Pfizer Inc, together with its collaborator on the Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program (AIP), Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy, and the Geoffrey Beene Gives Back Alzheimer’s Initiative today introduced the Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012 at the Care Innovations Summit in Washington DC. The Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012 calls for inventive concepts to help improve the diagnostic identification and tracking of Alzheimer’s disease.

Specifically, the Challenge seeks the development of simple, cost-effective, consistent tools that could be easily used to assess memory, mood, thinking, and activity level over time to help improve diagnosis and monitoring of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Today, easy to use, reliable, objective, and cost-efficient methods to track and monitor Alzheimer’s disease—which is not a normal part of aging—remain an unmet need. The Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012 supports the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) call to harness new thinking to deliver better care and better health at lower cost and provides an entrepreneurial springboard to harness new thinking and approaches to improve Alzheimer’s care.

The Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012 includes awards totaling $300,000. This incorporates $25,000 to five finalists and $175,000 to one winner of the Challenge. The deadline for submission of concepts is March 16, 2012, and a complete Challenge description, official rules, including prizes, judging criteria and timelines are available on the Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012 website

“The organizations presenting challenges here today are pushing the best minds in the country to create a better health care system. They represent exciting solutions to help address some of the Nation’s most urgent health needs,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.