Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Alzheimer's Challenge 2012 Finalists Announced

The Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program (AIP) of Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy and Pfizer, Inc., together with the Geoffrey Beene Gives Back® Alzheimer’s Initiative, is proud to announce the five finalists of the Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012. The Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012 provides an entrepreneurial springboard to harness new thinking and approaches to improve Alzheimer’s care. The finalists are awarded $25,000 each to further develop their methods to assess and track changes in memory, mood, thinking and activity level over time to help improve diagnosis and monitoring of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Each finalist will be eligible to participate in a Design & Behavior Boot Camp hosted by Luminary Labs in which they will receive mentorship and hands-on experience to refine their concepts into market offerings that may improve the care of those living with Alzheimer’s. 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 open innovation and crowdsourcing pioneer that assisted with development of the judging criteria and screened submissions to help judges to identify the five finalists. The judges represent a diverse group of professionals who collectively bring extensive expertise and knowledge to this effort.

The AIP, together with the Geoffrey Beene Gives Back® Alzheimer’s Initiative, will announce the winner of the Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012 in June.

The finalists include:

Digital Clock Drawing Test (dCDT)

The dCDT applies cutting-edge technology (digital ink) and innovative software to a familiar test – the Clock Drawing Test – to produce 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 goes beyond this, detecting subtle behaviors, previously unmeasurable, that appear to be very early diagnostic markers for presymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease, converting each patient’s data into a format easily exported to an electronic medical record or to a database for large scale research.

ICHANGE - Intelligent Continuous Health Assessment with Noninvasive Gerotechnology

The ICHANGE system continuously and coincidently monitors signature activities and behaviors of those with Alzheimer’s disease that are readily assessed without the need to remember to wear or charge a device. An array of inexpensive sensors are used to unobtrusively measure key functions whose change has been associated with the progression of cognitive decline. Data are then aggregated and analyzed with prediction algorithms that are then streamed to stakeholders of interest (caregiver, doctor, clinical trialists) providing real-time reports of meaningful change. Behavioral Analytics Platform

The 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, and administers standard Alzheimer's cognitive assessments to provide health care providers with a dashboard to measure patient health status, easy-to-interpret scores and novel data analytics to follow new treatments and improve patient care.


BrainBaseline utilizes 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. Further, these data can be used to understand how specific demographic and lifestyle factors contribute to the incidence and progression of Alzheimer’s.

The Verbal Fluency Meter (VF-Meter)

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

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