20 June 2023
The Social Care Institute for Excellence, Anthropos and the Dementia Services Development Centre are awarded £80k by Longitude Prize on Dementia for an innovative home-based technology that will enable early detection of changes in the symptoms of dementia for effective interventions in sundowning.
Longitude Prize on Dementia
The home-based technology will be designed to learn and understand a person’s daily routine and behaviour patterns in relation to the physiological and environmental factors thought to contribute to sundowning which approximately 20-30% of people living with dementia experience. The innovation aims to identify early signs of sundowning and to provide insights that support interventions in the home.
Twenty-four semi-finalists receive £80,000 grants as part of the overall £4m Longitude Prize on Dementia driving the co-creation of personalised technologies to help people living with dementia enjoy independent and fulfilled lives.
The Longitude Prize on Dementia is funded by Alzheimer’s Society and Innovate UK and delivered by Challenge Works.
The Social Care Institute for Excellence, Anthropos and the Dementia Services Development Centre have been named a semi-finalist in the Longitude Prize on Dementia for its home-based technology that aims to identify early signs of sundowning. They have been awarded one 24 Discovery Award grants worth £80k as part of the £4m Longitude Prize on Dementia.
A total of £1.9m has today been awarded to 24 pioneering teams of developers, researchers and innovators from across the globe in the international challenge competition funded by Alzheimer’s Society and Innovate UK, and designed and delivered by Challenge Works. The team will now work alongside people living with dementia and their carers to ensure technologies are intuitive, easy-to-use and able to adapt to their changing needs.
The home-based technology will be designed to learn about the lives of people with early-mid stage dementia and can detect environmental and behavioural changes associated with sundowning. Sundowning is characterised by restlessness, agitation, or confusion that can begin or worsen as daylight fades and is experienced by 20-30% of people living with dementia. and understand a person’s daily routine and behaviour patterns in relation to the physiological and environmental factors thought to contribute to sundowning which approximately 20-30% of people living with dementia experience. The innovation aims to identify early signs of sundowning and to provide easy-to understand insights that support interventions in the home. These insights could then be used to develop interventions to help people living with dementia who are experiencing symptoms of sundowning, remain independent in their homes.
With 20-30% of people living with dementia experiencing sundowning, this opportunity to develop an innovative home-based technology that can help people remain independent in their homes is vitally important. We are thrilled to be selected as semi-finalists in this international prize.
The potential of our Connected Care platform to spot meaningful changes in the lives of older people living with dementia could transform the management of sundowning. If we can spot the signs of someone’s behaviour changing earlier, it offers the opportunity to make more effective interventions to support them to stay safe, well and independent in their own homes for longer. We are delighted to be working on this in partnership with SCIE and DSDC
It’s vital people with dementia are able to live independently, doing things that bring them fulfilment, for as long as possible. And that’s exactly what tech innovation can provide. Today’s Discovery Award winners all have the capacity to develop cutting-edge tools that bring hope to the here and now, making a tangible difference to people’s lives. New drugs have been discovered which slow the progression of early Alzheimer’s disease, but there’s still more to do. Alzheimer’s Society remains committed to innovative projects like the Longitude Prize so that together we can improve the lives of people living with dementia and their families.
By addressing dementia the Longitude Prize tackles a global health crisis. Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year. Innovate UK is pleased to support this initiative along with the other vital work we are doing in this area. The UK is a global leader in innovation for healthy ageing and this prize will incentivise new technologies. This will help people with dementia, their families and their carers, to make living with the condition easier.
As the population ages we are expecting to see more people living with dementia and ageing in place within their homes and communities. We need to continue to understand how best to support people living with dementia to remain independent for as long as possible, whilst improving their quality of life and that of their caregivers. Sundowning is a particularly under-researched and under-supported area of dementia care – this project is vital to fill a gap in knowledge and will be a crucial source of support for many. DSDC is delighted to have the opportunity to work with SCIE and Anthropos on such a significant area of dementia research and support.
