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University of Edinburgh joins global research effort to enhance dementia care through data and digital

The University of Edinburgh has joined NEURii, a global research collaborative which aims to explore the use of data and digital solutions to enhance approved treatment options for patients – working to predict, prevent, manage and ultimately treat dementia.

NEURii aims to create innovative solutions by combining digital biomarkers with health data and analysing them with tailored artificial intelligence algorithms. Through use of AI along with high quality data and machine learning, NEURii will pilot projects said to have the potential to make a meaningful impact on patients’ lives, using real-world data to measure their impact as time goes on.

By combining these data-driven solutions and the expertise of the NEURii collaborators, it is hoped that the project will launch a “new wave of transformational digital products” which will help tackle the ongoing challenge of dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions.

The twoyear collaboration will involve global pharmaceutical company, Eisai, Health Data Research UK, Bill Gates’ private office Gates Venture and medical research not-for-profit LifeArc.  

Dr Niranjan Bose, managing director of health & life sciences at Gates Ventures said: “AI and other advanced technologies are beginning to play a powerful role in medical research. I’m excited about how the NEURii collaboration will apply these tools to diagnostics research and drug discovery, and contribute to breakthroughs that can improve life for millions of people suffering with dementia and dementia-related illnesses.”

In related news around the uses of AI in dementia care, we recently covered how researchers at the University of Sheffield have been working on an AI tool with the hopes of speeding up dementia diagnosis by identifying early signs of the disease and leading to quicker referrals. The tool uses AI to analyse language and speech patterns in conversations between patients and a virtual agent; read more here.

On the topic of dementia diagnosis, last week we also covered plans for the development of a rapid testing solution called Fastball, which uses electroencephalography to measure brain activity via easy-to-use headsets. The test has received £1.5 million funding from NIHR to expand assessment of the test and explore whether it can diagnose dementia earlier.