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Let's age with confidence that solutions exist to help us live our best lives. Join others in developing ideas that help prevent falls.


Healthier lifestyles and advancements in medicine have greatly increased our ability to live longer more fulfilling lives – enjoying family, friends and activities we love. As we live longer, it becomes more important to maintain our health and wellbeing, leading to the best quality of life possible.

A factor of our lifestyle as we age is the increased risk of falling, and the serious consequences of a fall. For older adults, a fall could result in serious injury, hospitalization and surgery. The loss of physical mobility, either short-term or permanently, frequently occurs after a fall and often impacts day-to-day activities and the ability to live independently.

One in four older adults fall each year, but less than half seek medical care. In 2002, an estimated 391,000 people globally died of injuries related to falls, and the number of older adults who fall continues to rise. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that 29 million falls were reported among those 65+ and older in the U.S. in 2014, with approximately 7 million of these falls resulting in injuries. As the number of older adults continues to rise, the opportunity to live without fear of falling has the potential to positively impact the lives of millions around the world. The CDC predicts that by 2030 there will be 49 million falls reported in those 65 and older in the U.S. with 12 million resulting in injuries.

A life without fear of falling alleviates the burden on caregivers – those that either professionally or personally care for loved ones as they age. Everyone can contribute to devising innovative ways of helping prevent the more than 7 million falls that happen across the world each year. Let’s work together to reach new solutions that leverage technology, our environment, and messaging to create mobile, healthy, and empowered lives as we age.


OpenIDEO and Challenge sponsors AARP Services, Inc. and UnitedHealthcare are calling a community of all ages to action. Share your stories, reflections, interviews, and findings related to fall prevention during our Research phase. Then – collaboratively during our Ideas phase – create solutions that empower older adults to live their best possible life.

At OpenIDEO, we believe that new and existing ideas become better through transparent feedback and collaboration. We encourage building off of others' ideas and the combining of ideas to reach innovative new places.
If you're concerned about IP associated with your idea, be advised to only share what you are comfortable with other people participating in challenge seeing and possibly using. Anything you share is open to the public for use. If you can tell us about the thinking behind your idea, the stage of your idea, and the impact you've seen so far, we'll have a sense of whether it's in line with our topic and goals.
Anything you share on OpenIDEO is covered by our terms and conditions – please ensure that you read these terms prior to posting any ideas and feel free to contact Joanna [] if you have questions specific to your idea.

With help from the Challenge Sponsors, a shortlist of submitted ideas will move into our Refinement phase. The shortlist represents ideas that are most active and aligned with the Challenge Evaluation Criteria. However, all ideas are encouraged to continue progressing throughout the refinement phase

After an iterative Refinement phase, the Top Ideas from the challenge will be announced – a set of solutions that represent innovation and impact in the topic area.


OpenIDEO will be working with sponsors AARP Services, Inc. and UnitedHealthcare for the Fall Prevention Challenge. All of the stakeholders in this Challenge are eager to see the radical conversations and unexpected collaborations that come from this effort. Opening this topic to a global community with a variety of experiences, cultural backgrounds and areas of expertise holds great potential and rich learning opportunities.

Evaluation Criteria and Prizes

Ideally, this Challenge will yield technology and products that are currently in development, actionable and innovative.  The Challenge is looking for solutions based on the following criteria:

  1.  Health and wellbeing at the center. Allowing older adults to live the life they want for as long as possible is at the heart of this Challenge. The Challenge is looking for solutions that revolve around patients and caregivers. The impact of your idea will be measured by how much it improves or maintains quality of life for caregivers and their loved ones.
  2.  Affordability. The solutions developed should be accessible to everyone. As you build out your idea, consider who will bear the cost. Falls are a risk and fear for all people – new solutions should reflect that.
  3.  Naturally integrate. Fresh ideas for fall prevention should seamlessly fit into our lifestyles. Could current solutions be re-engineered? How might current behaviors or technology create powerful new fall prevention solutions?
  4.  Consider Scale. Starting locally can be really powerful – but how might your idea become a solution for a large number of people? As you form your idea, try to be mindful of the different structures that exist in the fall-prevention space and how your idea might adapt.

