Through this partnership, AARP Innovation Labs will support HU with tech and resources, like design thinking training, to improve the health of adults age 50 and up who might have chronic conditions and live in underserved communities. The pair will conduct clinical pilot projects focused on improving diabetes management and medication adherence.
“Now more than ever, our most vulnerable communities need critical support to stay connected and educated through innovative measures,” said AARP Innovation Labs Director Nigel Smith in a statement. “We’re proud to collaborate with Howard University and focus on solutions to help underserved populations better manage their chronic conditions and live healthier lives, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”
The 1867 Health Innovations Project is a new initiative HU just launched in April which aims to collaborate with entrepreneurs, researchers and others to address health challenges in underserved populations in the District. Headquartered in D.C., AARP is a member-based nonprofit that aims to empower people 50 years old and older. AARP Innovation Labs manages a physical space called the The Hatchery in Chinatown, and it also leads product development, engages startups and promotes human-centered design thinking.
Through this partnership, AARP and HU hope to address a wide range of health conditions such as cancer, genetic disorders and hypertension; the tech solutions the pair will develop include wearable devices, mobile apps, sensors and virtual reality devices. HU will assess the solutions for effectiveness and potentially adopt some for use.
“It is important that all communities have access to innovative digital solutions,” said Michael Crawford, Howard University’s associate dean for strategy, outreach, and innovation. “The AARP partnership allows us to test, scale, and accelerate the use of tech solutions for 50+ medically underserved.”
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