A Look Through Porter’s Lens- What Makes Cortical’s Brain Monitoring System Stand Out

Cortical Dynamics Limited

Perth-headquartered, Cortical Dynamics Limited is a medical device technology company, which has developed a paradigm-busting system – Brain Anaesthesia Response Monitor (BARM) with a clear competitive advantage in a significant global market.

Cortical’s innovative brain function monitoring system is developed for reliable monitoring of brain responses towards the effects of anaesthetic agents, thereby helping anaesthetists in maintaining optimal anaesthesia dosage during surgery.

Currently, the company is involved in the commercialisation of this patented technology developed by Prof. David Liley, co-founder of Cortical Dynamics.

BARM System

This unique system works on the principle of using superior algorithms to current monitors for the analysis of a patients’ brain’s electrical activity (brain waves) recorded via electroencephalogram (EEG).

(Source: Company Website)

A number of EEG based monitors are currently available in the market; however, these devices come with many well-documented limitations such as incompetent monitoring of analgesic effects, inability to measure a range of hypnotic agents, and incapability to measure the patient’s awareness in completely paralysed state when muscle relaxants are used, which is the case in 50% of all operations.

Competitive Advantages making BARM Stand Out

Michael Porter, the management guru, has given an excellent framework for analysing the competitive nature of a company in terms of gaining a market share against existing players by differentiating the business against potential threats or by bringing in a superior substitute product at a lesser cost. So, the question arises;

  • How BARM distinguishes itself from its competitors?
  • What are its competitive advantages over other monitoring systems?

Looking through Michael Porter’s lens, the answer lies in Cortical’s innovative industry disruptive technology that makes the BARM system fundamentally different with a distinct advantage in a significant global competitive market.

Main Advantages of BARM System are:

Unique Fundamental Algorithm based approach to analyse the EEG of a specific patient in contrast to statistical approaches used by Cortical’s main competitors BIS from Medtronic and E-Entropy from GE.

Detection of both Hypnotic and Analgesic state of patients’ while no other competitor can do so – a significant advantage in the depth of anaesthesia monitors

BARM uses a fundamentally superior algorithm to current monitors in order to analyse an individual’s brain waves through EEG. The BARM System uniquely produces two measures:

  1. Composite Cortical State (CCS) – this measures the level of consciousness of the patient under anaesthetic; and
  2. Cortical Input (CI) – this measures analgesia (pain input received by the brain).

Physiologically derived indices. CS- Cortical State, CI- Cortical Input (Source :Company’s Report)

Greater Sensitivity to Anaesthetic agents that are not completely detected by competing technologies

  • BARM system is sensitive to wide-ranging sedative and anaesthetic agents comprising propofol, ketamine, midazolam, nitrous oxide and sevoflurane.
  • While, BIS and Entropy cannot detect Ketamine or Nitrous.

A faster, robust, more responsive and accurate measurement, a significant advantage over leading competitors

  • A significant advantage of BARM over other leading competitive monitors is that it takes less than 2 seconds of processing time to display a patients’ reading.
  • On the other hand, the BIS monitor takes up to 30 seconds and E-Entropy’s processing time is between 39 seconds and 107 seconds.

Applications of BARM system

Furthermore, several applications of BARM have been identified based on current EGG applications to date. These include:

Cortical Dynamics’ Directors strongly believe that the innovative BARM system has great potential to offer many benefits since it provides an objective, precise, reliable and non-invasive means to measure brain’s conscious state and analgesia of an anaesthetised patient during surgery.

Expected Benefits of BARM

Global Patent Coverage, Clinical Trials and Regulatory Approvals further underpin Competitive Advantage, out to 2023.

  • Patents Coverage: The company has a significant patent coverage worldwide with a total of 22 registered Patents, all maturing to national patent applications. The patents are registered across many countries including, Australia, USA, Europe, Japan, New Zealand and China.
  • Clinical Trials: Cortical Dynamics published 12 papers that can be accessed from the company’s The clinical trials were executed at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne and major data analysis of previous trials at Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.
  • Adrian Sultana’s clinical results using BARM: Dr Adrian Sultana, MD FRCP (Glasg) FANZCA, consultant anaesthetist in Sydney, conducted clinical trials using BARM on approximately 115 patients during 2018 and continues to use the BARM System on a regular basis.

  • Regulatory Approvals: Another key aspect to note is that Cortical Dynamics has secured:
    • The Therapeutic Goods Administration approval (TGA) in Australia, and
    • CE mark certification, early in 2016. In South Korea, the BARM product registration process is in progress, following the Distribution Agreement signed in 2018.

With a well- defined, novel, proprietary, industry-disruptive medical technology in place, supported by numerous competitive advantages and benefits, Cortical Dynamics’ BARM system stands out in the competitive global brain monitoring and depth of anaesthesia markets.

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