BERKELEY, Calif., Sept. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Sonica Health won over the judges from a field of more than 60 business plan submissions to receive $10,000 in prize money for its ADAM skin sensor that detects critical COVID-19 symptoms at the 17th Annual What's Next Business Plan Competition held virtually at the What's Next Longevity Venture Summit. Sonica will present its winning presentation at the next Mary Furlong & Associates virtual event, What's Next Longevity Innovation Summit on December 3.
"We are thrilled for Sonica Health who took the top prize in a very competitive field with a solution that addresses immediate needs for older adults in this pandemic and beyond," said Mary Furlong, serial entrepreneur and executive producer of the What's Next Longevity conferences. "This competition has helped startup companies get the necessary attention needed to grow their innovation. Past winners have built successful companies to over $100 million in revenue."
The criteria for the competition, sponsored by First Republic Bank and HealthIQ, was to present innovative solutions to bridge current and post-pandemic challenges for older adults including access to care, social isolation, remote engagement for health care, caregiver support and improved health safety. Sonica Health also won the People's Choice competition where event attendees voted virtually for the top innovation.
Sonica Health presented the ADAM, a wearable skin sensor that is a soft, flexible electronic device easily applied at the Adam's apple area of the throat, an information-rich location on the body to track respiratory, language and sleep biomarkers. The ADAM directly measures COVID-19 symptomology such as fever, cough and shortness of breath and can be an early detection warning system for a segment of the population – those over age 65 – who are particularly vulnerable to and have the highest mortality rates for COVID-19.
"Sonica Health is committed to developing advanced sensor solutions focused on the needs of older adults," said Steve Xu, founder & CEO of Sonica Health. "We're fortunate to already be working with BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority) to address the COVID-19 pandemic—this competitive and prestigious prize only highly motivates us to push forward. We're going to be using the $10,000 to donate sensors for a study to monitor nursing home patients in the early fall in collaboration with Northwestern University."
The submissions represented a diverse group of international companies including the U.S., Canada and Israel as well as diverse leadership within the companies with multicultural and gender equality among the CEOs. More than half of the competing entries focused on social isolation, one-third focused on virtual care telehealth, AI and voice enabled technologies, and predictive analysis and chronic care management, which included the winning submission.
Finalists presented in a virtual environment for the expert including: AARP Innovation Labs, Ziegler Link·Age Fund, CommonSpirit Health, Nationwide Ventures and the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CABHI). The other five finalists were: Happy, Briocare, second runner up Flowly and first runner up Singular Hearing, who also won the AARP Innovation Challenge at the conference.
"As a sponsor of the What's Next Longevity Venture Summit for the last 7 years, the caliber of business plan submissions is at such a high level that we have made numerous investments in companies that have grown out of this competition and conference," said John Hopper, Chief Investment Officer of the Ziegler Link·Age Fund, and one of this year's judging panel. "This year was especially inspiring given the urgency of addressing the pandemic for our older population."
Find more information about the What's Next Longevity Innovation Summit focused on the Washington, D.C. world of innovation, regulatory challenges and public/private government partnerships in the longevity economy visit: https://washingtoninnovationsummit.com/.
SOURCE Mary Furlong & Associates