Announcing the Winners of the linkAges Kickoff Weekend Developer Challenge

Cross-posted from the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s David Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation blog.

After an inspiring two-day event, the PAMF Innovation Center is pleased to announce the winners of its linkAges Successful Aging Kickoff Event Developer Challenge. Energized by a morning of stimulating talks by Paul Tang, Todd Park and Eric Dishman, over 70 developers responded to the Innovation Center’s challenge: select an important problem to solve that is a barrier to successful aging with high quality of life, and demonstrate how indicative signals could be detected and acted upon to mitigate risks to a senior’s health and well-being.

Twenty teams pitched their creative solutions, covering the full spectrum of activity-based, physiologic and participatory (human) signals and sensors. Teams were highly multidisciplinary, running the gamut of back and front end developers, designers, gerontologists and businesspeople.

After much debate, the judging panel—comprised of Jeff Gerard, regional president of Sutter Health, Jean-Luc Neptune, senior vice president at Health 2.0, and several senior members of the Innovation Center team—ultimately selected two first place winners: Meter Made and SunHatPig. Finishing strongly in third place was Team JEDi.

The Winning Teams and Their Solutions

Meter Made team members are Robert Sloan, Eric Aker and Kenneth Ng. They took a technical approach to activity monitoring in a senior’s home as a means of latent “okayness” checking. They proposed to leverage existing sensor technology to monitor utilities data from a smart meter. Showing actual data collected from a team member’s home, they described the properties of an analytics engine that could be used to monitor deviations from base-lined normal utilities usage.

Real time interpretation of Meter Made’s solution
rendered by graphic facilitator Tom Benthin 

Team SunHatPig, comprised of Janet Campbell, Shelly Ni, Benjamin Olmsted and David Parpart, chose to focus on human signals and sensors. They developed a concept for an application that would allow caregivers to express and have their caregiving needs met by a community of caregivers in their area. Requests would be geo-localized to support discovery by nearby caregivers, and the resultant community would be able to further support one another in caregiving by contributing to a “worry score,” a digested rating of how those who interacted with a given senior perceive his or her physical and social health status.

Finally, Team JEDi, which includes Jesse Martinez, Ed Martinez and Don Chin, proposed a means of being able to latently monitor the health and quality of life status of a senior living alone. Acting through volunteer organizations like Meals on Wheels or transportation services that interact with seniors in their home, volunteers would be able to log their observations about micro-changes in a senior’s activities. This might include things like missing meals, moving slower than usual, or even being less socially engaged. Aggregate data could be analyzed and used to prompt appropriate interventions.

What’s Next?

The weekend’s kickoff challenge prepared developers for the PAMF Innovation Center’s three-month linkAges Developer Challenge, sponsored in partnership with Health 2.0, and launching April 30. Winners of the three-month Developer Challenge will be invited to join the PAMF Innovation Center Accelerator, a six-month incubator designed to refine and integrate the winning solution into the linkAges ecosystem for rapid implementation within the PAMF community.

It will be an unprecedented opportunity for the winning team to demonstrate proof-of-concept of their solution in partnership with a nationally recognized health care provider, giving them a critical leg up on the path to potential commercialization.

For more information, please visit the Developer Challenge website, which will be updated with additional information throughout the Challenge.