Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Challenge Finalists Announced

The Alzheimer’s Challenge Initiative provides an entrepreneurial springboard and $25,000 to each finalist to help harness new thinking and approaches to help improve Alzheimer’s care. The goal is to use the funding to help further develop methods to use to assess and track changes in memory, mood, thinking, and activity levels over time that will help improve diagnose and monitor the disease.

The Alzheimer’s Challenge Initiative is presented by the Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program of Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy and Pfizer, Inc. together with the “Geoffrey Beene Gives Back®”. Recently, the five finalists for the “Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012 were announced.

Each of the five finalists will be eligible to participate in a “Design & Behavior Boot Camp” hosted by Luminary Labs where they will receive mentorship and hands-on experience to refine their concepts into market offerings. Then the finalists will present a prototype of their idea to a panel of judges in June 2012 at a Finalist Event being led by InnoCentive. The winner will receive an additional $175,000.

The five winning systems of the “Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012 includes:

  • The Digital Clock Drawing Test (dCDT) applies cutting-edge technology and innovative software to a familiar test—the clock. The test produces a screening test for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s disease that is user and patient-friendly, rapid, inexpensive, and portable. The test automatically measures variables that are found in traditional clock drawing tests, but also detects subtle behaviors, previously not measurable that appear to be very early diagnostic markers for pre-symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease

  • The ICHANGE system continuously and coincidently monitors signature activities and behaviors of people with Alzheimer’s disease that are readily assessed without the need to remember to wear or charge a device. An array of inexpensive sensors is used to unobtrusively measure key functions where change has been associated with the progression of cognitive decline. The data is aggregated and analyzed with prediction algorithms that are then streamed to interested stakeholders providing real-time reports of change

  • The Ginger.io platform is a combination of a mobile phone application and web-based dashboard. The platform passively tracks Alzheimer’s patients’ behavior relevant to their mood, memory, and functional status. Then the system administers standard Alzheimer’s cognitive assessments to provide healthcare providers with a dashboard to measure patient health status, easy-to-interpret scores, and novel data analytics

  • BrainBaseline uses Apple’s iPad tablet computer to provide a brief, comprehensive assessment of memory, attention, language, and processing speed over time, while minimizing the logistical constraints currently associated with collecting longitudinal cognitive performance data. The tool aggregates lifestyle and cognitive performance data to give patients and caregivers customized information regarding how these factors interact with cognitive function and can be used to enhance quality of life. Also, the data can be used to understand how specific demographic and lifestyle factors contribute to the incidence and progression of Alzheimer’s

  • The VF-meter, a non-invasive computerized instrument measures and monitors subtle cognitive changes over time that may indicate early Alzheimer’s disease. The test automates the administration and results analysis of a standard verbal fluency task, and then stores the results on several platforms including computers and mobile devices. The automated measurements are used to evaluate a subject’s current cognitive state, monitor cognitive change over time, and to predict the relative likelihood and rate of progression to dementia.

For more information, email Alyssa Bleiberg at ABleiberg@Biosector2.com or call (212) 845-5628.