Testing of 1,000 Australian school-aged children using a scalable detection tool developed by early childhood technology business TALi Digital (ASX: TD1) has confirmed a significant percentage may eventually require attention-enhancement assistance.
In October, the TALi Detect digital game-based tool was deployed to a random group of children between five-and-seven years of age within the Victorian public education system to test and validate the product model.
Approximately 13% of those tested were identified as having a higher level of inattentive performance when compared with average-age and gender-matched peers in a normative sample of Australian children.
The company said the data was comparable with industry research which estimates symptoms of inattention – including those falling short of formal diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder – have been observed to be between 3-15% in community samples.
Managing director Glenn Smith said the results showed TALi’s digital tools can be used successfully for the purposes of early identification and intervention.
“These initial results are very pleasing as they show [our] program can be deployed in real-life school conditions with very high customer satisfaction ratings and may provide the foundation for further interventions,” he said.
“We are now in the process of assessing more than 5,000 children across schools in Australia and will accelerate the marketing of the TALi platform.”
This week, TALi assured shareholders it is well-equipped to deal with uncertainties created by the COVID-19 crisis, with $6.1 million cash and cash equivalents at hand.
“Despite the current economic and social conditions, we remain in a robust financial position now and for the foreseeable future,” the company said.
“We are in the fortunate position during these challenging times of having no need to raise capital this year; however, we believe it is prudent to adopt a cash management policy over the forward period in light of current unprecedented conditions that reduces international spend in the near-term.”
The company said there was a window of opportunity to launch a direct-to-consumer sales model for its digital product suite, particularly with worldwide school closures giving rise to home-based learning.
“We are focused on assessing and strengthening attention in early childhood which is a core cognitive skill and critical to learning enablement,” it said.
“During this time of social upheaval, childhood attention will be a key area of discussion and focus as children stay at home and begin to be schooled from home.”
The opportunity also exists for TALi to provide parents with relevant information and products to help children with their home-based learning.
In January, TALi achieved Google For Education Partner certification which allows its digital tools to be accessed via Google software including G Suite for Education and Chromebooks.
Both software products currently dominate the US education system, with over 55% of US school children using a Google product in their everyday learning experience.
“We will be undertaking focused marketing campaigns over digital and other channels to raise [corporate] awareness and increase direct sales designed to complement or offset a decline in sales in other segments which may occur as a result of COVID-19,” the company said.
“At this point there is a substantive pipeline of potential customers and users for [our] products with increased revenue from activities now expected to begin in the next financial quarter.”