Wilmington, DE – The Pistoia Alliance, an organization dedicated to improving global life sciences R&D, has announced the finalists of its inaugural Mini Start Up Challenge.

The Challenge has been set up to support innovative new start-ups which have the potential to improve life sciences R&D. The finalists announced today include companies from across Europe and the USA.

The finalists have all developed a range of novel technologies in the mobile or wearable category of life science solutions. They include Agewell Biometrics, AIME, Smartbell, MedexPrim and xRapid.

Agewell Biometrics has developed a product called Equilibrium™, a cloud based analytics platform that uses wearable and mobile sensor data to measure strength, balance and function in older adults in order to identify those at risk of falls. The reporting dashboard allows for goal setting and the recommendation engine gives evidence based suggestions for preventative exercises and lifestyle modifications.

AIME, a mobile app, can be used to predict disease outbreaks three months in advance using artificial intelligence, epidemiology and public health expertise. The app is currently at 88.62 percent accuracy, and can be used to provide information to public health officers, saving lives and money.

Smartbell has developed a platform for the dairy industry, which uses wearable devices for livestock, providing actionable insights and predictive analytics for resource planning, improving milk yield, fertility rates and livestock health.

Medexprim builds software solutions that enable easy secondary use of routine medical images for research. Their solution allows researchers to extract relevant exams from image archives called PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System), route them towards quantification software, and share post-processing parameters and results. By linking the quantified data with existing information it will be possible to better understand the developing mechanisms of pathologies, find new predictive models of treatment efficiency, and enable the realization of new types of epidemiology and pharmacovigilance studies.

xRapid are developing a digital diagnostic test for tuberculosis. Current diagnostic techniques take up to six weeks, but using a combination of digital image processing and artificial intelligence the xRapid mobile app aims to be able to diagnose tuberculosis quicker, more cheaply and as accurately as an expert microscopist.

The shortlisted companies will now go into the final where the winner of the competition will receive a prize of €10,000 and three months mentorship from a senior member of the Pistoia Alliance. The finalists will each receive a prize of €1,000. In addition there will be an audience vote on the night of the awards where the winner will receive €5,000.

Steve Arlington, President of the Pistoia Alliance, said: “I am delighted that the inaugural Mini Start-Up contest has attracted such a strong and interesting range of companies. The Pistoia Alliance sees start-ups as crucial in improving life sciences R&D globally and by helping innovative new companies we can better promote these new ideas, helping the life sciences R&D community as a whole.”

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