About us

Optalert is a pioneering medtech company leading the drowsiness and impairment detection industry for over 20 years.

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Optalert developed the world’s preeminent algorithm for objectively quantifying deterioration in cognitive function – the Johns Drowsiness Scale™ (JDS). It remains the only scientifically proven, objective measure of drowsiness and impairment. The firm holds multiple patents on its proprietary biomarker that Harvard Medical School has deemed “commensurate with gold standard laboratory measures”.

Innovator in passive OSA screening

The company also discovered the first non-invasive method to screen for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) while the test subject is awake. It is also making progress in early screening of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative conditions. Detection of these far in advance of visible symptoms will add years or even decades of well-being to millions of people in the future.

All in the blink of an eye

All of Optalert’s technologies are based on blepharometry. This term was introduced by founder Dr. Murray Johns to define the unique study of measuring eyelid movement, captured through a sensor or camera. Eyelid movements require precise coordination between two areas of the brain. They are a window into a person’s underlying neurological state.

Many products, many sectors

Optalert is active in a range of sectors with a diverse suite of products. In the mining and transport sector it offers a comprehensive fleet management solution to monitor and manage risk from drowsiness. It licenses its drowsiness algorithm to automakers for integration in their driver monitoring systems. It is also in the process of commercialising its breakthroughs in early screening of neurological and health conditions.

Helping millions live healthier lives

Optalert’s mission is to give everyone access to a comprehensive set of health information that is low-cost, frequent, and non-invasive. This helps millions of people live longer, healthier lives – all in the blink of an eye.

Our people

Scott Coles

Chief Executive Officer

Scott Coles is the Chief Executive Officer of Optalert, and a non-executive Director and mentor to several Australian technology companies. Prior to joining Optalert in 2012, Scott developed and led the strategic turnaround plan that saw ISYS Search Software generate its best financial results in over 20 years. Scott steered ISYS through the global financial crisis achieving 40% revenue growth, successfully selling the company to Lexmark (NYSE: LXK) in March 2012.

Scott has held senior executive roles for large, global tech companies including EDS, Allied Telesis, and Avaya. A pioneer in Australia’s technology industry, Scott established Bell Labs in Australia in the 1990s. With several Nobel laureates, at the time Bell Labs was the largest privately owned research and development organisation in the world. He established the first development group outside of the United States for the corporation, a group that would go on to generate 17% of Avaya’s patents over a decade of innovation.

Nicolas Gerbal

Chief Operations Officer

Nicolas is the Chief Operating Officer of Optalert, serving since November 2021. Prior to his appointment as COO, he worked as a Senior Management Consultant at Daimler Truck and Bus, Australia Pacific. Nicolas is a versatile strategy and finance professional with over 15 years experience across residential and commercial property markets, renewable energy, software development and distribution, service delivery and support, healthcare IT, automotive, and transportation.

During his career, Nicolas has worked at global organisations including Daimler, Olinqua, Compagnie Lebon, and The Colas Group. He leverages his unique mix of skills and experience to deliver innovative solutions to modern business problems.

Simon Block

Chief Technology Officer

Simon Block joined Optalert in 2013 as a Platform Architect & Lead Developer, and has been responsible for all technology within the company for over nine years. Prior to joining Optalert, he was in a range of leadership roles at Symstream Technologies, including Senior Software Engineer and Project Team Leader, Technical Product Manager, and Senior Solutions Manger. Symstream delivers M2M carriage and managed service solutions for the banking and financial payments sector, utilities, and other applications. At Symstream, Simon and his team produced a unique and secure Managed Wireless Technology for the financial industry.

Simon began his career at Hewlett Packard, where he developed many of his technical skills working in both the computer segment of the business, as well as later the Test and Measurement space. After leaving Hewlett Packard, Simon formed a consulting company in Canada, covering embedded development and device drivers for real-time applications, such as telecommunications, cellular technologies, and signal intelligence.

Trefor Morgan

General Manager, R&D

Trefor has led the R&D team within Optalert since 2013. Prior to his tenure at Optalert, Trefor was the Chief Operating Officer at Monitoring Division, a software and telecommunications company, filling critical gaps in network diagnostic tools for carriers migrating from SONET to IP over Optics, and laying the groundwork for smart optical infrastructure. Trefor has contributed as a panel expert and panellist at RMIT’s Engaging for Impact forum in 2019 as well as the Sleep and Brain Health Symposium in 2018. He continues to contribute his profound industry expertise at Swinburne University of Technology to the Course Advisory Committee of the Department of Telecommunications, Electrical, Robotic and Biomedical Engineering (TERBe).

James Gorry

Executive VP, Global Sales

Since 2013, James has been leading the global sales team in direct, channel, and IP licensing sales. Prior to joining Optalert, he spent 8 years at IBM as a National Business Unit Executive Sales Leader and second line manager, responsible for WebSphere Portal, IBM Collaboration, and social media software. His career also involved 4 years at BDO Brisbane as a Director of Business Development selling SAP and Microsoft Great Plains enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and professional services.

James continues to present on Social Selling, Social Media, Disruption, and Leadership to the Australian Owner Manager Program formed by the University of Queensland.

Paul Zubrinich

Chief Marketing Officer

Paul joined Optalert as CMO in January 2023 to strengthen its go-to-market strategy. Prior to this, he headed up marketing in technology consulting firm IE, overseeing its transition to a product-led approach. He also consulted to clients in automotive, energy, and other sectors on data strategy, digital marketing, and technology transformation.

Paul also co-founded and led a digital consulting agency for eight years with clients across four continents. He led performance marketing for major building products manufacturers, as well as many world-leading renewable energy firms. He has also lectured MBA students at both the University of Melbourne and Technical University of Berlin in marketing and digital strategy.

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Renowned as experts in drowsiness and impairment detection, Optalert is now exploring new pathways in the automotive industry, pharmaceutical drug trials and neurological research.

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