Here is the almost-final version of the prize sketch, which will be pitched to XPRIZE benefactors on the weekend of Nov 12-14. If you have any final feedback, please share it with us this week!
The global challenge
Healthcare systems are not prepared for an aging population. Life expectancy at birth has increased by almost 20 years in the last half century. 2 billion people, or 22% of the population, will be over 60 by 2050. Currently 62% of people over 60 live in low- and middle-income countries. This share will rise to 80%.
As we age, we require more care. In the richest countries, one in eight older adults live with three or more chronic conditions. One in four are categorized as “high need”, meaning they have multiple chronic conditions or trouble performing activities of daily living, such as cooking and shopping. The US tops the list with 43% of elderly adults being considered high-need.
There is an urgent need to…
Few people want to live in nursing homes, and nursing homes everywhere are understaffed. But people struggle to age in place, financially and health-wise.
Financially: 80% of older adults in developing countries have no regular income. Only one in four retirees across low- and middle-income countries receive a pension. Among wealthier nations, American seniors stand out for their financial precarity. 23% avoid healthcare because of costs.
Health-wise: A third of Americans over 65 who live at home fall each year. Falls account for 70% of accidental deaths in over-75s and cost the American healthcare system $50B per year. Stroke is the world’s second cause of death, after heart disease, and the fourth leading cause of death in America. 75% of strokes occur in people over the age of 65. Worldwide, the share of people living with dementia is projected to double in two decades. 71% of people with dementia will live in low- and middle-income countries by 2050, when the economic cost is projected to be $2.8T.
We urgently need to make strides in homecare technology or healthcare systems will be overwhelmed.
Imagine a world in which…
Aging in place is affordable and safe.
(i.e. the market and systemic failures blocking a solution)
Tools exist that monitor vital signs, remind users to take their medication, and respond to emergencies, but there is no single, adaptive homecare technology that combines these functions, let alone one that also supports users in their activities of daily living.
Demand for robots in the home is low. Wealthier potential users can afford (relatively low-paid) human caregivers while those who can’t afford a human nurse or health aid can’t afford a robot either. Manufacturers are focused on designing robots for clinics and hospitals.
The winning team will…
Build a technology that:
- Supports users in their activities of daily living;
- Actively helps manage chronic health conditions;
- Detects fall, stroke, and the onset of disease;
- Responds to emergencies in the shortest time;
and can be sold for less than $10,000.
- 6 months for proposal.
- 2½ years for prototyping.
- 1-month demonstration in simulated home environments.
Testing and judging
Cost to user: Sale price must be $10,000.
Ease of use: The solution must be intuitive.
Efficacy: The demonstration allows for a complete evaluation of the solution’s efficacy in a real-world context.
Flexible: Must be adaptable to different age groups, people with different chronic conditions, and multiple (home) environments.
Functionality: Works out-of-the-box.
Health impact: Measured according to:
- Supporting activities of daily living (ambulating, dressing, hygiene, feeding) and medication management.
- Detection of fall, stroke, and other diseases.
- Quality of life self-assessment (SF12 or SF36).
Response time: Will be measured relative to other entries.
Extra points for solutions that benefit populations underserved by healthcare systems.