Alumni Spotlight: Contect

Author: Rebekah DeLine

Shane McQuillan, is a Naughton Fellow and 2013 ESTEEM Graduate.  He now heads Contect - a software company that develops a mobile concussion screeening application that uses speech analysis as its primary detection method.

Shane Photo

Concussions are a huge problem. In the U.S. alone, 1.6-3.8 million concussions are diagnosed in athletes annually. More disturbing is that 88% of concussions go undetected, with the economic impact estimated at $60B per year. The voice analysis science behind Contect is it's core advantage. It provides not only a superior product, but also a defensible barrier. Contect's speech analysis-based technology requires no medical training, can be administered quickly on the sidelines in a game situation, and is less prone to "cheating" than existing detection tools. It will bring us one step closer to solving this enormous issue.
Contect is the direct result of research the research of Notre Dame Professors Christian Poellabauer and Patrick Flynn.  Says Professor Poellabauer of his experience working with ESTEEM:
“The ultimate goal of a scientist is to improve the human condition and therefore supporting the transfer and commercialization of new discoveries can contribute greatly to the interests of society. This is particularly true for new technologies that address significant health concerns or the overall wellbeing of our youth. For many academics, the path to successful commercialization can be confusing, but luckily, efforts such as Notre Dame's ESTEEM program provide an excellent opportunity to explore the commercial potential of new technology. A rapid industry transfer of the concussion detection tool will not only benefit the health of countless young athletes in professional, amateur, and school sports, but also open the path for using similar technologies to better understand health concerns such as learning disorders, post traumatic stress disorders, and a variety of other neurological conditions.”

Shane McQuillan is a 2012 graduate of Dublin City University, with a B.S. in Software Engineering. He has spent the last year developing a commercialization plan for Contect as part of ESTEEM at the University of Notre Dame, where Contect won the McCloskey Business Plan Competition taking home over $79,000 in cash prizes. He is now pursuing Contect fulltime as its CEO.