WASHINGTON, June 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- AARP Services, Inc. (ASI), and UnitedHealthcare today announced the winners of the Fall Prevention innovation Challenge. The Challenge, launched in February to identify new solutions for preventing falls among older adults, received more than 200 contributions from participants in over 90 countries.
Luna Lights is the winner in the Most Viable Solution category. The solution, designed by Luna Lights CEO Donovan Morrison, is an automated lighting system that uses behavioral analysis and automated lighting to help keep older adults safer at night. It detects when a user gets out of bed and immediately turns on wireless lights to illuminate the paths to frequent nighttime destinations around the home.
Path Feel is the winner in the Most Promising Idea category. The product, designed by Katlyn Green, is a shoe insole that provides vibratory feedback to improve balance among older adults. The insoles amplify the sense of touch of feet to the ground to accommodate sensory deficits or general balance issues. The insoles help the user identify when their feet touch the ground, reducing the sense of imbalance and incidence of falls.
"When we started this challenge, we hoped to find at least two viable concepts that could help prevent adults from falling, rather than alerting someone after it was too late," said Sanjay Khurana, ASI vice president, Caregiving. "We've been happily overwhelmed with the response we received from people around the world who shared valuable insights and encouraged the development of others' concepts along the way."
In addition to cash awards, the winners will receive in-kind support to help them advance their solutions.
- Each will receive access to ASI's iCare Research Panel for one research study with the caregiving panel to support usability and/or concept testing.
- The winners can also participate in four hours of mentorship provided by ASI.
- The Most Viable Solution winner, Luna Lights, could be added to CareConnection, a caregiving solutions resource and retail website.
- The Most Promising Solution winner, Green, will receive $10,000 toward design services to bring the Path Feel concept to life.
Winners were selected based on criteria focused on affordability, health-centeredness, scalability and easy integration into people's daily lives without requiring a behavior change. The judging committee was composed of health care professionals, physicians, researchers of aging and innovation leaders.
"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. "The connections and ideas generated during this challenge are paving the way for new innovations that have the potential to improve the health and well-being of millions of older adults."
Fall prevention is a globally underserved area of healthy aging. One in four older adults fall each year, but less than half seek medical care.i The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that in 2014 29 million falls were reported among those 65 and older in the United States, with approximately 7 million of these falls resulting in injuries.
The challenge was facilitated by OpenIDEO, a platform known for crowdsourcing global solutions. Through an online workshop, participants and a multidisciplinary community shared research, and developed, prototyped and refined their ideas.
To learn more about the winners, go to: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/fall-prevention/awards
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 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.
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.
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.
SOURCE AARP Services Inc.