As populations continue to age rapidly, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) has become one of the most pressing concerns for healthcare in the 21st century and a real societal burden. Effects of the disease on an individual and societal level are predicted to increase further, posing a vital challenge to our healthcare ecosystems.
Due to the stigma surrounding AD and its symptoms, diagnosis currently occurs at an advanced stage. However, diagnosis at a very early stage of the disease is key to influence the course of AD in a positive way. Today, only a very low percentage of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) - due to AD or early AD - are diagnosed. As soon as this evolves, the healthcare system will be in need of solutions for a nationwide, timely, flawless, and patient-centric diagnostic and treatment pathway.
As with certain fields of oncology, we are now at the turning point of a new era in healthcare: while no disease-modifying treatments for AD have been available for a long time, there are several AD treatments under clinical development. Such treatments could address the urgent medical need of numerous patients worldwide already diagnosed with MCI or early AD. At the same time, with the rise of deep & advanced digital technologies, we have access to unprecedented ways for solving the most pressing unmet needs.
These developments pave the way for entrepreneurs and innovators in neurotech. As more specialized centers for AD treatment are being formed, the time is now to enhance & shape a patient journey that puts the patient at the center of a seamlessly operating ecosystem for AD. Now, with new technologies and an advanced ability to create data points, there is even a possibility to address AD, as a progressive and variable disease, by applying adaptive and personalized approaches.
Through the neurotechprize, EIT Health and Biogen aim to rapidly accelerate maturity and/or market access of the most promising solutions and technologies addressing the challenge of AD in Germany.
We are searching for targeted solutions for addressing the need of a faster and individualized diagnostic pathway while improving the quality of life of patients. Help us to reshape and personalize the current patient journey and positively impact their lives in the initial stages of the AD continuum with the objective to be ready for AD treatments that are currently under clinical development.
EIT Health and Biogen have identified four areas of focus that could make a difference in the life of people diagnosed with AD:
Help provide innovative solutions that shorten the time to diagnosis within the patient pathway. This area may, for example, focus on creating ways to connect all relevant stakeholders around the patient, or enable self-screening and healthcare provider-assisted screening through innovative technologies, which may also allow patients diagnosed in the past to reassess their disease stage. Furthermore, important challenges include:
Put forward a solution to measure and analyze meaningful data which reflects the patients’ individual disease progression. Aspects important to patients and caregivers (e.g. daily life activities) could be monitored more accurately, remotely, autonomously or continuously than today.
Bring a patient-centric solution that eases the burden for patients during the complex diagnosis and treatment pathway. The combination of procedures, different appointments along the way and early symptoms as well as uncertainty regarding disease progression creates high hurdles for patients.
For AD patients and their families, it is crucial to maintain quality of life (for the individual, relevant areas) while living with the disease. Also, behavioral disturbances related to AD (apathy, depression, anxiety, insomnia, etc.) pose an enormous challenge. Solutions that positively impact quality of life should affect the overall social and emotional wellbeing of the patient.
The program is aimed at health entrepreneurs in the neurotech space seeking support in the validation of their ideas and developing business goals in a supportive and enriching environment.
The program offers participants:
Shortlisted teams will be invited for an online interview directly by EIT Health staff and Biogen experts. The interviews will take place between 20-26 January 2022. Shortlisted teams will be able to book the time for the interview via link provided in the invitation.
The application score and the result of the online interview will be combined to draw up a list of teams selected to pitch live in front of the Jury.
Up to 15 shortlisted teams (Semi-Finalists) will be invited to pitch their solution in front of the Jury on February 1st, 2022 to secure their spot in the program. The Jury will select up-to 10 teams (Finalists) who will be invited to enter the program (Finalists).
Up to 10 teams, following the 10 weeks work with mentors and experts will present their solutions in a pitch competition in front of the same Jury on May 3rd, 2022.
The Jury will be able to award up-to two prizes: