First-Ever Dementia Innovation Readiness Index Identifies Opportunities to Accelerate Solutions and Collaboration in Dementia Treatment, Prevention, and Care Across G7 Countries

KYOTO (April 26, 2017) – Today, the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) launched the Dementia Innovation Readiness Index, a first-ever comprehensive evaluation of innovation in dementia treatment, prevention, and care across G7 countries.

“Since the last new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease entered the market more than a decade ago, the prevalence of dementia has skyrocketed and the global population of older adults has grown rapidly,” said Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of ADI. “Alzheimer’s and other dementias require immediate and sustained attention in the areas of care, cure, prevention, and societal inclusion, and our Index aims to identify opportunities and build momentum towards innovative approaches to these objectives. We hope it will trigger governments and policy makers to identify best practices and learn from each other.”

The Index examines the current landscape in which actions to combat dementia are occurring in terms of the enablers of and barriers to innovation. By doing so across the G7 countries, the Index draws out best practices and identifies areas needing improvement. The full report, available at www.globalcoalitiononaging.com and www.alz.co.uk, details key findings and recommendations as well as rankings for the G7 countries across 10 key categories.

“Alzheimer’s and other dementias will become the financial – as well as the health – nightmare of our generation if we continue with status quo,” said Michael W. Hodin, CEO of GCOA. “Immediate and sustained action is needed. Regulators must step up to define meaningful endpoints and encourage early detection and diagnosis and recruitment into clinical trials. Political and institutional leaders must champion the issue to give it the attention it deserves. Governments must ensure that businesses are allowed, encouraged, and incentivized to drive innovation. The solutions won’t be achieved overnight, but the time to commit to innovation is now.”

The Index’s main findings include:

  • Coordinated and continuous leadership from government leaders and institutions of influence is a driving factor for success in advancing innovation in dementia.
  • While funding for research is on the rise, funding for dementia must be commensurate with the impact of the disease, including funding models for care of people with dementia.
  • A critical need for innovation can be found in the need for care providers at all levels – from general practitioners, neurologists and other specialists to both formal and informal caregivers – to enter the field of aging and geriatrics to address the growing demand.
  • Earlier detection and diagnosis of dementia and subsequent recruitment of people diagnosed with the disease into clinical trials will go a long way toward understanding the progression of the disease from its early stages and finding a cure.
  • People with dementia deserve choice in the type and level of care they receive along the care continuum, and governments should encourage more options to ensure the highest level of care possible.
  • Public-private, cross-disciplinary, and cross-geographical collaboration will help drive the exchange of best practices and expedite innovation for dementia treatment, prevention, and care.

“The Index is a valuable tool for policy makers, scientists, academics, advocates and business alike because it presents a comprehensive look at countries’ strengths and weaknesses, but more importantly creates a platform for sharing and collaboration on which to advance innovation,” said Jeff Huber, President and CEO of Home Instead Senior Care, a leading provider of home care globally and a member of GCOA. “Solving for Alzheimer’s and dementia will require bold new approaches, many of which are identified in the Index.”

The Index’s country assessments reveal that the UK, Canada, and Germany respectively top the list for innovation readiness, pointing out that strong and sustained national leadership, a focused and coordinated effort to detection and diagnosis, new approaches to research and access to innovative treatments, sustainable payment systems, and commitment to public-private partnerships are all driving forces behind innovation readiness.

“Tackling the global scourge of dementia requires us to move past conventional thinking, which has yet to lead to any measurable breakthroughs,” said Pr. Yves Joanette, PhD, Chair of the World Dementia Council. “The analysis and direction provided by the Dementia Innovation Readiness Index will help all G7 countries, and could be of great support for other global leaders as well, to better prepare for and react to the global challenge of dementia.”

The Index was informed by input from interviews and surveys of more than 40 global key opinion leaders and subject matter experts including scientists, advocates, policy makers, researchers, business leaders, and people with dementia, representing thousands of stakeholders in the fight against dementia, as well as research gathered from global authorities on Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias, and aging.

It will be launched today at the 32nd International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International in Kyoto, Japan.

To read the executive summary, click here.

To read the full report, click here.

Latest Developments

We keep our members and partners in touch with the most recent updates and opinions in the worldwide dialogue on population longevity and related issues.

A Bipartisan Bill Could Prevent The Next Pandemic

In Washington, Republicans and Democrats are typically at loggerheads when it comes to healthcare policy. Just consider the recent Inflation Reduction Act, which made extensive changes to Medicare and also extended Affordable Care Act subsidies. Every single congressional Democrat voted for the legislation, while every single member of the GOP voted against it. But occasionally, a bill is such an obviously good idea, and so desperately needed, that it commands significant bipartisan support. The PASTEUR Act, co-sponsored by 31 Democrats and 31 Republicans in the House and two members of each party in the Senate, is just such a bill.

Korea Must Act Now to Combat Growing AMR Threat

Public officials are overlooking one of the gravest long-term threats to the Korean people, the health system, and economy: antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Some pathogens ― bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses ― have evolved strains that resist the antimicrobial medications we currently have available to fight them. Health care professionals often must watch helplessly as patients succumb to infections that antibiotics could once have easily beaten. They know that new antimicrobials, including and especially antibiotics, could easily gain the victory ― but they have none at their disposal.

Policy Statement on the Impact of Price Negotiations on Innovation, Healthy Aging and Equity

As the CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and a newly formed cross-sector Alliance for Health Innovation, we write to express our deep concern with the current legislation that allows for price “negotiations” in Medicare – a thinly veiled signal for America’s plunge into price controls that will have a devastating and adverse impact on biopharmaceutical innovation and our nations’ ability to support healthy aging. 

Ignoring the ‘Silver Economy’ May Be Getting Costly for Brands

In an ad for Airbnb that premiered earlier this year, a couple checks into a cozy Spanish villa. To the tune of Jay-Z's cover of "Me and My Girlfriend," the ad shows the pair settling into their rental and setting their collective dial to chill. They play ping-pong, sip some wine, and get ready for a night on the town. They're also in their 80s, celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary. In no way does the ad characterize the couple as elderly or portray them as needing special aid or services — they are just active people who happen to be old. It's a rare example of ads featuring a realistic depiction of aging.

Health Equity Promise and That Innovation Thing

President Biden has pledged his administration to defeat cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases that target America’s aging population. To achieve these lofty goals, bold words must be backed up by bold actions.

Roundtable Report Highlights Importance of Immunizing Canada’s Caregivers Against Influenza, Identifying Challenges and Opportunities to Protect This Critical Group

The Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) today released a report summarizing key insights from an expert roundtable on vaccinating Canada’s caregivers against influenza. The roundtable, held virtually, brought together leading Canadian health policy experts, family caregivers, patient advocacy groups, aging experts, and other thought leaders to discuss challenges and strategies to reach this critically important yet hard-to-reach group.