The Alzheimer’s Association and MATTER launch pitch competition for solutions to increase early detection and diagnosis of dementia within primary care settings
Up to 5 finalists will be selected to pitch their innovations to win $25K in awards
October 31, 2022, CHICAGO — The Alzheimer’s Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research, and MATTER, the premier healthcare incubator and innovation hub, today launched the Alzheimer’s Association Pitch Competition, a global competition for innovations that increase cognitive assessment and early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other dementia within primary care settings. Up to five finalists will be selected to pitch their solutions during the Alzheimer’s Association Innovation Roundtable on February 2, 2023, in Houston. The winning proposal will receive $15,000. Second and third place finishers will receive $5,000 each.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2022 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, the vast majority of primary care physicians (96 percent) say it is important to assess patients age 60 and older for cognitive impairment, but less than half (48 percent) report doing so. In addition, fewer than half of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s report being told of their diagnosis.
Early detection and diagnosis, however, is critical, allowing the best opportunity for care management and treatment. It also provides diagnosed individuals and their caregivers more time to plan for the future, adopt lifestyle changes that may help slow disease progression, participate in clinical trials and to live with a higher quality of life, for as long as possible. Moreover, a previous Alzheimer’s Association analysis indicated early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s during the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) stage of the disease would result in significant cost savings for federal and state governments as well as for individual families.
“Early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other dementia is critically important — now more than ever,” said Kristen Clifford, chief program officer of the Alzheimer’s Association. “The first treatment targeting the early stages of Alzheimer’s has been FDA-approved and more are in development. Early and accurate diagnosis will help determine eligibility for current and future treatments. Partnering with MATTER on this competition will help us drive innovation and enhance the ability of practitioners in primary care settings to facilitate early detection and diagnosis, offering significant benefits to individuals with Alzheimer’s and their families.”
Previous Alzheimer’s Association surveys have found primary care clinicians are on the front lines of providing dementia care but face significant challenges in assessing and diagnosing patients. Many primary care clinicians report time constraints, lack of access to dementia care specialists and facilities and appropriate training for assessing and diagnosing Alzheimer’s and other dementia.
“Primary care clinicians are under extraordinary pressure in the current environment,” said Clifford. “They are expected to diagnose and care for people living with dementia, but receive little support to do so. The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to supporting these clinicians, and this competition is intended to drive new innovations they can use in their practices.”
Toward this goal, the Alzheimer’s Association and MATTER are calling on innovators to submit their solutions to increase cognitive assessment and early detection and diagnosis of dementia within primary care settings for the Alzheimer’s Association Pitch Competition. Up to five finalists will be selected from the candidate pool to receive mentorship from industry leaders and subject matter experts, in preparation for a pitch of their solutions to the Alzheimer’s Association Innovation Roundtable.
“Research shows that too many people with dementia do not receive a timely and accurate diagnosis, if one at all,” says Steven Collens, CEO of MATTER. “Through the Alzheimer’s Association Pitch Competition, we hope to bring to light innovations that help address this issue and foster collaboration between innovators and industry leaders.”
For more information and to apply, please visit matter.health/challenges/alzheimers-association-pitch-competition-2023.
About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia®. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.
At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 700 current and alumni startups from around the world, working together with dozens of hospitals and health systems, universities and industry-leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together we are accelerating innovation, advancing care and improving lives. For more information, visit matter.health and follow @MATTERhealth.