Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Have a problem you wish someone would solve?

Challenge America is seeking feedback from the long term care community on key challenges they are facing as a result of COVID-19. They will take those challenges and develop innovative products that provide solutions.   
Challenges must be submitted by July 3rd and can be submitted in one of two ways:
  • Online: Challenges can be submitted to Challenge America’s crowd-sourcing platform.  
  • By phone: To schedule a call with Dallas Blaney, Executive Director, please use his calendly account:  
In normal times, Challenge America, a nonprofit organization, endeavors to leverage technology and the creative arts to develop innovative products that improve the lives of Veterans and their families. They have a formal partnership agreement with the Veterans Health Administration. 

Due to COVID-19, they have decided to refocus the program on the needs of essential workers. They have completed two programs to date, one for first responders and one for housekeepers. These programs resulted in several innovative products, such as:
  • a unique mask and filter system for first responders that protects EMS workers from exposure when administering nebulizer treatments; 
  • a system that quickly and efficiently detects COVID-19 on surfaces 
  • a system that quickly and safely uses UV light to decontaminate the surfaces of purses, luggage, or other materials (think of a process similar to an x-ray machine at an airport). 
After the programs, a team of program administrators works with partners at the NIH, FDA, and America Makes to chart a pathway to rapidly scale the most promising solutions. All maker teams agree to share their solutions under an open source agreement to accelerate the pace of product development and manufacturing. 

Their next program focuses on the challenges confronting essential workers in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They are seeking challenges from facility administrators and staff at all levels to serve as the focus for one or more of their maker teams. The program gets underway on July 10, which means they need to solicit the challenges no later than July 3.

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