Our history

The seed of BrainBaseline was planted in 2001, when founder Joan Severson’s agency Digital Artefacts was working with the neuroergomics lab in the neurology department at the University of Iowa. They observed the waste of scoring pencil/paper cognitive tests and knew that digitizing the process would ensure better accuracy, save time, and cost less.

Flash forward to 2010, and the BrainBaseline team was using Apple’s 1st generation iPad to conduct virtual trials.

We’ve been conducting mobile and wearable BYOD studies since then. And, because we are situated just steps away from the University of Iowa, we have attracted experts in engineering, science, and law in order to successfully grow. To this date, our solution has been deployed in over 1,500 studies.

With the help of collaborators like the NIH, major tech companies, and top-tier pharmaceutical companies, we have been refining our digital clinical trial solution for over a decade.

A snapshot of our journey


  • Built HIPAA-compliant platform

  • Built and launched iPad application

  • Patents filed in human-computer interaction


  • First NIH grant in cancer research


  • Apple releases ResearchKit, popularizing digital capabilities for clinical research


  • Sage Bionetworks collaboration


  • Initial big pharma contracts


  • MSAs with major pharma clients


  • Compliant for FDA registration studies