Picture 2This sounds like a rather big deal …..

Next month, five of the United States’s largest aging care providers are hosting top long-term care industry executives at a Louisville summit.

The Louisville Innovation Summit is meant to bring together leaders and entrepreneurs from the worlds of healthcare, technology, academia and design to discuss the challenges the current health system faces and the possibilities for improving the future of aging care, according to a news release.

Organizers hope to attract 500 people for the conference at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts on Main Street, 50 percent of whom will be CEOs or other high-level executives, according to the release.

Good news for the downtown hotels.

But here’s the cool part for Louisville’s entrepreneurial community … the event includes two innovation-focused sections:

• Entrepreneur’s Garage, an expo where researchers and entrepreneurs will showcase products that are turning the aging care industry’s vision of the future into a reality — everything from robotic aids to smart homes, according to the release.

From the release:

New tech includes Lift Labs’s technology that cancels out the effects of tremors from Parkinson’s disease. The company’s first device is Liftware, a spoon attachment that addresses a basic but significant problem: getting food to your mouth without spilling it. The company recently raised $1 million to place its product into people’s hands and help them avoid the embarrassment of eating with Parkinson’s.

• The conference will close with a “Shark Tank”-style innovation competition. Ten emerging companies offering products and services that benefit the over-50 market will compete to win $20,000.

The competition is currently accepting applicants, with finalists being announced in mid-October. All finalists will have a chance to showcase their products during the Summit before they make their pitches to a panel of five judges on November 13.

The Summit is planned for November 12 and November 13 in Louisville, where we claim more aging-care companies than any other city in the United States. And our economic-development strategy at least used to be based on the goal of luring more.

The Summit is being organized by Humana Inc., Kindred Healthcare, ResCare Inc., Signature Healthcare LLC and Trilogy Health Services, according to the release.

Other Summit supporters include Greater Louisville Inc., Innovate LTC and the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

From the release:

“As the nation undergoes an overhaul of our healthcare system and our senior population continues to grow, the health care industry can’t continue the way it has. It has to innovate,” said Bruce Broussard, president and Chief Executive Officer of Humana, one the Summit’s principal organizers. ”This Summit is an important way we hope to get the dialogue started on how to change outmoded assumptions about aging and inspire people to explore new possibilities.”

Paul Bennett

Paul Bennett

The conference will feature keynote discussions from Paul Bennet, chief creative officer at IDEO, who will discuss redesigning the patient experience, and Carlos Dominguez, senior vice president of Cisco Systems, who will discuss how technology is changing how we communicate, collaborate, and work.

“This conference is bringing together different voices and thought leaders from the worlds of health care, aging care and technology,” stated Signature HealthCARE President and CEO Joe Steier in the release.

“We’ll be hearing from Silicon Valley technologists, world-renowned designers and even roboticists from some of the leading universities in the country. We think everyone who attends will walk away with new perspectives on both the challenges and opportunities we’re facing as we work together to define the future of aging care.”