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Along for the Journey

Along for the Journey is a series of low-tech, pre-recorded daily audio content, inspired by Headspace, that’s educational & entertaining.

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What challenges or opportunities are you trying to address within the problem? (200 characters or less)

Research highlights the challenge of awareness & how after care may fall by the wayside. Along for the journey keeps exercise, environment, supplements & medicines top-of-mind through engaging content

One of the most important lessons from the research was the challenge around awareness and changing habits and behaviors – ideally before but realistically, after the 1st fracture, to adopt habits and behaviors that will help prevent additional fractures that might otherwise occur.

Along for the Journey would fall at point of Alice when she is “reestablishing routines,” and would be an inexpensive, scalable, and low-tech way to support Alice - either in tandem with, or instead of, her case manager and/or volunteer.

It would echo and build on her discussions with her PCP so she can create new habits that stick surrounding her meds, diet and exercise.

Although about 40% of older adults have a smart phone,  many do not. The idea is that tailored audio content is delivered through a discoverable, barrier-free low tech device such as a pre-recorded card that arrives in the mail, or small ‘bot’ or other easily playable device. 

The device can be set to play at certain times on a daily basis, with content and cadence that build healthy habits.

(The content could be delivered through the podcast app as well, if Alice is comfortable with the technology and/or has a support structure in place to help her adopt.)

Among women age 75+, almost half (47 percent) lived alone in 2010. 

Like Alice, they may feel alone on the journey or concerned someone else isn't there to monitor her progress at this point.

What if her family heard the same or complementary daily audio messaging, so they heard what Alice heard, could check in with her and discuss how she’s doing with the advice, recommendations, challenges, tips and recipes, every day?

Experimentation would need to take place to understand the right length, voice, content and approach – some ideas though –

  • “Let’s talk about a few easy ways to strengthen your muscles. Today the weather’s fine – how about walking just 15 minutes with a friend or a walker?"
  • “There’s an organization that can do a check in your home and make sure obstacles or fall risks are removed. Here’s their number.”
  • “You’ve got two medications and two supplements to take today, Alice.”
  • “Congratulations Alice – it’s been 90 days since your fracture, and you’re implementing some great new habits that allow you to continue to live independently.”

What if the content was so interesting and helpful that it continued.... always?

Who is your target end user and why will they be interested? (650 characters or less)

The beneficiaries for Along for the Journey are Alice and of course, she must be excited and willing to try the program - to adopt the behaviors and choices it advocates. Her family, community volunteers, case workers and even physicians would also need to feel excited and encouraged by the benefits of Along for the Journey. They know this will be one of the keys for her health and for staying independent, longer. While there’s much to learn, I believe the program would ultimately be low cost and imagine that the program content and device may be paid for or subsidized by insurance companies, community groups or family members.

How is your idea scaleable? (650 characters or less)

Along for the Journey would clearly need to be prototyped to measure both adoption/adherence over time – and positive health impacts to understand efficacy and ROI. There would be work involved to test and iterate messaging/content features, device types. Once these areas are iterated and refined, I don’t see too many challenges with scaling the content since the recordings can be used unlimited. There would be investment in maintaining content, adding new content, and replacing devices over time.

What do/will you measure to know if your solution worked? (500 characters or less)

- Ask Alice to rate content or provide feedback that she’s listened to it, with just a push of a button or two on the device (this can be email based as well) - Demand for new content through phone call or on-line survey - Reduction in additional fractures (ultimately!) as compared to a control group

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.

If you were to become a Top Idea, would you want to actively participate in piloting your idea?

  • I want my idea piloted, and I prefer to do my own piloting in collaboration with the health system and with assistance from the Challenge partner

Company / Organization Name, if applicable (140 characters or less)


Website (if applicable)


Tell us about yourself or your team (500 characters or less)

I am a curious design strategist and innovation advisor who’s inspired by this challenge; its scale and size - and those impacted by Osteoporosis.

Location (50 characters)

Richmond, VA, USA

What is your legal / organizational structure?

  • We are individuals

Innovator/Organizational Characteristics

  • Female-led organization

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

Why are you participating in this Challenge?

I’m motivated by the sheer magnitude of this challenge, its complexity, the challenges of future impacts to the world’s aging population - and many other nuances underscored in the research & insights.


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