KINGSTON, R.I., September 28, 2017 — Ever wonder how much you could accomplish during a single weekend if you put your mind to it? The answer is “quite a lot,” at least if you participate in HealthHacksRI 2017: The Internet of Things for Aging at the University of Rhode Island, in partnership with Aging 2.0 and Social Enterprise Greenhouse.
On the weekend of Oct. 13 to 15, teams of students, scientists, educators, entrepreneurs and members of the public from around the region will have 48 hours to identify a problem related to aging and then brainstorm, design, build and pitch a practical, human-centered solution.
“The objective is to bring creativity and inspiration to designing devices or approaches that could improve the lives of older adults and ease the challenges of aging,” said Deedee Chatham, director of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Undergraduate Research at URI.
Registration is free for this design- and maker-fest, and participants can register as a team or individuals can join with others upon arrival. No experience is necessary and participants are welcome from all majors and all other universities. URI will provide subject-matter experts, supportive mentors, equipment, space, older adults for teams to validate ideas, an appreciative audience and plenty of food. Last year, more than 30 students from three universities as well as 13 mentors and countless URI staff, faculty and community members participated in HealthHacksRI.
“Come prepared to collaborate during a fast-paced and rewarding weekend,” Chatham said. “The only pre-requisite is a desire to put your creativity to work and help make life better for older adults.”
Dylan Kennedy, a URI student majoring in biomedical engineering and Chinese participated last year and said, “It’s absolutely worth it! HealthHacks allowed me to apply what I had been learning in the classroom to real world problems.”
The event begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13 and ends Sunday, Oct. 15 at 6 p.m.
Teams will form Friday night and begin brainstorming. Saturday will be devoted to designing and building. Sunday starts with pitch coaching and from 2-5 p.m. a showcase, keynote and team competition. All members of the public are invited on Sunday from during that timeframe to view the inventions and pitch competition. Judges will award prizes with the top team taking home $1,000. Sunday’s keynote speaker, Catherine Taylor, will discuss “Striking Silver: Innovating for the Older Adult.” Taylor, formerly Director of the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs, currently serves as an advisor to URI’s George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience and to the Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center.
External sponsors are: Epivax Inc., IEEE, National Science Foundation, Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center, Doctor’s Choice, Ximedica.
URI sponsors are: College of Business Administration, College of Engineering, the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience, URI Business Engagement Center, the Wearable Biosensing Lab, URI SPARC Entrepreneurship, College of Health Sciences,