A digital healthcare start-up has secured two grants to fund their programme that supports
early screening and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Ascentys, a Yorkshire based business set up by Alzheimers research UK, are working in partnership with Durham University and Hywel Dda University to trial ground-breaking gaming and AI technology. The technology could diagnose Alzheimer’s sooner rather than later, helping to alleviate the critical physical and economic threat the disease continues to place on the world’s health systems.
Funding vital research
Their share of the £25 million government funding will be used by the company and its partners to continue their clinical testing of G:DATA, a game-based Dementia Automated Testing Algorithm. The cutting-edge videogame and related artificial intelligence-based technology aims to provide rapid screening and diagnostics for Alzheimer’s Dementia, with rehabilitative potential. Dr Sayed Kazmi, founder of Ascentys, believes the innovation could save the “NHS millions annually”, commenting:
“Treatment and care of Alzheimer’s Dementia desperately requires innovation to transform the current treatment pathway for the disease to substantially reduce clinical burden and waiting list times for patients. The aim of G:DATA is to have a role in this and to raise the effectiveness and quality of care provided to patients using an inexpensive, highly engaging, and non-invasive alternative to existing approaches.”
Award winning technology
So far, the businesses ambitious plans have already secured them an award. Awarded by Innovative UK, the UK’s national innovation agency, the highly coveted SMART award anticipates world leading innovation that is expected to have the greatest impact on the UK economy. Dr Kazmi added:
“From its inception, Ascentys has sought to innovate. It gives us great pleasure
to announce this award and we are confident G:DATA will play a key role in transforming the current screening and diagnostics of Alzheimer’s Disease and ultimately work towards providing a genuinely novel treatment.”
Formed in 2017, Ascentys works closely alongside the world’s best neuroscientists, psychiatrists, clinicians, researchers, and award-winning game developers to create ground-breaking digital technology including advanced Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence. Its developments aim to innovate existing health pathways for vastly more effective and efficient screening, diagnostics, and treatment.
The company has been twice awarded as one of the fastest growing digital companies in the Leeds Enterprise region. It has also formed partnerships with Medipex Innovation Hub, a healthcare innovation hub connecting the NHS with industry and academia. They start up also collaborates on projects with Meri Yaadain, a Bradford-based dementia charity.