Last December, I was invited to attend the mHealth Summit in Washington, D.C. as an exhibitor (the lower case m stands for mobile). The summit “brings together leaders in government, the private sector, industry, academia, providers and not-for-profit organizations from the mHealth ecosystem to advance collaboration in the use of wireless technology to improve health outcomes in the United States and abroad.” Personally, I found the summit an educational eye-opener to the extraordinary technological possibilities that can affect the future of healthcare. On the plane back to Dallas, however, I realized that all the interesting academic researchers, brilliant entrepreneurs, and capable healthcare providers that I encountered were based either on the East Coast or Silicon Valley. I did not meet one fellow Texan. Where was Texas represented within the healthcare technology industry?
Since I am interested primarily on how the aging Baby Boomer population can benefit from technology, I decided to contact some like-minded colleagues to see if we could arrange a mini-summit to be held in Dallas. Laurie Miller of Apple Care and Companion, Michael Walsh of Cariloop, and Chris Bradshaw from BoomBox Network all signed on as co-founders. The resulting organization, Innovation in Aging, Caregiving and Technology Summit (iACT) hopes to be a launch pad of new ideas about aging and caregiving while showcasing Texas and the latest advances brewing in our academic, corporate, and entrepreneurial environments.
Our plan is to gain traction in Dallas as we work our way to launching a statewide summit. We have begun by hosting small speaker-driven events to be held every 6-7 weeks and managed locally through MeetUp.com. At our first event, d2 Architecture principal David Dillard spoke about a research and learn idea where staff architects check into a senior living facility and are assigned a simulated physical limitation or disability that they must live with for the next 24 hours. This idea became known as ‘The Sleepover Project’. His project garnered national attention along with journals full of useful information that will promote innovation and shape the future of senior living.
Our next event, entitled “Understanding and Engaging the Aging Brain”, will be a panel presentation on cutting-edge research being conducted by three scientists from University of Texas Dallas- Center for Vital Longevity. This event will be held Tuesday, November 5th and is graciously hosted by Belmont Village Senior Living Turtle Creek. You can find more information about our organization and RSVP to the event by going to http://www.meetup.com/iACTSummit/events/145098222/ We hope to highlight other interesting and innovative work, ideas and projects from the Dallas community in the areas of aging and caregiving. So stay tuned.
If you are interested in learning more about local entrepreneurial healthcare and technology, please visit Health 2.0 Dallas, HealthWildcatters, and TechWildcatters. Also, students may want to check out the LeadingAge Hackfest competition “Engage with Age” taking place at the Dallas Convention Center 10/25-10/27.
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Dallas TX, 75248
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