There are an estimated 6.2 million people who have Alzheimer’s disease, which is the sixth leading cause of death
The US population is aging rapidly as the baby boomers reach their twilight: between 2010 and 2019, the population over 65 grew by over 34%; From 2018 to 2019 alone, it even grew by over three percent. As a result, the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease is also increasing. An estimated 6.2 million people have the disease, which is ranked as the sixth leading cause of death, killing over 121,000 people annually.
In addition to its increasing prevalence, Alzheimer’s disease is also an expensive problem, costing $ 305 billion in 2020, a number that is projected to grow to more than $ 1.5 trillion.
And still, in spite of everything, test it for Alzheimer’s is still lagging behind, said David Bates, CEO of Linus health, a company that uses artificial intelligence and neuroscientific technology to better examine for signs of the disease. Earlier this week, the company announced a $ 55 million Series B funded entirely by existing investors.
“The health system needs better testing tools to identify cognitive impairments that lead to dementia as early as possible, ideally before symptoms appear. Cognitive screening at annual GP visits gives patients the best chance for intervention, whether through lifestyle changes, medications, digital therapeutics, or other emerging methods, “he said.
“Our goal is to make powerful cognitive screening tools efficient and accessible so that they can become part of our regular care to enable patients to be identified as early as possible.”
Linus Health customers include large pharmaceutical companies and researchers who need screening tools for their studies, as well as some clinics that screen patients. The company doesn’t offer cognitive treatment, but its tests are used by researchers and clinicians to provide insights into a person’s cognitive health that they can use to develop and monitor a treatment plan.
Patients complete the assessments, which take less than three minutes, on a mobile device assigned to them by their doctor or a study administrator. In the DCTclock test, for example, participants are asked by a mobile app to draw the face of an analog clock and set their hands to a specific time; other tests may ask the participant to memorize and repeat words to test their working memory; others may simply ask the participant to look at a series of photos.
Linus not only introduces traditional dementia tests, which consist of pen and paper tests, but also how it collects and analyzes data: the company captures over 100 biomarkers of their drawing process and responses, including analyzing the time between words, the words they remembered, and how quickly natural language processing allowed them to retrieve them.
“With the assessments performed on a mobile device or with a digital pen, Linus is able to analyze the whole process of the test by collecting both the amount and variety of data, including the drawing process the clock, the time it took, how it was built, and other elements like voice and eye tracking, “explained Bates.
After completing the test, the patient’s doctor will receive the result of the artificial intelligence analysis, who will inform him of the next steps and a treatment plan, if necessary.
“The multimodal approach is unique in analyzing digital biomarker data such as voice and speech patterns, visual-spatial memory, dual-tasking ability and fine motor skills. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, the platform analyzes the data to determine a patient’s cognitive footprint. ”
Linus’ platform has proven itself in detecting signs of early Alzheimer’s disease in a. Proven to be effective study by researchers Massachusetts General Hospital. The company reaches tens of thousands of patients today and hopes to perform millions of tests over the next two years.
The company plans to use its new funding to help Linus add more subject matter experts to its 40-strong team of neuroscientists, neurologists, medical professionals, engineers and data scientists. In addition, Linus will continue to develop its AI and algorithms while developing new assessments to treat a wider range of brain disorders, including Parkinson’s, ALS and MS.
“In addition to life science research, therapeutic development and clinical practice, Linus is also pursuing the need for cognitive health screenings for the growing aging population in the senior care markets. Our platform can enable institutions to improve the cognitive health of individuals recognize and treat. ” in their care plan, “said Bates.
Linus’ mission is to revolutionize the approach to brain and mental health to meet growing nursing needs as Alzheimer’s diagnoses and so many other brain health challenges continue to rise, he told me.
“Success will be having our platform available worldwide and becoming part of the annual primary care visit, using our screenings to treat individuals and optimize their brain health throughout their lives with regular cognitive testing and monitoring that coordinated with intervention providers – molecular, digital, and lifestyle – to enable truly precise brain health for every user. “