High-tech Solutions for Healthier Lives

July 17, 2015
Reading Time
2 minutes

Attention Labs readers!

OpenIDEO has a challenge for tech-savvy problem solvers. They’ve teamed up with NBCUniversal, NBCUniverso, and Telemundo to come up with ideas for new ways to reduce preventable diseases, particularly in the Latino community, where one in five adults suffer from diabetes, more than 75% are overweight or obese, and strokes are the fourth leading cause of death. How can we use technology to encourage lifestyle changes without resorting to scare tactics? And how do we make these solutions applicable to all socioeconomic and cultural groups?

Take a look at some of the ideas that have already been submitted:

A vending machine takes a drop of your blood and analyses your nutrient needs, then prepares a customized meal for you. Sound far-fetched? They’ve already tested a working prototype that tests hair instead of blood samples and makes nutritionally perfect smoothies.

Affordable Gaming Workouts
Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinect are great ways to get kids moving, but they’re too expensive for a lot of families. We could create cheaper alternatives, such as making app-based games that use a smartphone as a movement sensor and integrate with Chromecast so players can interact with a TV screen.

“Eat This Instead!”
An app that lets you enter the junk food you’re craving (by text, voice, or photo) and suggests a healthy alternative with the right nutritional content to balance the craving, along with the closest place to pick up the healthy snack.

Health Profile Reports
When you check out at the grocery store, a credit card add-on creates a report of what you buy, which is automatically compared to a national health standard. The report suggests what to buy less and more of next time, and it’s sent to your doctor who can (with your consent) prevent you from purchasing certain items with your credit card.

Interactive Grocery Shopping
Order online through a supermarket’s app, which helps you plan healthy meals based on what you purchase, providing recipes and nutritionist-approved diet plans. Amazon delivers goods to your door.

Smart Visual Ads
Interactive digital ads show nutritious meal ideas, workout options, and health treatments specific to a viewer’s location and the date (think seasonal harvests and local availability). Each ad links to an interactive map of nearby locations to find the foods, workouts, or treatments displayed.

Unable to resist the challenge? Go to openideo.com/challenge/healthy-lives/ideas to learn more and submit your idea, and make it snappy! The challenge ends Monday, July 20th!