Supported by the National Institute on Aging, the a2 Pilot Awards promote technology entrepreneurship in the elderly • TechCrunch

exist Now extra Individuals age 65 and older greater than at another level in historical past, and that quantity is predicted to rise, in response to the Nationwide Institute on Ageing (NIA). With longer lifespans come challenges reminiscent of Alzheimer’s illness One in 9 Individuals age 65 or older has it.

the a2 pilot awards Created to encourage the event of know-how for the aged. Funded by NIA to the tune of $40 million over the subsequent 5 years, the primary group of 33 tasks chosen for funding was introduced in the present day. The bulk use synthetic intelligence or machine studying know-how, with girls main 40%.

Stephen Liu, managing director of the a2 Collective, which oversees the awards, informed TechCrunch he hopes it encourages extra tech entrepreneurs to get into the tech age area.

“It’s a extremely indeniable, rising, future-proof market that may have unprecedented alternatives pushed by AI,” he mentioned, including: “We have now two huge traits, AI and ageing demographics, and there are irrefutable giant numbers of individuals.” A rising, big, assured market of the longer term that they need to deal with.”

a2 Collective contains three Synthetic Intelligence and Know-how Collaboratives (AITC) that the tasks will work with. The AITCs are primarily based at Johns Hopkins College, the College of Massachusetts Amherst, and the College of Pennsylvania.

A lot of the 33 pilot tasks deal with cognitive decline, however some additionally deal with impairment, comorbidities, delirium, palliative care, social isolation, and visible impairment. They’ll obtain a complete of greater than $5 million and tasks chosen for funding will obtain as much as $200,000 in zero fairness grants to cowl direct prices over one yr.

Practically half of the primary prize functions got here from non-public firms, whereas others have been from educational analysis tasks. Many collaborations additionally between the non-public sector and academia. The A2 Collective reached out to startups, educational establishments, accelerator packages, and healthcare-focused enterprise capital companies to search out candidates.

First batch of a2 pilot awards

First batch of a2 pilot awards

“On this specific program, we undoubtedly have a watch towards industrial use, or some form of commercialization of the venture,” Liu mentioned. “Ideally, you need to see an affect the place it is going to be utilized by somebody, whether or not that is a health care provider or an older American or a caregiver or a nurse, within the subsequent a number of years.”

Some examples of chosen tasks embrace Autotune mewhich makes use of music to deal with signs of Alzheimer’s illness and associated situations. Bestie boot It makes use of RGB-D depth cameras and thermal pc imaginative and prescient to conduct monitoring examinations and telehealth for sufferers. And Effectively joyful Conversational AI is used to carry out well being assessments and detect indicators of cognitive impairment and dementia for individuals in their very own houses.

Along with AITCs, a2 Collective’s partnerships additionally embrace healthcare methods, physicians, researchers, enterprise capitalists, and public well being organizations targeted on age know-how and aged care.

Every AITC decides which tasks get funding, and likewise provides them entry to gerontologists, geriatricians, Alzheimer’s specialists, and different consultants. The thought, Liu mentioned, is to provide every enterprise the identical form of steering and mentorship as startups in accelerator packages.

A second a2 Pilot Award is already within the works, with the subsequent batch of finalists chosen. Will probably be introduced within the spring. a2 Collective may also be accepting functions for the third competitors from Might 1st to July thirty first.

Liu informed TechCrunch that he expects to see a major enhance in age know-how.

“As the price of computing decreases and the capabilities of our AI mannequin rise, I feel we will anticipate a Cambrian explosion of recent applied sciences that may dramatically assist older Individuals, together with these with Alzheimer’s illness, stay longer and higher lives and maybe even assist us beleaguered by the well being care system,” He mentioned. We’re in its infancy.”

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