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The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is a perpetual institution of Portuguese nationality with charitable, artistic, educational and scientific statutory aims.
It is committed to full independence and preservation of its heritage, and its main priority is defined as the development of a society that provides equal opportunities and that is sustainable.
In 2016, the Foundation created Hack for Good, an initiative that aims to display the role technology can perform, through open innovation and the tech community’s collective ability, to solve society’s most pressing problems.
What at first was an annual 36 hour event grew in 2019 to become an integrated program, supporting other hackathons to grow and contributing with capital, mentoring and incubation to seize and accelerate the ideas of new and talented people.
Our purpose is to promote innovative social and environmental services and through Hack for Good we are able to crowdsource this innovation and create a flow of ideas that helps us reassert our perspective over the best solutions for the challenges we face every day.
Develop a prototype / / / solving a problem associated with ageing .
One of the Foundations’ main ambitions is to promote the well-being of the elderly. Since the turn of the century, aging has become a trend in almost every developed country and still today there are few structured strategies designed to promote the inclusion of the elderly. This is the challenge we wish to address: tech solutions for problems related to ageing. Why?
First, because according to data from World Population Prospects, by 2050, one in four persons living in Europe and Northern America could be aged 65 or over. Also by 2050, the number of persons aged 80 years or over is projected to triple to 426 from 143 million nowadays. And in 2018, for the first time in history, persons aged 65 or above outnumbered children under five years of age, globally.
Besides this trend, we can’t forget the impact Covid-19 had in our lives and especially older people’s lives, changing their daily routines, the care and support they receive, their ability to stay socially connected and how they are perceived. Due to the pandemic, the elderly are being strongly recommended to spend more time at home, and that means a lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues, temporary interruption of activities, anxiety and fear of illness and death.
This is why we are once again turning to the tech community for solutions. It is crucial that we create opportunities to foster healthy aging during the pandemic. We believe technology can play a crucial role in determining how older people live their lives to the fullest, by sustaining key activities of independent living, cognition, communication and social connectivity, personal mobility, transportation and access to healthcare. To help those interested in enrolling we present below a list of topics where we believe technology can play a role. We hope these might help you define the best topic to address. Keep in mind that your solution must solve issues related to aging, but the problem does not have to be on the list below.
KEY ACTIVITIES OF INDEPENDENT LIVING
- Hardware or smart solutions that can enable safe and regular bathing and showering to maintain healthy skin
- Devices, sensor measurements and advanced systems which can promote and maintain oral health
- Smart solutions or systems which can help prevent, monitor and properly care for wounds
- Services and systems in order to ensure healthy eating in older adults
- Systems and educational programs that might help individuals acquire and prepare food, and ensure their ability to feed themselves
- Sensors to monitor and maintain therapeutic medication levels
- Technology which can help regularly assess reasoning, memory and communication skills, preventing losses of cognition
- Cognitive training programs that can enhance baseline ability
- Training programs which might provide cognitive rehabilitation
- Financial literacy programs or adapted interfaces to enable independent financial management and prevent exploitation
- Algorithms to improve prediction of risks and identification of older adults with reduced financial capability
COMMUNICATION AND SOCIAL CONNECTIVITY
- Hearing aid devices and smart systems to provide effective hearing assistance
- Simulation programs and online tests to expand acceptance and implementation of hearing assistance
- Automated technology enabling the translation of conversations between physicians and patients
- Online social networks to maintain social connections in order to fight loneliness
- Robots or systems which can provide assistance with navigating the home and the neighborhood, preventing institutionalization
- Gaming and virtual reality which enables in-home rehabilitation
- Algorithms and sensor systems for monitoring movement, activity and well-being
- Systems and sensors that can help prevent falls
- Training systems and evaluation tools to assess driving fitness and help drivers maintain their driving fitness
- Pre-trip wayfinding and navigation systems to assist with navigation and scheduling on public transportation
ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE
- Telehealth apps and systems which might improve healthcare access and quality
- Apps to provide self-management support
- Sensors which might help prevent any sort of violence against the elderly
- How can we monitor and support and provide care to the elderly while maintaining them in their community
- How can we build capacity for family and professional caregivers (education, burden alleviation and remote caregiving)