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Eureka healthy ageing - A UK biotech SME is seeking partners to develop gamification therapy using serious games for early dementia.

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Reference Number: RDUK20200709001
Publication Date: 13 July 2020

Summary

The UK biotech SME is aiming to submit a proposal under the currently open Eureka Healthy Ageing call, and are seeking SME partners or research organisations with serious games interest to partner with them to develop a therapy based gamification product for early dementia, or healthy ageing organisations or care-homes to collaborate with them to develop the right product and implement a user testing system for maximum impact and results.

EOI Deadline:  31-Jul-20
Call Deadline: 5-Aug-20

Description

There are nearly 12 million people aged 65+ comprising 18% of the UK population (AgeUK). The British psychological society states that those hospitalised require only oxygen therapy on isolation wards and warns long term consequences of Covid-19 may include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and cognitive impairment in some. The prolonged COVID situation and fear of a second wave will exacerbate anxiety and trauma for all older people both at home and hospitals.

The UK SME has developed 'COSMA' (Cognitive Operational Software for Mental Health Advancement), a brain stimulation digital gaming platform to address the cognitive, and psychological well-being of people with dementia. It is the first digital health app to undergo clinical trials to prove the efficacy of gamification on improving brain's functional capacity unlike other competitors i.e.Lumosity, Sea Hero Quest, and other mindfulness apps. This technology can be targeted to all older vulnerable people (aged 65+) experiencing COVID induced trauma.

COSMA contains 8 game modules (36 games) which include reminiscence, visual, daily tasks, language, time-spatial, decision making, meditation, and biofeedback, each focusing on key symptoms of early dementia. The construct contains a website that is activated remotely by family & carers selecting and uploading new personal pictures & life events at regular intervals and an app that downloads this information from the website to activate the individualised games which stimulate the brain. The system is innovative because of:

1. Personalisation: Accessing different memories over time meets a distinct psychological need of both patients and families compared to online chats and video calls. This aspect of personalised games is UK patent filed with freedom to operate.

2. Precision Medicine Tool: The app is both a therapeutic and monitoring tool, triggering cognitive and emotional well-being via games and collecting scientific parameters that are standardised by scores. The pattern of improvement or deterioration established by their machine learning algorithm can be accessed remotely by end-users (i.e. Carers, family and GPs).

3. Remote Assessment by NHS (National Heath Service in UK): The app's ID is also linked to NHS patient identifiers register and connects to the NHS-HSCN (health and social care network) to allow doctors to access their patient data.

The UK SME is entering the £840m digital health market and plans to sell the app for £10/month on a subscription basis. The route to the UK market is targeted in three ways:

(1) Business to Customer B2C - Users & family, NHS app library, doctor recommendation to patients;

(2) Business to Business B2B - care homes and NHS trusts piloting on COVID isolation wards.

The UK SME wishes to submit a proposal under the current Health Ageing call with partners from countries who are participating in the EUREKA network programme and is seeking SME partners or research organisations with serious games interest to partner with them to develop a therapy based gamification product for early dementia or healthy ageing organisations or care-homes to collaborate with them to develop the right product and implement a user testing system for maximum impact and results.

EOI Deadline: 31st Jul 20
Call Deadline: 5th Aug 20

Advantages and Innovations

State of Art: At present, there are no effective treatments for dementia. Current treatments available for mild to moderate dementia include reminiscence therapy, cognitive rehabilitation, occupational therapy, or neurofeedback. However, 40% of the dementia population remains undiagnosed and has no access to health services [NHS, England], and 13% of people with dementia do not receive any treatment or a care plan following their diagnosis.  Also, the average waiting time for diagnosis ranges between 8 weeks to 12-months [NHS, England], leading to psychological frustration for both people with dementia and their families, whilst dementia progresses.

Current Practice: NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) recommends traditional high resource intervention methods, involving patient visits to clinics and group sessions. All patients receive the same protocol of treatment irrespective of different symptoms exhibited by individuals at different stages of the disease. NICE does not recommend cognitive training apps but strongly recommends cognitive stimulating apps that can stimulate the brain. There are numerous mindfulness and brain training apps on the market i.e. Lumosity, Sea Hero Quest, but they are not designed for dementia and are based on non-personalised tasks, with no clinical evidence. Furthermore, high profile failures in drug development for dementia, at significant costs (Pfizer-£2bn, 2018; Biogen and Eisai-$830million, 2019; Merck stopped Dementia Drug R&D in 2017), has forced the market to look for alternative therapies within the MedTech industry.

They aim to address the huge gap in the market with its clinically-validated therapeutic brain monitoring technology, impacting at least 25% of the dementia population (12.5M people) and 6.7% of the ageing population of the globe [Alzheimer's Society] to lead long-term independent and high quality of life promoting healthy ageing enhancing both psychological and cognitive well-being.

Expertise sought

1. SME’s or research organisations with serious games or cognitive neuroscience Interest.

They are looking for an organisation from countries participating in the Eureka network programme who are willing to collaborate with them to develop a gamification based cognitive stimulative therapy which functions both as a therapy or diagnostic measurements.

Massive input is expected from the organisation in the cognitive parameters that needs to be considered as a part of the gamification and input gaming designs that stimulates both cognitive and psychological well-being in people with early dementia

2. CareHomes/Healthy Ageing Charities or Organisations.

They would like to collaborate commercially with the above-mentioned organisations to help them design the gamification product according to the carer and patient needs and do user testing.

The success of which might lead to commercial collaboration with those organisations.

Stage Of Development

Prototype available for demonstration

Stage Of Development Comment

They have completed version 1 of the serious game therapy for early dementia treatment.  They are currently under clinical trials which they aim to complete by December 2020.

They are aiming to develop version 2 of the gamification with the same design concepts that are clinically validated with increasing difficulty levels, and numerous cognitive and psychological measurement to be added into the gamification for the continuous monitoring of a dementia person’s disease progression.

Requested partner

1. SME’s or research organisation with serious games or cognitive neuroscience experience and interest.

2. Care homes/healthy ageing charities or organisations with whom they can test and pilot technology.

Dissemination Countries

Austria, Belgium, Canada, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Malta, Turkey

Cooperation offer ist closed for requests