Aged care hackathon: how tech can help improve the lives of the elderly

Canberra will play host to an aged care hackathon in an effort to use technology to improve aged care, one of the most neglected aspects of healthcare, according to organiser Patrick Reid.


InnovAGE hopes to attract hackers, engineers, data scientists and anyone looking to integrate apps and develop products that will make life easier for the 750,000 in-house patients and aged care residents across the country. It is the brainchild of Leading Age Services, one of the leading aged care providers in Australia, and will be held at the INSPIRE Centre at the University of Canberra from 28-29 March.


Reid, the chief executive officer of Leading Age Services, hopes the event will bring greater exposure to the industry and increase the low penetration rates of wearables and 3D products in the area.


He cites social isolation as one of the most debilitating problems that technology and IT can help resolve.


“People who know someone with dementia will be better able to keep track of their movements, for instance,” he says.


“Using sensors and applying the internet of things to household products can vastly improve lives for older people. Doctors will be able to track their patients’ health. Healthcare can be managed remotely and health kits can be developed to care for elderly residents.”


The event has been endorsed by the ACT government and the federal government has been approached to support it. Reid says that he is in talks with companies like Intel, Cisco and Amazon to come on-board as well.


“The integration of technology to make lives better for older people will play a big role in the future. It will affect economies and it is the future of healthcare. Low cost technology is the way forward to help 2.5 million people in aged care by 2050,” he says.

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