Earlier this year, startups from across the country were invited to submit their solutions for helping low-income adults 50 and older continue to live safely, independently and comfortably in their homes as they age.
Three finalists' teams were chosen to present their ideas at an October 12 in-person judging event. They responded to questions from a panel of judges who announced the winner later in the afternoon. The team judged to have the most innovative solution was declared the winner and was awarded a prize of $50,000 to further their project to benefit low-income older adults.
$50K Challenge Winner and Finalists
1. WINNER: CareAngel
CareAngel is the world’s first AI-powered Caregiving Assistant offering free, daily check-in “Care Calls” that monitor older people’s health and daily living needs and offer guidance. The older person simply answers any type of phone and responds to a few questions from a friendly voiced Care Angel. When indicated, Care Angel sends alerts to family members or caregivers and generates reports on all the data it collects for ongoing assessments that can be shared with health care providers.
Wolf Shlagman, CEO & Founder
Wolf Shlagman, is a serial entrepreneur and creative technologist, former CEO and founder of Consult A Doctor, a next-generation tele-health company that was sold to Kleiner Perkins-backed Teledoc in 2013, the first and leading provider of tele-health in the US. Wolf has 20 years of experience in pioneering disruptive technology-based enterprise platforms and consumer solutions.
Dr. Linda Rhodes, Chief Caregiving Angel
Former Secretary of Aging for Pennsylvania, Dr. Rhodes initiated Pennsylvania’s Family Caregiver Support Program as one of the first and largest such programs in the country. She is the award-winning author of The Essential Guide to Caring for Aging Parents (Penguin Group USA 2012) and Director of the Hirtzel Institute on Health Education and Aging.
2. Care Academy
CareAcademy is a for-profit organization that provides affordable and engaging ways for caregivers to provide excellent support in the home. The organization provides high-quality, evidence-based online classes (for example, Preventing Falls among Older Adults) to help both formal and informal caregivers learn as professionals. CareAcademy also supports family members so older adults can live independently.
Madhuri Reddy, MD, MsC
Dr. Reddy is a specialist in Internal Medicine & Geriatric Medicine, and holds appointments at Harvard Medical School & Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, MA. For years she has seen first-hand the struggles that families and caregivers go through while caring for older adults, and through CareAcademy intends to improve their lives as much as possible. Dr. Reddy has published research papers in prestigious medical journals, book chapters, and a book for families/caregivers.
Helen Adeosun, EdM
Helen is passionate about caregiving and the impact that the right caregiver can have on families. As an educator and workplace trainer, she has had a career in driving outcomes for adult learners and finding meaningful ways for them to engage in learning. She has worked with Teach for America, Boston Public Schools, and Pearson Education as well as a number of companies focused on caregiving issues.
3. Home for Life Design
Home for Life Design® provides the leading home assessment software solution to health care providers and consumers that enables the rapidly growing population of senior citizens to remain in their homes longer and more safely. Home for Life’s occupational therapy-based home assessment, which is used by both health care clinicians and consumers, evaluates the home and recommends products and services to make the home safer and more accessible regardless of physical limitations or environmental barriers. The organization’s proprietary solution allows it to capture multiple segments of the exploding Aging in Place market from provider to consumer and be the single resource for all things Aging in Place.
Carolyn Sithong, Founder and Chief Health Officer
Carolyn has fifteen years’ experience as a clinical, educational and community-based occupational therapist with award-winning practices. A renowned thought leader in the Aging in Place field, Carolyn has been widely published and is a member of the White House Council on Aging. She is specially certified in the area of environmental modifications (SCEM) by the American Occupational Therapy Association and is nationally certified as an Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) by the National Association of Homebuilders. Carolyn was awarded 2010’s “CAPS Designee of the Year” for her role in advocacy and leadership.
Joe Hamilla, CEO
Joe has 20+ years’ experience in mobile technology and software with 15 years in the creation of venture-funded startup companies. Prior to Home for Life Design, Joe was VP of Engineering and Operations at Mesh Networks, where he was responsible for directing technology development and product delivery into several worldwide vertical markets. In 2007, he co-founded Spectrum Bridge, where he was the COO responsible for running the operations of a next-generation wireless networking company. In 2011, he founded Contineo Wireless, a mobile software company that sells mobile applications and cloud-based backend systems to government and enterprise markets.