Novalis Biotech Acceleration Modality.AI – technology that ‘self-drives’ neurological and psychiatric assessments


August 31, 2021 (San Francisco, CA) — Modality.AI, pioneering AI technology for assessing neurological and psychiatric conditions remotely and in clinical settings through speech and facial measurements, has received a $2.1 million seed round led by the Relentless Venture Fund (“Relentless”), with major funding from Novalis Biotech Acceleration (“Novalis”), alongside several other funds and private investors.

From Parkinson’s to schizophrenia and depression, Modality’s multimodal solution – the first of its kind – is being used by leading research institutions globally to monitor, diagnose, and expedite the treatment of patients in clinic and remotely. Proceeds from Modality’s seed round will accelerate the company’s commercial pipeline and expedite FDA approval for use in clinical care.

Patient monitoring is conducted by Tina, a compassionate virtual assistant, who assumes the role – actualized behind the scenes by Modality’s sophisticated AI platform – of guiding participants through several speech, facial, and limb movement tasks. Facilitated by Tina, assessments of neurological and psychiatric conditions can be generated automatically and frequently to ensure a high level of accuracy and consistency.

Relentless Managing Partner Brenda Irwin shared that “team investment interest piqued following the release of data from an in-clinic pilot with schizophrenia patients. We are on a relentless hunt for innovative care options across the spectrum of mental health disorders. Modality objectively measures negative symptoms and a dataset difficult to quantify for clinicians caring for this vulnerable population. In addition, they have a growing dataset across a number of other chronic diseases including Parkinson’s and Autism Spectrum Disorder.”

Modality’s virtual monitoring platform provides patients, clinicians, and researchers objective measurements of neurological and psychiatric diseases without installing special software or apps. Clinically validated and HIPAA-compliant, the system works on any computing device with a browser, webcam, and microphone.

“We fine-tuned our product with a large patient population in partnership with institutions that included Mass General Hospital, UCSF, the EverythingALS Foundation, and the Charité in Berlin. Our patient engagement is fantastic, translating to completion and retention rates exceeding 80%, and our deep pipeline of partnerships spans a variety of conditions,” summarized CEO and Founder, Dr. David Suendermann-Oeft.

Founder and General Partner Wim Van Criekinge of Novalis said “We were impressed not only by Modality’s mature technology and traction with key partners across several strategic disease indications, but also with the team’s passionate drive to tackle some of the biggest challenges in healthcare – delivery of automated remote patient monitoring, precision digital biomarkers, and robust and scalable telehealth solutions. We believe that Modality is on the right track to become a market leader in these domains.” Wim is a tenured professor in bioinformatics at Ghent University, Belgium.

Both Wim and Brenda will be joining the Board of Directors for Modality.

This week, Modality is presenting a paper at INTERSPEECH 2021, the world’s largest scientific speech conference, demonstrating the clinical efficacy of its technology in an audiovisual speech study with EverythingALS, a Silicon Valley nonprofit advancing the discovery of digital biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other neurological conditions, together with its clinical and research partners at MIT, Mass General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School.

About Modality.AI

Modality.AI, Inc. (“Modality”) has developed the first multimodal assessment platform to track the progression of neurological and psychiatric diseases through the analysis of facial musculature and phonetic enunciation, using a virtual agent to guide participants through standardized protocols. Modality’s rich, objective, and accurate audiovisual biomarkers expedite the development of therapies for diseases such as Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, depression, and autism, as well as the diagnosis and tracking of treatment efficacy at scale, as used by some of the leading clinical institutions in the world, including UCSF, MGH, NYU, Purdue, and the Charité.

Modality was founded by world-class AI experts with over 200 publications and issued patents and several successful exits. Modality is venture backed and based in San Francisco, CA.

For more information about Modality, including publications, product, and team, contact David Fox at and visit

About Relentless Venture Fund

The Relentless Venture Fund (“Relentless”) is a health technology venture capital fund dedicated to investing in preventative and proactive technology solutions that optimize health, activity, and longevity. As a technology and mission-based fund, Relentless is committed to the development of technologies, products, and services that both promote an individual’s ability to stay healthy and active over an entire lifetime in addition to management of life with a chronic condition. Portfolio themes of emphasis for Relentless are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mobility, and mental wellbeing. The portfolio comprises the most common health issues associated with aging.

For more information about the Relentless Venture Fund, contact Brenda Irwin at

About Novalis

Novalis Biotech Acceleration (Ghent, Belgium) is an early-stage venture capital investor in technologies that revolutionize healthcare. The investment thesis is strongly focused on digitalization in the life sciences via “enabling technologies” such as bioinformatics, genomics, and diagnostics. Novalis believes in applying innovative enabling technologies to advance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a disease. For more information about Novalis Biotech Acceleration,