You are now able to cast your vote as of August 1st, for the AGE-WELL National Impact Challenge, a contest to encourage new and unique technology-based solutions that can benefit the lives of older Canadians and their caregivers. Wonderful to see there are almost 60 entries now on the AGE-WELL website with short video pitches to watch. You can comment and vote right on the spot.
However, after viewing about half of the videos so far, I would suggest you do it in several sittings as it will take you some time to do a proper evaluation.
Even though the rather liberal voting invite (open to the general public), suggests you can “vote once a day for your favourite innovation until August 17, 2018”, you are asked to take into account the eight points applicants were asked to consider as they were preparing their presentation. These points are outlined on the National Impact Voting Site.
In addition to the eight points, what I watched for is how well each application actively involved interdisciplinary professional expertise and the actual participation of the end users – older adults and caregivers – in the design of these technology based solutions. Already in a couple of the videos I’ve watched, evidence of this blended approach is not that clear. The other question I keep asking with all these innovations – how instantly practical and quickly available to market is this, for use of every-day people, today?
Whatever your take on these sixty entries is, the important thing is that we are encouraging new generations of design and technology professionals in Canada to stimulate their awareness that there is a market for products and services that augment the needs of an aging population in a growing longevity economy. In many cases, these National Impact applicants have also been inspired to innovate based on their own experience with care for an older parent.
The eight finalists will be invited participate in the competition finale at the AGE-WELL 2018 Annual Conference in Vancouver, October 16-18, 2018 which is connected at the same time to the 47th annual Canadian Association on Gerontology Conference in Vancouver.
Prior to that, AGE-WELL is exhibiting this week at the International Federation on Ageing Conference, August 8 -10 in Toronto. Look forward to meeting up with their team there. Why – that’s tomorrow!