In partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK, this category aims to identify excellence in design innovation and technology development that can support the diagnosis of diseases underpinning dementia.

Dementia is the only condition in the top 10 causes of death without a treatment to prevent, cure or slow its progression. It is a degenerative brain condition, cause by a number of progressive diseases, most commonly Alzheimer’s. 46.8m people are living with dementia globally - one in three children born today will go on to develop the condition in their lifetime. Alongside the personal heartbreak for people with dementia and their families, the economic impact is equally as stark. In 2015, the cost of dementia globally was $818bn – greater than the GDP of the Netherlands. This is predicted to reach $2 trillion by 2030. There are no treatments that can slow or stop dementia and no-one currently survives a dementia diagnosis. One of the key challenges is that we are not diagnosing sufficiently early in disease to give potential treatments the greatest chance of success. Recent trial failures may have come as a result of drugs being tested when disease progress is too advanced. A treatment that delays onset of dementia by 5 years would provide financial savings in the UK of £21.2bn by 2050. That same treatment would also mean that there would be 500,000 fewer people in the UK living with a form of dementia by 2030.

Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) is the UK’s leading dementia research charity. ARUK has awarded over £79m to ground-breaking dementia research, funding 660 projects at leading universities and research centres across the UK and beyond. In addition, the organisation has acted as a catalyst for much-needed wider investment in dementia research from government and industry funders. Their ambitious research programme spans disease understanding, treatment, risk reduction and diagnosis and through this they are helping improve early detection of dementia, shedding new light on its causes and bringing us ever closer to the new treatments and preventions that are so desperately needed.

We’re proud to have them supporting this category to encourage a new era of integrative innovation.

If you have developed or are developing an innovative approach that may be applied to the diagnosis of diseases underlying dementia, we strongly encourage you to apply. The approach could cover the measurement of cognitive, biological or physiological changes, using devices or other means, that support the diagnosis of diseases underpinning dementia. The approach does not have to be validated but it does have to be customer focused i.e. can be used by health care providers such as GPs and there needs to be a rationale provided to explain why it should be effective.

We welcome applications from everyone including students, inventors and businesses.