A Canadian startup that has created a digital assessment tool for monitoring Parkinson’s disease symptoms has won the 2022 AGE-WELL National Impact Challenge.
In making the winning pitch, Bronwyn Bridges, Co-Founder and CEO of PragmaClin, said the ultimate goal is for people living with Parkinson’s to get help faster with more accurate results.
The idea came when Bridges was a master’s student, working with Gord Genge, who lives with Parkinson’s. “He came to me with a brilliant idea to help others, and that progressed into a full software which we’ve developed called PRIMS.”
The PRIMS system monitors motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s. How it works: First, the person living with Parkinson’s completes an at-home survey to determine their daily living skills. Next, at the doctor’s office, the individual stands in front of a computer equipped with body-tracking cameras, and completes a series of tasks. The PRIMS software then assigns a score, based on real-time data, on an internationally recognized Parkinson’s scale.
“Data from the software will help clinicians assess and monitor a patient’s condition and adjust their medications or physical therapy, if needed,” Bridges said. For people living with Parkinson’s, PRIMS “helps them keep track of those symptoms they are having, from their own personal portal.”
Bridges said the $20,000 cash prize from winning the AGE-WELL National Impact Challenge will go towards the next phase of validation trials, patent filing, team expansion and more. The hope is to fully commercialize and enter the market by 2024.
Five finalists took part in yesterday’s pitch event, describing how their technology-based solution could positively impact older Canadians or their caregivers.
The runner-up prize went to Singular Hearing, which uses artificial intelligence to create new kinds of hearing assistance that help people stay connected. The company makes HeardThat, a smartphone app for those who have trouble hearing speech in background noise, such as restaurants. Singular Hearing won a cash prize of $5,000.
Care2Talk Technologies received the People’s Choice Award for its accessible and intuitive communication and health platform designed to revolutionize the way seniors connect with their healthcare providers and loved ones.
One of the most exciting startup competitions in Canada, the AGE-WELL National Impact Challenge recognizes and supports top startups in the country’s growing AgeTech sector. This year’s competition was held as part of the AGE-WELL Annual Conference in Regina, Saskatchewan.
AGE-WELL thanks the generous sponsors of the 2022 AGE-WELL National Impact Challenge: key sponsor, the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI), and Bereskin & Parr.
For more information about the finalists and the competition, visit: https://agewell-nce.ca/national-impact-challenge
For more about PragmaClin, visit: www.pragmaclin.com
AGE-WELL NCE Inc. is Canada’s Technology and Aging Network. The pan-Canadian network brings together researchers, older adults, caregivers, partner organizations and future leaders to accelerate the delivery of technology-based solutions that make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians. AGE-WELL researchers are producing technologies, services, policies and practices that improve quality of life for older adults and caregivers, and generate social and economic benefits for Canada. AGE-WELL is funded through the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program. www.agewell-nce.ca
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