The FINANCIAL — Three small firms have been announce as the next businesses to benefit from the healthy ageing challenge, run by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
The businesses are: an innovative care provider, an early warning system for Parkinson’s disease, a virtual reality app designed to help tackle anxiety. Each will benefit from a UKRI grant, alongside investment from one of the challenge’s investment partners, Northstar Ventures according to UKRI.
About the firms
BelleVie is an innovative care provider. The funding will support the development of a technology platform that allows the team to spend more quality time with the people they support. This, in turn, allows them to maintain more fulfilling, socially connected and independent lives in their own homes.
as UKRI notes, MANUS has created an early warning for Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions. They are developing a sensor pen designed to help diagnose and monitor neuromotor impairments by analysing the slightest limb and hand movements, ensuring early access to the appropriate treatments.
XR Therapeutics is developing a solution to overcome phobias and anxiety using a virtual reality environment, which is proven to enhance the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy. The project will tackle some of the issues that negatively impact older adults and affect their ability to live independently and remain socially connected and in maintaining their health at work.
Alasdair Greig, Director, Northstar Ventures, said: We’re keen to invest in new solutions to the challenges facing society and the partnership with UKRI enables us to support more innovation in the healthy ageing arena.
George MacGinnis, healthy ageing challenge director at UK Research and Investment, said : It’s vital that we continue to support these sorts of projects, including through our partnership with Northstar Ventures.
The need for these solutions to improve the delivery of care and enable diagnosis and treatment away from clinical settings has been made even more pressing by the Covid-19 pandemic. We look forward to working with these companies as they develop their innovations.
One in 12 people in the UK are over 75. By 2040, this will rise to one in seven. A third of children born now are expected to live to 100.
On average, people aged 65 will live just half of the rest of their life without disability.
We want everyone to remain active, productive, independent and socially connected across generations for as long as possible and to narrow the gap between the experiences of the richest and poorest.
We are investing up to £98 million in healthy ageing through the UKRI healthy ageing challenge.