PAMF Innovation Center linkAges Program Receives $714,000 Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

    • January 30, 2014

Mountain View, Calif.—The linkAges program of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) Innovation Center has received a grant of $714,000 over three years from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help fund development of systems that support seniors aging in the community. The grant will support development and evaluation of linkAges Connect, part of the broader linkAges platform that fosters multi-generational community support for seniors living independently in their homes.

To complement traditional health care's role in delivering high quality medical care, PAMF's innovation center is focusing on non-medical aspects of health. According to research conducted by Carla Perissinotto, MD, at University of California-San Francisco, seniors who are lonely have a 45-percent increased mortality over six years. "Quality of life and social wellbeing are key determinants of health,” said PAMF’s Paul Tang, MD, vice president and chief innovation and technology officer. "We are developing a home-based solution to proactively detect changes in a senior’s social and physical health status." linkAges Connect will use in-home data signals, such as patterns of use for electricity and other utilities, to support seniors' 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 older adults face the challenge of aging independently in their homes, it is becoming critically important to develop affordable, scalable, and nonintrusive solutions to sustain their psychological, physical, and social health,” said Wendy Yallowitz, program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “RWJF has provided the Innovation Center with a grant to develop and evaluate linkAges Connect, with the goal of learning more about how real time/real world data can help seniors age independently and potentially help other populations maintain independence and improve their health.”

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation established the David Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation to pursue disruptive innovations that improve the health and wellbeing of communities. linkAges is the Center’s first incubation project to apply community-based interventions to address society’s grand challenges in health.

About the palo alto medical foundation

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) for Health Care, Research and Education is a not-for-profit health care organization that is a pioneer in the multispecialty group practice of medicine. Founded in 1930, PAMF is part of the Peninsula Coastal Region of Sutter Health, one of the nation's leading not-for-profit networks of community-based health care providers. Sutter Health's Peninsula Coastal Region also includes Mills-Peninsula Health Services. PAMF's 1,200 affiliated physicians and 5,400 employees serve more than 800,000 patients at its medical centers and clinics in Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.

About the David Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation

The David Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation was launched in 2010 and acts to invent, catalyze and deploy breakthrough innovations as a partner in advancing the health and wellbeing of communities. The Center applies human-centered design and leverages technology to create scalable solutions that address the pressing health challenges of our time.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national culture of health that will enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937