by Bonnie Gardiner

TeleXHealth wins Australia’s Hack Aging Hackathon

Jul 13, 2015
Big DataHealthcare IndustryInnovation

A solution that let’s people manage their health from the surrounds of their own home without the need for trips to the doctor has won the Hack Aging Hackathon.

TeleXHealth allows elderly people to confidentially share key information about their health – such as weight, blood sugar, blood pressure – via an automated telephone service. The data is digitally recorded, analysed and tracked on a dashboard, and can be accessed via a mobile application by the patient, their doctor, family or carer.

TeleXHealth will now work with clinicians and community care providers in the Northern Health hospital network to refine and complete a prototype of their solution for trialling with patient groups.

In September, TeleXHealth will also present their solution to one hundred digital health thought leaders and experts at the next HealthXL Global gathering in Munich.

More than 18 innovative solutions were developed as part of a 48-hour hackathon, hosted by IBM and HealthXL, and winners were selected by an independent panel of seven international health and digital experts.

The aim of the event, held in Melbourne, was to improve the quality of life for the elderly. Muti-disciplinary teams worked together to find solutions to aged care challenges including dementia, social isolation and malnutrition.

Other category winners include: Olive, a solution that ensures the safety of elderly people driving, enabling them to remain mobile and independent for longer; and Heston, an online application that can be used by dieticians to create personalised meal plans to help tackle malnutrition in elderly people.

The initiative brought together user experience designers, clinicians, software developers, hardware engineers and business minds who worked directly with aged health experts from HealthXL, Victoria’s Northern Health and Alzheimer’s Australia, along with health researchers and technical experts from IBM.

Andreas Limberopoulos, TeleXHealth team leader, said in a statement that it was “an amazing weekend”.

“Talking with the elderly people and age care health experts during the event provided us with great insight, a real-life understanding of their lives and the challenges faced.

“We were able to design a solution that we know can be easily used by elderly people, yet provides their carer with the information they need to better manage their health remotely,” he said.

Australia’s population aged 75 or more is expected to rise by 4 million from 2012 to 2060, increasing from about 6.4 to 14.4 per cent, according to a 2013 report by the Productivity Commission.

Alzheimer’s Australia predicts the number of Australians living with dementia will exceed 400,000 in the next 10 years, while more than 1.4 million people aged 65 and over experience loneliness in their lives, according to recent study by Whiddon and Galaxy Research.

“It was fantastic to experience the energy, fast-paced creativity and innovative thinking of the teams from so many different backgrounds,” said Annette Hicks, IBM ANZ health leader and hackathon judge.

“The TeleXHealth solution will enable doctors, carers and families to monitor and analyse the health of elderly people in their home. Reducing the need to visit their doctor or hospital for routine checks and managing patient care in an environment that they feel safe and relaxed in.

“Many of the innovations created over the weekend demonstrated how the digitisation of health is essential to delivering smart healthcare, improved patient care and better outcomes.”