As the Challenge moves toward the Refinement and Top Ideas Phases, the focus will narrow on ideas that reflect the four criteria. Additionally, with the announcement of Top Ideas, there will be recognition of ideas that best represent the categories below:

  • Most Viable. For this recognition the Challenge is looking for a solution with the greatest market viability. This may mean the solution is ready to go to market, or perhaps is ready for a pilot – either way, feasibility is top of mind. With this solution, the Challenge is looking to drive commercial excitement in the market. The solution recognized as Most Viable will receive:
- $50K Prize Award
- 4 hours of Mentorship by AARP Services, Inc.  
- Access to the iCare Research Panel for one research study with the caregiving panel
- Pilot Opportunity through CareConnection (subject to ASI determining fit within existing portfolio)
  • Most Promising. This recognition is all about the potential for impact. This idea might not be ready for the market or a pilot, but it has the promise of disrupting the current fall prevention strategies and of greatly impacting older adults quality of life. The idea recognized as Most Promising will receive a $25K Prize Package that includes:
- $15K Prize Award
- $10K toward IDEO Design Services
- 4 hours of Mentorship by AARP Services, Inc.  
- Access to the iCare Research Panel for one research study with the caregiving panel

As always, everyone in the Challenge is encouraged to take ideas forward and implement them within their own communities. OpenIDEO Challenges strive to be a place where good ideas gain momentum – both from the community and from sponsors and partners. Check out our Guiding Principles for tips on how our community collaborates.

our Advisory Panel

We have a group of inspiring leaders in this space who will work directly with the OpenIDEO Team to help guide the direction of the Challenge. Our Advisory Panel includes:

  • ANABEL PELHAM, PH.D  |  Professor Emerita  |  San Francisco State University
  • ANNA YOUNG  |  Co-Founder, CEO  |  MakerHealth | MakerNurse
  • CHRISTY ADAMS MPH, RN  |  UC Davis Health Trauma Prevention Coordinator  |  PhD Student – Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing
  • FARZAD AZIMPOUR, MD  |  Director of Health, Biodesigner & Cardiologist  |  IDEO
  • JACOB SOSNOFF, PHD  |  Director  |  Illini Falls Prevention Clinic
  • JAIME HAAK  |  Partner Experience Director  |  Startup Health
  • JIM MURPHY  |  VP, Innovation  |  UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement
  • JOANN RUIZ  |  RN, BSHSA, MPH Director of Clinical Programs  |  UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement
  • JULIA BELAYA  |  Corporate Partnerships Manager  |  Plug and Play Tech Center
  • MARYAM SALEH  |  VP of Programming  |  Matter
  • MITESH RAO, MD, MHS  |  Director, Center for Advancing Patient Safety  |  Stanford Health Care
  • NADIA MORRIS  |  Head of Innovation  |  AT&T Connected Health Foundry
  • SANDEEP BURUGUPALLI  |  Business Strategist  |  TMC Innovation
  • SANJAY  KHURANA  |  VP, Caregiving  |  AARP Services, Inc.
  • SARAH THOMAS  |  Sr Director of Global Innovation  |  Genesis/Aging2.0
  • STEVE BARSH  |  Chief Innovation Officer  |  Dreamit
  • THERESA HARVATH, PH.D, RN, FAAN  |  Associate Dean for Academics & Clinical Professor  |  UC Davis Health System
  • YURI AGRAWAL, MD, MPH, FACS  |  Associate Professor, Division of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery  |  John Hopkins University School of Medicine


AARP Services Inc., founded in 1999, is a wholly owned taxable subsidiary of AARP. AARP Services manages the provider relationships for and performs quality control oversight of the wide range of products and services that carry the AARP name and are made available by independent providers as benefits to AARP’s millions of members. The provider offers currently span health products, financial products, travel and leisure products, and life event services. Specific products include Medicare supplemental insurance; credit cards, auto and home, mobile home and motorcycle insurance, life insurance and annuities; member discounts on rental cars, cruises, vacation packages and lodging; special offers on technology and gifts; and pharmacy services. AARP Services also engages in new product development activities for AARP and provides certain consulting services to outside companies.

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. Globally, UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

Do you want to get involved in this challenge?

We follow a process with phases. Currently we are in the Impact phase. You can participate by adding stories on the impact of this challenge.
223 contributions
205 ideas
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39 final ideas