WASHINGTON, March 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- AARP Services, Inc. (ASI) and UnitedHealthcare have launched a four-month innovation challenge to identify new solutions for preventing falls among older adults.
OpenIDEO – known for activating global communities – has been engaged to facilitate the challenge program. Participants are encouraged to develop breakthrough solutions in fall prevention, an underserved area of healthy aging.
The innovation challenge is open to anyone, including entrepreneurs, technologists, designers, researchers and clinicians. Through an online workshop, participants and a multidisciplinary advisory group will share research, and develop, prototype and refine their ideas.
Winners will be selected in June for two awards: Most Promising Idea and Most Viable Solution. In addition to cash awards, winners receive access to ASI's iCare Research Panel for usability/concept testing. The Most Viable Solution winner may also have the opportunity, if it's a fit, to participate in CareConnection, ASI's solutions pilot website.
To learn more about the challenge go to http://ideo.to/YLLouu
Falls and fall-related injuries are a major concern among older adults and their caregivers. One in four older adults falls each year, yet less than half tell their doctors.i Ninety-five percent of hip fractures are caused by falls, which can reduce life expectancy by 10 percent to 15 percent.ii Current solutions focus on fall monitoring and detection, and less on fall awareness/prevention.
"We talked with hundreds of caregivers and older adults, and falls are one of their major concerns," said Sanjay Khurana, vice president caregiving, ASI. "By harnessing the power of this community of innovators, we hope to generate practical new ideas and solutions that help minimize the risk of falls."
In 2014, 29 million falls were reported among people 65 and over, with 7 million of those falls resulting in injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls among older adults cost the U.S. health care system $34 billion in direct medical costs. These costs are expected to rise to more than $67 billion by 2020.iii
"A fall can be traumatic for older adults and drastically affect their health and quality of life," said Efrem Castillo, M.D., chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. "Innovators who participate in this challenge can meaningfully improve the health and well-being of millions of older adults by helping us rethink fall prevention."
ABOUT AARP SERVICES, INC. – AARP Services Inc., founded in 1999, is a wholly owned taxable subsidiary of AARP. AARP Services manages the provider relationships for and performs quality control oversight of the wide range of products and services that carry the AARP name and are made available by independent providers as benefits to AARP's millions of members. The provider offers currently span health products, financial products, travel and leisure products, and life event services. Specific products include Medicare supplemental insurance; credit cards; auto, home, mobile home and motorcycle insurance; life insurance and annuities; member discounts on rental cars, cruises, vacation packages and lodging; special offers on technology and gifts; and pharmacy services. AARP Services also engages in new product development activities for AARP and provides certain consulting services to outside companies.
ABOUT OPENIDEO – OpenIDEO (www.openideo.com) is a global open innovation platform that builds collaborative communities to address pressing social and environmental issues. In online Challenges, offline Chapters and targeted programs, OpenIDEO enables innovators anywhere to apply design thinking towards generating social impact.
ABOUT UNITEDHEALTHCARE – UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.
i Stevens JA, Ballesteros MF, Mack KA, Rudd RA, DeCaro E, Adler G. Gender differences in seeking care for falls in the aged Medicare Population. Am J Prev Med 2012;43:59–62.
ii George F. Fuller, COL, MC, USA, White House Medical Clinic, Washington, D.C. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Apr 1;61(7):2159-2168. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0401/p2159.html
iii National Council on Aging. Issue Brief: Funding for Elder Falls Prevention. August 2015.
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SOURCE AARP Services Inc.