Now Viewing: Aging

Big News in Big Data: NIH Launches Largest and Most Diverse Genetics Database Ever Created

Feb 26, 2014, 7:21 PM, Posted by Nancy Barrand


Eighteen years ago this month, Big Data had a cultural coming out party when IBM's Deep Blue defeated international chess champion Gary Kasparov in a game. Gary Kasparov was a chess genius. But Deep Blue could mine the records of 700,000 grandmaster chess games and evaluate 200 million positions per second. The famously nimble Kasparov ultimately could not match the brute computing force of Deep Blue. 

This week we mark another historic milestone in Big Data history. This time, there is more at stake than bragging rights from a chess competition. 

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Utility Data May Create Innovative Safety Net for Seniors

Jan 30, 2014, 4:30 PM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team


In the wake of Google’s acquisition of Nest, the much buzzed about maker of sensor driven thermostats, we’ve made our own investment in a Silicon Valley organization that seeks to make smart use of household utility data. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation Innovation Center is developing a home-based solution for proactively detecting changes in a senior’s social and physical health status. LinkAges Connect will use in-home data signals, such as utility use patterns, to monitor older adults’ health and support independent living at home.  Significant changes in use patterns will automatically trigger an alert to caregivers, thus providing a community safety net for seniors and peace of mind for their loved ones. As we look for sustainable solutions in elderly care, this nonintrusive home-based system could improve health outcomes for seniors by reducing accidents and hospitalizations.

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Introducing the Pitch Day Finalists: Rapid Evaluation of Apps

Oct 3, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Bianca Frogner Bianca Frogner, health economist and assistant professor at George Washington University

Bianca Frogner, PhD, has a vision for a rigorous evaluation system that allows patients and providers to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to the over 40,000 medical and health apps on the market. She was one of eight finalists we invited to pitch ideas live and in person at the first-ever Pioneer Pitch Day. Read Dr. Frogner's 1,000-character proposal below and join the discussion on Twitter at #pioneerpitch.

Dr. Frogner is a health economist and an assistant professor at George Washington University's School of Public Health and Health Services. You can connect with her on Twitter at @biancafrogner.

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How Can Social Networks Help Improve the Health of Older Americans?

Sep 19, 2013, 1:00 PM, Posted by Wendy Yallowitz

Wendy Yallowitz Wendy Yallowitz, program officer

Many retired adults are extremely active, playing golf, volunteering for local civic groups, participating in book clubs and participating in other social activities. But as the years go by, your life changes and your social interactions change too. You grow frailer, which can create barriers to your participation in family and community events. You rely more on the help of caregivers including neighbors and family, for routine activities. To live independently, you pay someone to help you bathe, drive you to appointments, clean your house, and prepare your meals.

But could these social interactions be opportunities to facilitate healthy aging?

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