Supporting Innovation at DementiaHack

Through this blog, the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (“CC-ABHI”) often discusses the pressures of the present and future that are being faced by our aging population.  Included in such is an acknowledgement that caregivers, long-term care facilities, healthcare practitioners, government, and family members are feeling the pressure of having to care for more older adults than ever before in our history.  Loss of independence, reduced capacity and willingness to remain socially active, declining brain health and cognition, and an increase in the cases of dementia are all realities that must be faced.  As such, we must look for and develop solutions to meet the aging challenges that continue to come our way. 

With that in mind, CC-ABHI regularly supports and is involved in events that facilitate the development of healthcare innovations targeted at changing the way we age, both here in Canada and around the world.  One such event, DementiaHack, took place over the weekend of 4-5 March 2017 at the MaRS building in downtown Toronto.

Presented by Facebook, championed by the Canadian and UK governments, produced by HackerNest, and sponsored in part by CC-ABHI, DementiaHack sought to inspire the creation of life-improving hardware and software solutions for those living with dementia as well as their caregivers.  The event brought innovators together for 36 hours to conceptualize products that might have the potential to “make the world a little lighter for those affected by dementia.”  Solutions developed included apps that provide vocabulary support, reminder systems, independent banking solutions, and others that reflect a community of innovators committed to changing the way older adults will age in the future. 

However, there can only be one winner, and this year’s grand prize winner was MemoApp, a personal assistance device that passively collects and analyzes patient data through natural voice.  Developed by Team Momentum, this innovation will allow researchers to track a dementia patient’s progression and receive personalized care instructions to help a problematic episode, or even avoid a visit to the emergency room.  Congratulations to Team Momentum!

As grand prize winners, MemoApp will receive a prize package that will help move their concept forward.  Some highlights include: a trip to Boston to participate in an event organized by Harvard’s Division of Clinical Informatics that includes mentorship from senior-level faculty members from Harvard and MIT as well as reputable investment and venture capital organizations that are active in the health care or dementia space, 50 hours of legal services from Goodmans LLP, automatic admission to the MaRS Health Venture Services Program, and a 3-hour facilitated innovation session with Design Leads from CC-ABHI.  To see the full list of prizes, click here.

Thanks to associations like HackerNest, innovators have access to community, resources, and events to take their ideas to the next level.  Supporting such an event is a perfect fit for CC-ABHI.  We are proud to help to inspire innovation, contribute to creative thinking, and facilitate collaboration from within the innovation community.

For more information about DementiaHack, or to learn about hackathons that are coming to a location near you, visit