New XPRIZE for Dementia?

akbakb Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
Hi all. I'm not sure if this is in the right category, but could we have one or more XPRIZE challenges to prevent dementia, and to develop technologies that help people that have to live with dementia?

The latter case, helping people that have dementia, has some similarities with the learning XPRIZEs.

For example, one solution might be an AI agent, similar to the one in the following futuristic education story (but for dementia and other mental health conditions):
Education (2049)

Solutions to this would help many millions of people - worthy of an XPRIZE.


  • akbakb Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
    This post inspired me to suggest an XPRIZE:
    When Technology Remembers: Digital Health And Alzheimer’s Disease
  • akbakb Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
    There's a significant probability that in the future this might be helping you...
  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 878 admin
    Thanks for starting this discussion, @akb! I'll move this into the Innovations category. (Challenges is for problems, Innovations for potential solutions.)
  • DanSelzDanSelz Los AngelesPosts: 60 admin
    edited August 2019
    Thanks @akb .

    It's an interesting idea and not to be a wet blanket, but wanted to surface the idea of the problems of curing dementia.

    It might be paradoxical to write about the problems curing dementia—after all, curing dementia is one of the most sought after hopes of millions of people around the globe. But this article makes the compelling case that there could be significant problems if a cure for dementia was found.

    Specifically, it cites studies that show that as many as 1M people in Europe and 2M people in the United States could develop Alzheimer’s while waiting to get access to a treatment even after the treatment was discovered.

    The article ( mentions a couple key bottlenecks that would prohibit people from getting access to these potentially lifesaving treatments. One was a lack of qualified physicians to diagnose and prescribe for people. The other was PET scanners that would be needed in the diagnosis.

    The first problem seems possible to ameliorate with artificial intelligence doctors—a whole other can of worms. The lack of equipment might be a trickier problem to solve.

    What’s your take? Would you be willing to have your brain diagnosed by an artificial intelligence doctor. What social problems could be caused by bottlenecks to a lifesaving treatment once it was discovered?
  • akbakb Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Good questions @DanSelz
    I agree that AI could help with diagnosis (prior to seeing a specialist). AI can also help people living with dementia.

    There are indeed significant challenges (and great rewards). The challenge is further broadened by the fact that dementia covers a range of medical aspects: there are different causes for dementia (or similar impaired brain functions), e.g. Alzheimer's, vascular problems, stroke, and physical trauma. So in terms of a cure there might be different streams/challenges for each of these. I've included all of these here because the AI solution to help people live with these conditions is probably the same (or similar).

    In terms of the demand for medical equipment by millions of people, we can draw inspiration from a previous XPRIZE: the medical Tricorder.

    Inspiration for the AI agents might come from the XPRIZEs for learning.
  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 878 admin
    @Oakshade, @HRS, @rbrinton, @dcherry, @akhachat, @vino_37, @vradenburg, @henry_bro, you may all be interested in this discussion as well.

    As some of you know, we have a Prize Design for Alzheimer's, which was written with the community's input. (We used a different community platform at the time, though.)

    Our conclusion was that analyzing and understanding health and lifestyle data gathered from thousands of people might be the answer to the Alzheimer's puzzle.
    Existing databases lack the desired depth and breadth of data that could provide the foundation to help multi-disciplinary researchers use emerging and cutting-edge technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, to achieve generalizable ground-breaking discoveries. Though efforts are underway to improve data harmonization, datasets remain in silos and are not sufficiently interoperable.

    Hence the need for an XPRIZE. Our hope is that leveraging big data, global partnerships, and some of the world's most talented innovators from diverse backgrounds, geographies, and approaches, could unlock treatments that allow millions of people to hold onto their most valuable of possessions: their memory and their dignity.

    This competition is now waiting to be funded.
  • OakshadeOakshade CEO USAPosts: 3 ✭✭
    I would fully endorse an Alzheimer’s prize as I am committed to finding a cure. I think the Human Longevity Institute platform for diagnostics would be an ideal complement to having a therapy for AD and the dementias.
  • akbakb Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
    I've done some extra work to get the ball rolling on helping people to live with dementia - it turns out the proposed solution could help many others too...

    What if we had a device that could look after people with dementia?
    Here's a small step to that giant leap...
    Let's make it so:
    Cognitive Coprocessor

    This is an open source design (reference model) - it is free to use, and you can start today to build a device that supports these features. This device aims to help people with any of the following impairments: limited cognitive ability, dementia, limited hand (finger) coordination, poor eyesight, blind, or (partially) deaf. It is envisaged that such a device will be very useful to many elderly people, and it could benefit young children too. For those people such a device will enhance their quality of life on many levels (memory, performance, ability, health, safety, security, accessibility, etc.).

    That would make a great XPRIZE challenge... :-)
  • NickOttensNickOttens Community Manager Barcelona, SpainPosts: 878 admin
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