Oxford Saïd alumnus founds neuroscience venture to improve mental health in India
Kumaar Bagrodia is an entrepreneur and an alumnus of the MBA programme. He is the founder of Neuroleap, an applied neuroscience company based in India. Its mission is simple: to improve the mental health of India’s citizens using the latest and most advanced technology.
‘Mental health problems are prevalent in India,’ explained Bagrodia, ‘but there is a huge stigma around these issues – people simply don’t want to talk about them, and when they do, they are often treated with psychiatric drugs which can be habit forming or even dangerous. I want to provide India with a safer, proven alternative.’
Neuroleap uses QEEG guided Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography Z score Neurofeedback to monitor brainwaves using a brain computer interface, while giving feedback to the user based on their brain’s performance.
Bagrodia explains: ‘The brain is malleable– it can change throughout its life. Our approach uses the principles of operant conditioning and the brain’s own ability to self-regulate.’
‘The system will decide whether to show you positive visual and audio feedback using an algorithm. This means you receive instant feedback on your brain’s behaviour by the microsecond. As the sessions continue, we make this process more difficult, so it pushes your brain harder. Over a short period, the performance of your brain increases while your negative symptoms – which could be ADHD, depression, memory loss or any other common mental health issue – begin to lessen. However, the process can also be used purely for brain enhancement.’
While the process may sound like science fiction, Bagrodia states that the theory behind the technology is well researched: ‘Over two years ago, when we started to explore the various therapies available, we were certain that it had to be scientifically proven, drug free, non-invasive and completely safe. With around 1500 peer reviewed scientific research papers published about the efficacy and safety of this treatment, it is the best solution available worldwide,’ he said.
Bagrodia enrolled at Oxford Saïd in 2001. ‘It was and remains an entrepreneurial business school and it felt as though we as students had an opportunity to not just learn, but to co-create,’ he said. ‘The entire year at Oxford was steeped in experiential learning – whether it was meeting Nelson Mandela, extracurricular lectures, or debates at the Oxford Union. I have to give a lot of credit to the School and Oxford as a whole for shaping my thinking.’
With an increasing amount of attention paid to the potential of neuroscience and brain computer interfaces worldwide, Bagrodia believes Neuroleap has a bright future ahead of it. ‘This is just our first offering, and we will continue to bring the latest technology to the Indian market.’