EIT Health and Biogen announces the winners of the first ‘neurotechprize’, a new programme designed to rapidly identify technological solutions to the growing challenge of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
French start-up, Five Lives, was placed first with Dutch start-up, Neurocast. Both were named as winners during the final ceremony which took place at the MedtecLIVE conference in Stuttgart, Germany – they will now receive EUR 100,000 and 50,000 respectively.
“We’re very proud to announce the winners of our first ‘neurotechprize’. Many congratulations to Five Lives and Neurocast who showed relentless commitment to the prevention and detection of AD.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our partner Biogen and all the teams that took part in this crucial programme – it has been truly inspiring to see talented innovators come together with the shared aim of helping to solve one of the greatest health challenges of our time. We now look forward to welcoming and supporting Five Lives and Neurocast as part of our community and seeing their high potential solutions come to fruition”, said Jean-Marc Bourez, interim CEO, EIT Health.
After passing through a period of 10 weeks of intense mentoring and validation facilitated by a top-class group of mentors, EIT Health and Biogen experts, the ‘neurotechprize’ teams pitched their ideas to an independent panel of experts, consisting of leading neurologists, patient representatives, startup experts and payors.
Fives Lives showed great promise with their mobile app which aims to empower individuals aged 50+ to track their brain health via clinically validated risk assessment. As a result, Fives Lives can provide lifestyle advice based on their individual dementia risk level, with positive messaging and gamified experience. This helps reduce their individual risk of future dementia through lifestyle improvement.
Neurocast turns everyday digital interactions, such as smartphone use, into clinically approved outcomes, enabling doctors and researchers to passively measure individual patients. Through tracking each patient’s performance in daily life, medical professionals can proactively act upon changes.
EIT Health and Biogen launched ‘neurotechprize’ in late 2021 to find new solutions to combat the growing challenges associated with addressing AD.
Dementia, of which AD is the most common form, has become one of the most pressing health concerns of the 21st century and is now regarded as a public health crisis. In line with our ageing population, incidence of AD is growing – over 55 million people live with dementia worldwide, and forecasts project that this figure will rise to 78 million by 2030.
While there is currently no cure for AD, early diagnosis and treatment can help to slow disease progression and manage symptoms. However, stigma remains a key barrier to diagnosis. Public health bodies and organisations across the world are working to improve diagnosis, and such improvements will require innovative solutions for the subsequent management of newly diagnosed patients.
“The variety of solutions submitted by the various start-ups was unbelievable. It was hard to choose a winner. But we are happy to now announce two exciting winners: Five Lives and Neurocast. With our experienced partner, EIT Health, we are proud to support the winners to realise solutions that promise to reduce the individual risk of future AD through lifestyle improvements and for those affected to make the diagnosis of AD easier,” said Dr. Thorsten Lambertus,
Head of neurotechlab, Biogen.
The journey continues: Biogen is also working to find technology-based solutions for other neurological diseases in the future.