LifeBio Earns Grant to Study Alzheimer's and Voice

LifeBio, a company using reminiscence therapy and life story work for social engagement of older populations, has received a National Institute on Aging (NIA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant of $448,462 to focus on the Alzheimer's disease population. Research partner Brown University will lead the clinical study of LifeBioALZ, an artificial intelligence-driven digital biomarker engine that will leverage natural conversations in early detection and assessment of Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's-related dementia progression.

"The funding from NIA allows us to use the latest technological advancements to develop diagnostic and therapeutic interventions that can help with chronic disease detection and management in our older populations, especially Alzheimer's disease which affects one in three seniors," said Beth Sanders, CEO and founder of LifeBio, in a statement. "Reminiscence therapy has been an effective tool in dementia care and in addressing social determinants of health. Our current LifeBio Memory solution as well as this new tool, LifeBioALZ, will use artificial intelligence to take person-centered care and contextualized health to a new level."

"Communication changes can be difficult to measure for people living with dementia, especially when cognitive symptoms are mild," said Dr. Gary Epstein-Lubow, associate professor of psychiatry at Brown University and geriatric psychiatrist at Butler Hospital, in a statement. "This digital biomarker holds promise. We will be testing if LifeBioALZ can assist clinicians in better understanding speech patterns, eye movements, emotional changes, and other factors to aid in earlier detection and assessing changes over time."

LifeBio has now secured two NIA SBIR grants since 2020 totaling almost $3 million>. Its first NIA Phase II SBIR award, LifeBio Memory, received $2.4 million to build a voice-driven, AI-powered life story platform.

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