MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Oct. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- LifeBio, a leading age-tech solutions company using reminiscence therapy and life story work for social engagement of older populations, announced its second National Institute on Aging (NIA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant of $448,462 to focus on the Alzheimer's disease population. Research partner, Brown University, will lead the clinical study of LifeBioALZ, a new artificial intelligence driven, digital biomarker engine that will leverage natural conversation for wide scale accessibility in early detection and assessment of Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's-disease related dementia (AD/ADRD) progression.
"The funding from NIA allows us to use the latest technological advancements to develop diagnostic and therapeutic interventions that can help with chronic disease detection and management in our older populations, especially Alzheimer's disease which affects 1 in 3 seniors," said Beth Sanders, CEO and founder of LifeBio. "Reminiscence therapy has been an effective tool in dementia care and in addressing social determinants of health. Our current LifeBio Memory solution as well as this new tool, LifeBioALZ, will use artificial intelligence to take person-centered care and contextualized health to a new level."
"Communication changes can be difficult to measure for people living with dementia, especially when cognitive symptoms are mild," said Dr. Gary Epstein-Lubow, associate professor of Psychiatry at Brown University and geriatric psychiatrist at Butler Hospital. "This digital biomarker holds promise. We will be testing if LifeBioALZ can assist clinicians in better understanding speech patterns, eye movements, emotional changes, and other factors to aid in earlier detection and assessing changes over time." Dr. Michael Armey, a research psychologist at Butler Hospital and Associate Professor of Research in the Psychiatry and Human Behavior Department at Brown University, is also involved in the LifeBioALZ project.
According to the latest report from the Alzheimer's Association, 6 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer's, a neurodegenerative, fatal brain disease that has no cure. Pharmaceutical therapies to slow the disease progression are beneficial only if used in the early stages of the disease. Advancing diagnostic tools has been a main goal of organizations such as the Diagnostics Accelerator, a collaborative funding partnership with Bill Gates, Leonard Lauder, the Dolby family, Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie Scott among other billionaire philanthropists. The goal is to challenge the research community to develop cutting-edge biomarkers and explore novel diagnostic technologies that will aid in Alzheimer's diagnosis and clinical trial design. LifeBioALZ is working toward this goal.
LifeBio has now secured two NIA SBIR grants since 2020 totaling almost $3 million to advance the therapeutic intervention of life story work coupled with advanced technologies for the Alzheimer's population. Its first NIA Phase II SBIR award, LifeBio Memory, received $2.4 million in grant funding in conjunction with research partner, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, to build a voice-driven, AI-powered life story platform. An upcoming clinical trial will measure specific impact on people living with dementia and their professional caregivers.
This document references projects supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Federal Award Identification Number R43AG076341 (LifeBio-ALZ) and R44AG069566 (LifeBio Memory). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
LifeBio Inc. (lifebio.com), is a leading age-tech company that captures life stories for better health, using evidence-based reminiscence therapy (RT), narrative care and research-based life story methods. Headquartered in Marysville, Ohio, LifeBio has created thousands of life stories of people 65+. LifeBio primarily works with health plans, home care, hospitals, senior living communities, nonprofits and government agencies across the United States and Canada to improve quality of life (QoL) for older adults, to improve dementia care and to address challenges related to social determinants of health such as loneliness (SDoH), a major health risk. LifeBio offers life story solutions in a subscription model to health care and senior living clients. LifeBio is also the creator of MyHello, a tech-powered, automated phone visit platform to connect participants live for weekly conversations using proven methods. Learn more at: lifebio.com.
Laura Plaster – LifeBio
SOURCE LifeBio, Inc.