University of South Florida

USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy students accepted into USF Connects cohort for their innovative health startup 

USF Connect – Student Innovation Incubator Orientation.

Two students in the USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy (TCOP) launched a company that may have the newest innovation in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, and their work opened the way for acceptance to USF Connect, the university’s premier technology and design incubator.

TCOP pharmaceutical doctoral students Siegrid Pregartner and Laura Borgerding founded Janus AI (Artificial Intelligence), which designed a tool that aims to aid in the early detection of Alzheimer’s using AI technology.

The goal of their company is to give patients with Alzheimer’s disease the opportunity to take control of their lives and make the best healthcare decisions they can before the disease progresses too far.

“There are treatments coming out every single month for Alzheimer’s disease and the amount of money for research increases every single year but, we still do not have a way to know who does and who does not have the disease before symptom onset. Our tool will be able to diagnose patients for when more effective treatments come out to give people extra years to their lives when they are comfortable and in control,” said Pregartner.

USF Connect – The Business Incubator Program.

Recently, their health care startup company won first place and $15,000 at the Florida Blue Health Innovative Challenge, and has been accepted into USF Connects cohort.

“Winning the challenge will not only help us to develop our business but, also it made us realize that this could be a genuine business that could change lives,” Pregartner said.

Students who join a cohort through the USF Connect Incubator will be able to gain access to an abundance of resources such as business experts, legal, and investors. That will assist them in growing their business, concept, and product.

“USF Connect is going to help build a cohesive model and connect us with mentors that will help us with the implementation of our prototype and how to move forward as a business,” Borgerding said.

By utilizing their artificial intelligence tool, they could also contribute to further research and prove that certain drugs have a preventative effect on Alzheimer’s.

“Having the dean and our professors support us from the start at The USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy, has been more than them just doing their job… that is them caring about our future and I think that has been the most important factor in our success,” Borgerding said.

(Left to right): Siegrid Pregartner and Laura Borgerding

Story and photos by Ryan Rossy, USF Health Communications and Marketing 

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