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Feb 21, 2017
University of North Carolina Center for Health Innovation and AARP Collaborate on Digital Health Solutions for the 50+ Population

CHAPEL HILL, NC The University of North Carolina (UNC) Center for Health Innovation and AARP are collaborating to launch a second Digital Health Innovation SprintTM in the Triangle, NC to develop digital solutions to the problem of medication adherence in patients age 50 and over. The “Sprint” is a novel experience-based series of high-energy events designed to guide entrepreneurial-focused teams quickly through the process of maturing an idea and creating a prototype. Leveraging design thinking methodologies, the Sprint provides structure and support for teams to better define a healthcare problem and generate, develop and refine digital solutions over a two-month period.

The UNC AARP Digital Health Innovation Sprint will launch March 2, 2017 with Discovery Day and conclude May 11, 2017 with Demo Day, when teams pitch their ideas and prototypes for a chance to win prize money as well as direct access to incubator programs and other resources designed to support early start-ups. The UNC AARP Sprint aims to find digital health solutions to the challenge of:  How can wearables be used to seamlessly galvanize the 50+ population to take the right medications as prescribed?

“We know that half of patients do not take their medications as prescribed by their physician and that poor medication adherence costs the US at least $100 billion per year,” says Carol Lewis, Associate Director of the UNC Center for Health Innovation. “Significant value can be created with patient-centered solutions designed to improve medication adherence and patients’ health.”

More information and registration can be found here.

The UNC Center for Health Innovation developed and hosted the inaugural Digital Health Innovation Sprint last year, attracting over 85 participants including local entrepreneurs, software developers and engineers, clinicians, and business leaders. The three winning teams from that Sprint took home cash prizes and are now further developing their prototypes and business plans to prepare for a potential evaluation pilot at UNC Health Care.

Joseph Dobgima Njinimbam, team lead for Asthma One, said after winning first place, “Thank you all very much for this opportunity. We were left not only elated, but more passionate to make a strong mark in health care. We are eager, driven, and motivated to work with you all to improve the lives of asthma patients, one app at a time.”

Focused on empowering people to choose how they live as they age  AARP has a strong history of leading innovation for people age 50 and over.  AARP develops programs that spark innovation and entrepreneurial activity across public and private sectors including the AARP Innovation Fund, Hatchery@AARP, and the AARP Tech Nest. Caregiving also is a priority for AARP due to the significant impact it has on those 50-plus and their families. A recent AARP study found that by 2020 there will be a substantial shortage in the number of caregivers needed. It will take the efforts not just of AARP but everyone to solve the caregiving needs of society.

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About UNC Center for Health Innovation
Established by UNC Health Care (UNC HC) and the UNC School of Medicine (UNC SOM), the Center for Health Innovation initiates, evaluates and supports the adoption of disruptive, patient-centered innovations in the delivery and financing of health care. The center strives to provide rapid assessment, coordinated facilitation, program management, partnership development and funding for innovation. To learn more, click here.

About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media. 

For further information: Tara Dunion, 202-434-2560,, @AARPMedia