The Longitude Prize on Dementia is driving the development of personalised, technology-based tools that are co-created with people living with the early stages of dementia, helping them live independent, more fulfilled lives and enable them to do the things they enjoy.
The competition itself has also been co-designed with people living with dementia. Judges were advised in their decision making by the prizes Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP).
Trevor Salomon, whose wife Yvonne was diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2013, is Chair of the Longitude Prize on Dementia’s Lived Experience Advisory Panel. The group – which includes people living with dementia, carers and former carers – has steered the design of the prize, as well as the judging and assessment processes.
Before her diagnosis, my wife astonished everyone with her ability to do anything she set her mind to. She was an amazing cook, gardener, and there was nothing she couldn’t make or repair on her sewing machine. If we could access technologies that help extend her independence and her enjoyment of those pastimes, it would be so worthwhile. So I’m really impressed by the innovative thinking and creativity of the Discovery Award winners. Advances in AI could lead to new technologies that would be transformative for people like my wife – but they need to be easy to use, intuitive and adapt to the unique needs of each person. Technologies shouldn’t be developed in a bubble; they need to be designed and tested by the people who will ultimately benefit from them.
In 2024, five finalists will progress with additional £1.5m in funding to build real-world prototypes. In total, more than £3 million will be awarded in seed funding and development grants with a £1 million first prize to be awarded in 2026.
In addition, wider expert non-financial support has been funded to provide innovators with crucial insight and expertise in the next three years, such as access to data, specialist facilities, collaborations with people living with dementia and expert advice on technical and business aspects of the innovation and to facilitate knowledge sharing between participants.
One of the Discovery Awards awarded today, the ‘Paul and Nick Harvey Discovery Award’, is sponsored by the Hunter Foundation, with further support coming from Heather Corrie and the Caretech Foundation.
Notes to Editors
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About the Longitude Prize on Dementia
The Longitude Prize on Dementia is a £4 million prize to drive the creation of personalised, technology-based tools that are co-created with people living with the early stages of dementia, helping them live independent, more fulfilled lives and enabling them to do the things they enjoy.
Dementia is a progressive condition and there is no cure, but people can live well for years. As hospitalisations can increase the rate of decline, the hope is that assistive technology can help people stay safe and independent in their home for longer. The winning solution will use the latest advances in technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in combination with user data and testing to provide personalised support for people living with dementia.
The Longitude Prize on Dementia is funded by the UK’s Alzheimer’s Society and Innovate UK and delivered by Challenge Works.
- Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity. It is a vital source of support and a powerful force for change for everyone affected by dementia
- Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency, helping UK businesses to grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes and services, supported by an outstanding innovation ecosystem that is agile, inclusive and easy to navigate
- One of the Discovery Awards awarded, the ‘Paul and Nick Harvey Discovery Award’ is sponsored by the Hunter Foundation, with further support coming from Heather Corrie and the Caretech Foundation
- The prize has also received funding from the Medical Research Council. The MRC funds research at the forefront of science to prevent illness, develop therapies and improve human health
- Challenge Works is a global authority on the design and delivery of challenge prizes to unlock technological solutions focused on social good.
All Discovery Award winners are subject to due diligence and contracting which is being undertaken by Challenge Works.
About the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), University of Stirling
DSDC is an international centre of knowledge and expertise dedicated to improving lives of people with dementia based at the University of Stirling. Drawing on research and practice from around the world, DSDC provides comprehensive resources to support people with dementia, informal carers and professionals both in the health and social care and design sectors.
Anthropos has developed a Connected Care Platform that is transforming the care of older people in their homes by providing intelligence that supports the delivery of better-informed care decisions. The platform uses a combination of smart (IoT) sensors and Machine Learning to help care providers and families discover, understand, monitor and act upon changes in the daily routines of older people. The intelligence created is powering the shift towards proactive and preventative care models in health and social care.