There’s nothing I like better than a good play on words, and I kick myself for not having come up with the senior- and tech-sounding ‘linkAges‘ (though I’d have probably capitalized the first L). This is a new initiative by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF): aiming to be a highly functional, coordinated and scalable ecosystem to sustain successful aging. It proposes building a ‘dynamic integrated’ system with four components: signal detection (using a data-driven approach to provide early warning of possible issues for seniors living at home), microcommunities (make it easier for seniors to be part of online and offline communities), resource matching (helping seniors find goods and services) and a senior profile (rich identity information to help deliver personalized experiences.
Here’s a slide they used to describe the concept:
In order to kick things off, they have created a new developer challenge, in combination with Health2.0, to co-opt the Valley tech community to start applying their creative brilliance to fixing some of the problems faced by seniors. Bravo! They’re starting with the idea of ‘signal detection’ which should appeal to geeks and QS‘ers alike, and are looking for ideas to create useful insights out of the data exhaust of everyday living that all of us, including seniors, generate. Think abnormal patterns of mail collection or using the cooker at 3am – it’s up to the service designers to make intelligence out of what could be random noise. Full details are still to be finalized, but the program kicks off next weekend (14-15th April) in the Mountain View Computer Museum, with talks by Todd Park and others, with the aim to pick winners by the end of the weekend who’ll go to a 3-month program, which will be whittled down to one overall winner who will get funding and more importantly a guaranteed customer and partner in the PAMF. It’s possible to join the competition if you’re not at the weekend, but the Exec Director, Martin Entwistle, strongly encouraged people to do so if they could (they seem to be full, so not sure if they’ll make more slots available).
I’m very glad to hear that there are already over 100 developers signed up to the weekend (where did they all come from I ask?) and will be excited to follow the progress. I embedded the slides from yesterday’s conference call below.