Disease Spotter
A small firm figures out a new way to detect Parkinson's.
Ron Stodghill

(FORTUNE Small Business) -- Howison Schroeder, CEO of Neuro Kinetics, is breaking big.

For almost three decades, Neuro Kinetics' $130,000 chair systems have been used to diagnose conditions such as Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis by tracking patients' eye movements. (Patients suffering from those conditions respond abnormally to direct light.) But last year the Pittsburgh firm's revenue jumped 50%, to $1.2 million, when it introduced a line of goggles that performed the analysis for a quarter of the cost.

STAR PUPIL: Neuro Kinetics still sells its 1,000-pound chair system to specialists and researchers, who use it to diagnose and study disorders that the goggles can't detect. But the $9,900 goggles have introduced the company to a new consumer base of generalists, who use them to test older patients as part of an annual checkup.

FORWARD VISION: The company recently rolled out a streamlined version of its software to analyze the goggles' test results. Schroeder forecasts that the software will help lift the firm's annual revenue to $2.5 million this year. "Suddenly our market is starting to look pretty big," he says.  Top of page

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