2014 LeadingAge HackFest Challenges Participants to Engage with Age - Northern Michigan's News Leader

2014 LeadingAge HackFest Challenges Participants to Engage with Age

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SOURCE LeadingAge HackFest

NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 2014 LeadingAge HackFest brings students and professionals with different backgrounds from around the world together in Nashville, TN, on Oct. 18 to "Engage with Age" by creating technology-driven tools aimed at improving the lives of older adults and their families.

Current research shows that technology has the potential to play a critical role in:

  • Allowing older adults to live independently for as long as possible.
  • Supporting family caregivers in the important work they do.
  • Giving health care providers the ability to deliver high-quality care at a reasonable cost.

Unlike other hacking events, the LeadingAge HackFest offers participants the opportunity to collaborate with the actual stakeholders. Each team develops their tool with the guidance of an older adult from a Council of Elders (expert) as well as either a caregiver or an aging-services professional (coach).

"The LeadingAge HackFest is user-centered design at its best, because we have the older adults and the care providers interacting in real-time with the technology developers as they design and create these new tools," says Dr. Majd Alwan, executive director of the LeadingAge Center for Aging-Services Technologies (CAST), which is co-coordinating the event.

Judges evaluate entries on originality, on usability, on feasibility, on design relevance, and on being 'most developed' by the end of the session. Tools may include:

  • Apps.
  • Websites.
  • Interactive online experiences.
  • Devices.

Social-connectivity technologies played a major role at the 2013 LeadingAge HackFest. The "Engage Platform," an online portal that allows retirement communities to share their activities with homebound elderly, took home top honors.

The Asbury Group donated both the 2013 and 2014 prizes, which include $5,000 for first place, $2,000 each for two runners-up, and a People's Choice award of $1,000.

"The prize money is certainly a draw, but we also see a lot of people participate because they genuinely want to create something that makes the world a better place for aging," said HackFest Judge Neil Borg, managing director of corporate finance at Ziegler Investments. "I'm expecting to be blown away by reimagined technologies and by new concepts of applications that seniors can use to better their lives in a meaningful way."

The 2014 LeadingAge HackFest takes place Oct. 18-20 at the Nashville Renaissance Hotel. For more information, please visit LeadingAgeHackFest.org, watch a HackFest YouTube video, or follow @LeadingAgeHack on Twitter.

About LeadingAge HackFest

The LeadingAge HackFest is an annual event designed to bring together participants with a variety of backgrounds to create technology-driven tools aimed at improving the lives of older adults and their caregivers. The idea was conceived by Lili Dwight, CIO of ConnectedLiving, and by Chip Burns, president of The Asbury Group, Integrated Technologies. This year's event is coordinated by LeadingAge CAST, by Lipscomb University, by The Asbury Group, by ConnectedLiving, by It's Never 2 Late, and by Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services. Cash prizes are donated by The Asbury Group. For more information, please visit LeadingAgeHackFest.org or follow @LeadingAgeHack on Twitter.

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