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UK neuroscience company developing AI medical software to detect early signs of cognitive impairment, dementia and Alzheimer's disease is looking for a partner to apply to the Eureka Healthy Ageing call

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Reference Number: RDUK20200529001
Publication Date: 16 June 2020


The UK company based in London has developed a patented, artificial intelligence-based software that provides a five-minute test of cognitive ability, reducing time and costs associated with dementia diagnosis & care. They are looking to partner under a research cooperation agreement with an organisation with an interest in dementia detection in order to refine their ICA under the Eureka Healthy Ageing call aimed at developing digital health tools to promote healthy ageing.


The UK company is a Medtech spin-out from the University of Cambridge, which is based in London. Its integrated cognitive assessment (ICA) differentiates itself from existing solutions due to its unique approach. It uses a single, unique test, which probes the activity of millions of networked neurons in areas of the brain affected in the earliest stages of cognitive decline, before the onset of detectable memory symptoms. Compared to other cognitive tests, the company's cognitive assessment takes less time; it is easier to administer; and is designed to be free from typical biases of standard cognitive tests, such as cultural/educational linguistic and learning biases, therefore can be easily applied and used across a larger population of users.

The company's integrated cognitive assessment has the potential to offer higher levels of diagnostic sensitivity and accuracy at the earliest stages of cognitive impairment. The assessment is delivered as software as a medical device currently on iOS devices, making adoption simple, highly scalable, and low-cost. It is also supported by an explainable AI engine, which learns from test data to distinguish between healthy and impaired participants, improving in accuracy over time and offering potential for disease- or stage-specific diagnosis in the future.

Patients are shown a series of images in quick succession and for each they are asked to respond ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to whether the image contains an animal or not, by tapping on the right or left half of the screen. The images are selected from the company's own library of categorized images to vary in terms of their complexity and their statistical properties. The accuracy and speed of responses are then assessed using Artificial Intelligence that compares the performance to assessment tests previously taken by healthy and cognitively-impaired individuals. This enables the integrated cognitive assessment to provide an objective indication of cognitive performance and the likelihood of impairment, resisting variation based on subjects’ educational history, cultural background and language.

The test takes advantage of millions of years of human evolution, specifically the human brain’s strong reaction to animal stimuli, since the strongest categorical division represented in the human inferior temporal cortex has been shown to be that between animals and non-animals.

The full name of the Eureka call is: Multilateral call for projects on healthy ageing.

In order to apply to this call, partners must meet the following qualifications:

- The consortium should include at least two (for profit) independent companies from two of the participating countries. - - The participation of research institutes/universities is welcome according to each country’s funding regulations.
- The project partners must express their willingness to cooperate, on a win-win/fair basis in the development of a new product, industrial process or service.
- The product, process or service must be innovative and there must be a technological risk involved.
- The project must have a civilian purpose.
- The project should benefit all involved partners in a well-balanced consortium.
- The project should have an obvious advantage and added value resulting from the technologic cooperation between the participants (e.g. increased knowledge base, commercial leads, access to R&D infrastructure, etc.).
- A signed consortium agreement is mandatory before the actual start of the project. The consortium agreement should at least include the ownership and use of know-how and IPR settlements.
- The duration of the project may not exceed 36 months.

The deadline for applications is on August 5th 2020. Ideally expression of interests should be sent a least 1 month before the deadline.

Advantages and Innovations

Dementia poses an enormous healthcare problem, with around 50 million sufferers worldwide and 10 million new cases every year. Diagnosis represents a key challenge in tackling this crisis because clinical interventions offer greater benefits the earlier they are implemented. Later diagnosis leads to insufficient healthcare planning, and worse health and economic outcomes.

However, industry-standard cognitive diagnostic tools are inadequate when it comes to detecting the early signs of cognitive impairment – they lack sensitivity; can be learned with repeat attempts; require expert administration and interpretation; and are subject to educational, linguistic and cultural bias. These expensive and ineffective detection methods mean the market is ripe for disruption.

The UK-based company’s integrated cognitive assessment is designed to overcome these weaknesses with a quick and easy-to-use clinical assessment platform. Additionally, the company has developed a wellness app, powered by the ICA, for brain health tracking and optimisation: it suggests changes in users’ lifestyles and promotes healthy ageing through wider engagement in cognitive and mental health.

Stage Of Development

Already on the market

Requested partner

The UK company is looking to partner with healthcare providers with dementia assessment and treatment services. The ideal partner in this case has access to a cohort of patients in the preclinical and early clinical stages of Alzheimer’s disease, with a view to trial, adapt and prepare the ICA for distribution. 

The London-based company is also looking to work with tele-medicine providers in order to provide the ICA to the patients for remote assessment and monitoring for cognitive impairment.
Insurance companies interested in preventative models (particularly in age-associated neurodegenerative diseases), or who offer individual or corporate wellbeing programmes. The ideal partner in this case has access to participants preferably through corporate clients who are willing to monitor and improve their brain health by taking proactive lifestyle measures.

Cooperation offer ist closed for requests