In a competition intended to spur healthcare innovation that addresses the needs of a population 50 years and older, two companies were picked among the 10 finalists that focused on behavioral health and locating caregivers. The winners were highlighted in a podcast from Senior Care Corner.
The AARP Health Innovation@50+ LivePitch, held in New Orleans on Sept. 21, included five-minute pitches from the finalists. In addition to one company chosen from judges representing Cardinal Partners, UnitedHealth Group Alliances and Physic Ventures, a group of AARP members also got a vote to select a consumer choice winner.
AbilTo won the judge’s award. The company provides behavioral health programs through Web-based videoconferences or by phone to help individuals manage depression and improve health outcomes as a way to reduce avoidable medical expenses. The intention is to reduce depression, which can lead to better adherence and result in better health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs. It rolled out a program for diabetics with Aetna (NYSE:AET) last month. It also has a program for people recovering from cardiac events like a heart attack.
The consumer choice prize winner CareLinx was selected by AARP members attending the conference. The website helps users vet caregiver profiles by helping them do background checks on potential hires and view video interviews.
The AARP has sought to encourage more discussion between entrepreneurs and the investment community to increase innovation for the 50-plus population who fit into a broad group not easily pigeonholed by their needs. This has been one of the biggest challenges from the perspective of AARP. They see entrepreneurs developing healthcare tools that are for a segment of the population that are on the advanced side of retirement with mobility and memory issues, and want to see technology that addresses a wider variety of concerns. In order to help entrepreneurs better address their needs, the AARP has been working with Health 2.0 and healthcare startup accelerators like Rock Health and Healthbox.
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