The FINANCIAL — A new app and website will help older adults live healthier lives by creating life-long changes in behaviours including diet, exercise and sleep, UKRI notes.
The technology will use artificial intelligence (AI) to provide personalised information and advice for older adults with, or at risk of, long-term medical conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
It will be available through organisations, including employers and insurers, who want their workforce or customers to enjoy better lifelong health.
The app, developed by Changing Health, a digital health company based in Newcastle, will get £750,000 funding from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Healthy Ageing Challenge, with a further £750,000 of matching funding from existing investors:
North Star Ventures
Tate & Lyle Ventures LP
Shift Invest cooperatief u.a
George MacGinnis, UKRI’s Healthy Ageing Challenge director, said:
Since 2010, life expectancy has stalled and inequalities in life expectancy increased. Among women in the most deprived 10% of areas, life expectancy fell between 2010-12 and 2016-18 [Marmot Review 2021].
These inequalities in healthy ageing are expensive for the public purse. So, the management of long-term health conditions is not just a social good, but makes good economic sense. That’s why we’re funding projects like this, which will help us live healthier lives.
Personalised information for better health
Professor Mike Trenell, CEO of Changing Health, said: Each of us is unique – we eat differently, move differently, and feel differently. Yet, traditional approaches to helping people change their behaviour take a one-size-fits-all approach, leaving people behind, especially those who are easily overlooked. Changing Health will instead focus on personalised information to ensure better health for individuals.
Ashley Duque Kienzle, Chief Product Officer at Changing Health, commented: The UKRI funding and goals align perfectly with our vision to ‘enable people to live happier and healthier lives no matter who they are or where they are’. We are excited to use our vast experience in behaviour change at scale and machine learning to help older adult’s holistic health.
The Healthy Ageing challenge
As part of the Healthy Ageing Challenge, UKRI provides funding alongside private investment in business-led research and development.
Using this co-investment, businesses can produce and market innovations for healthy ageing that can be adopted at scale.
A total of £29 million in government grants, together with matching funding from private investors, will be available until 2024 for projects of up to £3 million in eligible costs.