launched Ótologie to provide quick access to tinnitus care from qualified healthcare professionals who can prescribe a range of proven treatments including Lenire, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and hearing aids.
Significant Need for Tinnitus Treatment
Tinnitus, commonly known as “ringing in the ears” affects between 10 and 15% of the global population and the British Tinnitus Association estimates that more than seven million people suffer from this condition in the UK alonei[i].
In accordance with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines, many tinnitus patients are referred to public ENT waiting lists and studies have estimated that treating tinnitus costs the NHS £750 million annuallyiii. The estimated cost to society caused by tinnitus reaches approximately £2.7 billioniii demonstrating the need for private care options specifically for tinnitus, such as Ótologie, to increase the number of people tinnitus accessing treatment by avoiding waiting lists.
“Studies have shown that treating tinnitus costs the NHS approximately £750 million every year and it also estimates that the cost to society reaches around £2.7 billioni[ii]. This, combined with lengthy waiting lists, shows the significant healthcare challenge treating people with tinnitus poses. Ótologie’s vision is to tackle this significant challenge by enabling patients to get started with a tinnitus treatment plan almost immediately from anywhere in the UK or indeed Europe. Our long-term aim is to create the first globally recognised approach to tinnitus care and management”
–Dr. Ross O’Neill, CEO of Neuromod Devices
Ótologie’s team of specialist audiologists and therapists have extensive experience treating tinnitus patients with the latest evidence-based treatments. Following clinical best practices, they assess each patient and recommend a personalized treatment plan from options which can include the Lenire tinnitus treatment device; Tinnitus Therapy (a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT); or hearing aids suitable for people with tinnitus.
Speaking on Neuromod’s research, Ótologie’s Head of Tinnitus Care, audiologist Anita Sayers said: “The results of the poll, which show that 76% of UK patients have never received any treatment for their tinnitus is stark and worrying. It also highlights a clear gap in knowledge of various tinnitus treatments options available to those suffering from tinnitus. We want to change that.”
“People who live with tinnitus are looking for credible, expert advice and treatment plans to help them manage the impact that bothersome tinnitus has on their day-to-day life. And they want to access these treatment plans quickly,” continued Sayers. “With Ótologie, our goal is to build a patient centered service to provide groundbreaking and evidence-based tinnitus treatments, coupled with the empathy that patients need to feel supported at every stage of their tinnitus journey. We are really excited to be able to expand our services and tinnitus care offerings to patients across the UK and beyond.”
The launch of Ótologie follows Neuromod’s establishment of its US subsidiary, Neuromod USA Inc. To date Neuromod has raised significant venture equity and debt financing to fund ongoing expansion of the availability of Lenire in Europe and the organization’s FDA submission process in the US.
This funding has been led by Fountain Healthcare Partners, an international life science focussed venture capital fund which invests in entrepreneurs and companies with disruptive technologies or products that have a clear pharmacoeconomic benefit.
Neuromod specializes in non-invasive neuromodulation technologies and has previously developed Lenire, a non-invasive bimodal neuromodulation device which has been clinically proven in large-scale clinical trials to reduce tinnitus symptoms.
The first of these clinical trials, involving 326 participants, was published in October 2020 as the cover story in the internationally renowned journal Science Translational Medicine and reported significant improvements in patients’ tinnitus symptomsiv. 86.2% of treatment-compliant participants reported an improvement in their tinnitus symptoms after a 12-week treatment periodiv v. When followed up 12 months post treatment, 80.1% of these participants had sustained the improvementsiv v. This study represents one of the largest and longest followed-up clinical trials ever conducted for a tinnitus deviceiv.
Ótologie Tinnitus Care treatment options
- Lenire – Lenire is a non-invasive bimodal neuromodulation device, proven in large-scale clinical trials to soothe the symptoms of tinnitus. Lenire delivers mild electrical pulses to the tongue combined with sound played through headphones to drive long-term changes or neuroplasticity in the brain to treat tinnitus.
- Tinnitus Therapy – Tinnitus Therapy is a form of psychotherapy which aims to change a patient’s perception of their tinnitus and minimise its impact on their life.
- Hearing Aids for Tinnitus – Hearing loss is one of the most common causes of tinnitus and improving a patients hearing can improve their symptoms. Ótologie offers a range of hearing aids, and ongoing support, that can help.
Ótologie is an effective, patient-centred service that provides ground-breaking tinnitus care to improve the lives of people living with this condition every day and it has been established to address the growing healthcare need for dedicated and specialist care for people with tinnitus.
Its specialist audiologists and psychotherapists, wholly focussed on tinnitus, have extensive experience treating tinnitus patients with the latest evidence-based treatments. They follow clinical best practices to assess each patient and recommend a personalised treatment plan from treatment options such as of Lenire, tinnitus therapy (CBT), or hearing aids for tinnitus. Combining these treatment options and the company’s technology-led platform, which offers next day appointments, Ótologie’s vision is to create the first globally recognised approach to tinnitus care and management. For more information visit www.otologie.com.
About Neuromod Devices Limited
Founded in 2010, Neuromod Devices Ltd is a medical technology company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Neuromod specialises in the design and development of neuromodulation technologies to address the clinical needs of underserved patient populations who live with chronic and debilitating conditions. The lead application of Neuromod’s technology is in the field of tinnitus, where Neuromod has completed extensive clinical trials to confirm the efficacy of its non-invasive neuromodulation platform in this common disorder. Neuromod’s tinnitus treatment device, Lenire is currently available in Ireland and throughout Europe. For more information visit www.neuromoddevices.com.
About Fountain Healthcare Partners
Fountain Healthcare Partners is a life science venture capital fund with offices in Dublin and New York. Founded in 2008, Fountain is Ireland’s largest dedicated life science venture capital fund with more than €300 million under management. Fountain invests in entrepreneurs and companies with disruptive technologies or products that have a clear pharmacoeconomic benefit and a defined pathway to commercialisation, value enhancement and exit. Fountain typically leads or co-leads its investments and has sourced private and public deals from start-ups, corporate spin-outs and turnaround situations.
[i]i British Tinnitus Association – https://www.tinnitus.org.uk/blog/more-people-living-with-tinnitus-than-previously-thought
i[i]iStockdale, D. et al. An economic evaluation of the healthcare cost of tinnitus management in the UK. BMC Health Serv Res 17, 577 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-017-2527-2
v As measured by Tinnitus Handicap Inventory score