InteliCare was recently awarded an AU$100,000 grant (around $77,000) from the New South Wales Smart Sensing Network to enhance its machine learning capability. It received the grant along with partners Macquarie University and the University of Sydney. The listed aged care technology developer will be working on a one-year project with NSSN and the Computer Science units of both universities.
What it’s about
In a corporate disclosure, InteliCare said it formed a multi-disciplinary research team comprising experts in the Internet of Things, machine learning, business analytics, and aging and health. The team will build machine learning algorithms “to predict and prevent events that are likely to affect the quality of life of the elderly”.
Why it matters
With the fresh funds, InteliCare can accelerate its machine learning capability. The company has been focusing on detecting events, rather than predicting. The resulting product will raise the accuracy of InteliCare’s artificial intelligence technology at predicting the risks of chronic disease and mental health deterioration, which leads to loss of independence, injuries, infections, and dementia. “The project will result in an improved notification system that enables caregivers and online operators to have a better understanding of when to intervene,” said Jane Evans, MedTech theme leader at NSSN.
InteliCare said it will own the intellectual property of the product, which it said will “deliver a significant competitive advantage over outdated assistive technology, particularly duress or alert wearables”. In addition to the NSSN funds, InteliCare will be contributing AU$152,898 (around $118,000) in cash and the universities will provide AU$161,021 (around $124,600) of in-kind support.
The larger trend
In the US, there are companies developing predictive solutions that use machine learning and artificial intelligence in identifying health risks. Among players are KenSci and Lumiata. In a recent report, non-profit research group Global Centre for Modern Ageing recommended, among others, that the healthcare industry in Australia must seize grants “to fund assistive technology and home modifications that promote independence in daily living”. According to Jason Waller, CEO and managing director of InteliCare, there is revenue potential from new predictive technologies, especially through the Australian government’s investment of AU$7.5 billion ($5.8 billion) for senior citizens’ home care. In separate news, Intelicare received binding commitments to raise A$2.5 million from both new and existing investors earlier this month.
On the record
“This funding is an excellent opportunity to work with a world-class machine learning team in a highly cost-effective way. From the outset, InteliCare’s strategy has been not to only use AI to detect critical events, but to harness our data to predict events so as to prevent them [from] occurring in the first place,” Intelicare’s Waller stated.