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American Health Assistance Team Selected as Finalist for Partners in Patient Health Innovation Challenge

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Digital Brain Health Tracking System Chosen to Compete for $500,000 Prize

WASHINGTON, D.C."The 21st Century Brain Trust," a collaborative proposal by four nonprofit organizations working to end Alzheimer's disease, was chosen as one of four finalists from nearly 300 proposals submitted to the Collaborate Activate Innovation Challenge hosted by the Sanofi US Partners in Patient Health Team. The competition is designed to develop programs that promote patient engagement in personal health.

The 21st Century Brain Trust partnership of the American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF), Geoffrey Beene Gives Back Alzheimer's Initiative, the USAgainstAlzheimer's Network, and the recently added Cleveland Clinic/Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, is built around the development and deployment of a self-administered cognitive testing application (app), designed to let the public help scientists in the fight against cognitive disorders.

Dr. Guy Eakin, Vice President of Scientific Affairs for AHAF, is a member of the 21st Century Brain Trust team and will help deliver a 10-minute presentation at the prestigious event. “We are focused, quite simply, on empowering the public to take charge of their brain health, while they are still healthy, through digital health applications. We believe that brain health should be quantifiable and as common a topic of social conversation as cholesterol numbers.”

Tests could potentially measure changes in brain function before damage has been done. The team hopes this will lead to a more informed patient-doctor conversation as well as benefits to the clinical trial and research communities. “Not only would these tests empower individuals in the monitoring of their own health,” noted Eakin, “the data from thousands of people taking the tests stands to materially speed the pace and lower the costs of research.”

After weeks of intense preparation, with the generous help of Sanofi's subject-matter experts, the 21st Century Brain Trust and three other finalists will present their plans to Challenge judges. The presentation event in Washington, DC, has a new date and time, after a postponement due to Hurricane Sandy: November 19, 2012, at 5 p.m. Challenge winners will be announced in mid-December.

“It's an honor for AHAF to be selected as a finalist among the hundreds of interesting and worthy applicants,” said Eakin. “We have been excited and energized to closely collaborate with outstanding organizations engaged in different areas of the Alzheimer's movement, working toward our common goal of stopping this disease by the year 2025.”

"We all want our brainspan to last our lifespan...we can't take it for granted,” said Meryl Comer, president of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer's Initiative. “There is no more collaborative and engaged partner than American Health Assistance to take on such an innovative initiative with us.”

Finalist Event Information

View Live Stream Online

Visit on November 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm ET to watch each of the finalists present their solutions during the live broadcast event online.

The Partners in Patient Health Innovation Challenge Process

  • Step 1-Open Submission: Teams consisting of at least two non-profit patient and/or medical professional advocacy groups submit an innovation concept to engage people in their health.
  • Step 2-Finalist Selection: Challenge judges selected four teams whose concepts illustrate a patient-centered intervention that could only be possible through their teams' collaboration.
  • Step 3-Mentorship: Four finalist teams each receive $25,000 and access to mentors to help hone their concepts and build their implementation plans
  • Step 4-Finalist Event: Four finalist teams present their collaboration modal, refined concept, and implementation plan to the judges at an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on November 19, 2012.
  • Step 5-Winner Announced: In mid-December, one winning team is awarded $300,000, and one runner-up team is awarded $100,000. In addition, both teams will be offered the opportunity to access Sanofi US resources.

American Health Assistance' Alzheimer Disease Research will be tweeting live from the event.

More information about the event is available at or contact American Health Assistance at