Solutions to the major "gap" between academia and innovation impacting the aging ecosystem
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Historically academia has been able to utilize only limited connections, few products and services in aging to perform research, minimal pilot programs, dwindling topics to observe and write whitepapers about and very little opportunity to create innovations themselves. Typically these activities take place in controlled settings or settings that may not be "real world" with challenges that the aging ecosystem is dealing with today. The industry is in crisis and now, more than ever, is the time to help form the "village" that will assist supporting our older adults and their caregivers today and in the future.
Companies that provide innovative products and services in the Agetech world have limited resources to hire such professionals, gerontologists, researchers or subject matter experts to use and test their innovations as well as data to benchmark, set goals or measure success. If no testing is completed on these items, there is a serious risk of not securing additional funding, low adoption driving up costs to consumers, less likely to be respected and recognized by health insurance entities and ultimately, possible business closure. Most funding sources for start ups in general require data in the company's pitches that show adoption, interest, outcomes and need. Chicken or the egg right?!?!
Both academia and innovators are struggling in the employment front. Innovators cannot find employees to hire with certain expertise, employees able to do short term internships or in the pay range for a start up to be able to provide. Academia is struggling with finding students entering the field of aging to support it's programs, locating areas of potential research to fulfill funding received, educating about the multitude of career paths associated with the aging ecosystem and connecting with professionals in the "real world" to provide context to the concepts and ideas being taught.
This gap between academia and innovators can create barriers that:
1) reduce the speed of products and services actually getting in the hands of older adults and caregivers
2) increase the cost of innovations due to the limited adoption rates, the more adoption, the more affordable cost structures will emerge
3) less or no recognition from the legislative or insurance industries which is the backbone for healthcare delivery in America
and the worst of the barriers;
4) not seizing the opportunity to reduce chronic conditions, improve transitional care, reduce costs of care, and/or continue to see staffing shortages keeping our long term care system in crisis.
The GAIL was specifically designed to fill this gap and meet this need on a global scale. Amy Chidester, founder and director, is able to take member's profiles and utilize her vision along with her past expertise to introduce topics, people, strategies and other valuable resources to all members of the lab. A showcase online provides a place to share to the world what the lab is doing so that a foundation is built for Agetech innovators to build upon and continue to create. The lab is intentionally virtual to grow globally as aging is not localized to the USA. It is something that every human on the planet will be facing so, as many perspectives, ideas and innovations as possible are welcomed to the lab.
The larger the membership, the greater the impact. Take the step to contribute...