Healthy Bones Healthy Aging Challenge

How might we reimagine older adults’ care experience after breaking a bone due to osteoporosis to ensure their first fracture is their last?

Let’s help our aging community live healthier and more independent lives by focusing on those who are most at risk because they have already had a fracture.
Let’s help our aging community live healthier and more independent lives by focusing on those who are most at risk because they have already had a fracture.
WHo can participate:

Everyone—from family members to  emerging innovators to established organizations—was invited to participate. We know good ideas at various stages can come from unexpected places.

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The Opportunity

All participants received design and innovation coaching.

The Partner Network offers winners options of:

  • A design sprint bootcamp
  • High visibility to leader networks
  • The potential for piloting in a hospital or health innovation lab
  • Advising from experts
  • A microgrant and an IDEO U class

Learn More +

What's Happening Now
Participants were welcome to submit solutions to the Beyond the Bag Challenge through one of three submission channels. Learn more about each channel.

The Challenge

Aging changes the way we live, and the healthcare we receive while aging can be a determining factor in that journey. This program challenges our community of folks inside and outside healthcare to share solutions to address the following question: how might we reimagine older adults’ care experience after breaking a bone due to Osteoporosis to ensure their first fracture is their last?

Together, we’ll explore the current state of the patient experience in bone health diagnosis and care, why the moment after a first fracture is critical, and which lenses might help us to most effectively understand and design for solutions. Let’s better connect fractures to osteoporosis to ensure better quality of life for our loved ones.

Challenge Journey

1. Research

May 8, 2019

May 23, 2019

2. Ideas

May 24, 2019

Jul 3, 2019

3. Review

Jul 4, 2019

Jul 28, 2019

4. Refinement

Jul 29, 2019

Aug 22, 2019

5. Final Evaluation

Aug 23, 2019

Oct 21, 2019

6. Top Ideas

Oct 22, 2019

Oct 22, 2019

Current Phase
1. Research
The Research Phase was about making ideas better through collaboration.

Participants dove into the issue and shared their learnings with the community. At OpenIDEO, we believe that better ideas come from building empathy. Participants were encouraged to talk to family members, do online research, and observe out in the world.

Many hosted research events—from Peru to Hong Kong.

What happened

Participants took on a Research Mission, used our tools to learn, or lead a research event, then shared their insights by Thursday May 23rd at 9 a.m. PT.

Key Dates

Started on May 8, 2019. Ended on May 23, 2019.

Phase Closed
2. Ideas
The Ideas Phase was about coming up with real solutions.

In this Phase, we invited innovators of all levels (from those new to the topic to those with proven interventions) to share ideas.

The Ideas Phase is more than just a call for proposals. At OpenIDEO, we believe that new and existing ideas become better through collaboration, transparent feedback, and iteration. Participants were encouraged to build off of others' concepts, collaboratively share insights, and combine ideas to reach innovative new places.

What happened

Browse the Research Phase to learn from community insights. Participants shared their ideas to answer the Challenge question for a chance to have their solution piloted for real impact and receive design advising and IDEO learning, due by Wednesday July 3rd, 2019 at 5p.m. PT.

Get Involved

Check out ideas or watch our webinar.

Key Dates

Started on May 24, 2019. Ended on Wednesday July 3rd, 2019 5p.m. PT.

Share Ideas
3. Review
Submissions are carefully evaluated to determine the Shortlist.

For three weeks, the OpenIDEO Team will review all published proposals alongside our Sponsor and partners. Proposals on the platform will lock during this review period, though we encourage you to leave and respond to comments, feedback, or insights that may fuel idea development.

What's Happening

All eligible submitted proposals are reviewed.

Get Involved

Share your feedback on submitted proposals.

Key Dates

Shortlisted proposals will be announced on July 29.

share feedback
4. Refinement
Let's make ideas better through collaboration!

During the Refinement Phase, up to 30 shortlisted concepts are invited to develop prototypes, plans to scale their ideas, and other demonstrations of the solution’s ability to satisfy the goals of the Challenge.

All teams participating in Refinement will have access to Advisors, Community Prototypers, Innovation Coaches, and peer to peer knowledge building.

What's Happening

Shortlisted teams improve their ideas through beneficiary and expert feedback, and community support.

Key Dates

Refinement materials are due by Wednesday August 22, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. PT.

visit refinement
5. Final Evaluation
During our Final Review Phase, all shortlisted ideas will be evaluated.

During our Final Review period, shortlisted ideas will be evaluated by UCB, Partners, and the OpenIDEO Challenge team. This will be a period of deeper diligence and review.

What's Happening

All ideas will be reviewed by the Challenge team, UCB, and Partners.

Get Involved

Stay tuned for Top Ideas announcement.

Key Dates

Starts on August 23, 2019. Ends on October 21st, 2019.

Phase Closed
6. Top Ideas
Top Ideas Announced!

Stay tuned for the announcement of Top Ideas. All Top Ideas will be invited to participate in a design sprint trip, keynote at a high profile event in the field, and have their idea considered for piloting with a hospital system. Honorable Mentions will receive a microgrant of a $200 donation to a nonprofit of their choice, and have the option to take an IDEO U On Demand Class of their choice. Read more about prizes.

What's Happening

Selected concepts will be announced and awarded.

Key Date

Top Ideas announced on October 22nd, 2019.

Browse Top Ideas
The Challenge

How might we reimagine older adults’ care experience after breaking a bone due to osteoporosis to ensure their first fracture is their last?

Read The Full Brief

Why Diagnosis and Treatment of Osteoporosis Matters in Preventing Fractures

Preventing bone fractures in older adults, such as of a hip or vertebrae (the bones that make up the spine), is an important part of preserving quality of life and longevity. In addition to avoiding pain, prevention maintains mobility and independence, which keeps weakness and dementia at bay and allows older adults to participate fully in social life.

Many fractures for older adults are dismissed as simply part of the aging process or a result of clumsiness. In fact, osteoporosis—a condition that causes weakened bones—is a common underlying cause that dramatically increases the likelihood of fractures (Wright et al., 2014). One in two women and one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime (National Osteoporosis Foundation, n.d.)

In addition to causing pain and negatively impacting daily activities, Osteoporotic fractures are more expensive than conditions such as heart attacks, stroke, and breast cancer. With a projected increase of Americans over the age of 65 from 15% to 25%, the impact is only going to increase, costing $25 billion by 2025 in the U.S. alone (Burge R, et al., 2007), and putting more lives at risk globally.

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Why Focus on Post-Fracture Bone Health for Older Adults

The first outward ‘symptom’ of osteoporosis is when a patient breaks a bone that shouldn’t have broken given the small bump or fall. This should be a warning sign to the patient and their physician, but sadly more than 80% of the time, patients are not diagnosed or treated despite the fact that osteoporosis therapies can reduce the risk of fracture by 30%-70% (Eisman JA. 2004). That is why we are focused on getting patients proper treatment after they have already fractured—they have the outward sign of osteoporosis. Too many people are never offered screening and treatment for osteoporosis, leaving their condition under-diagnosed, under-managed, and under-treated.

While prevention in early life through good nutrition can play an important role in prevention, for many patients this is not enough to prevent osteoporosis. It is also important to mitigate risk for the many older adults already living with osteoporosis who are in danger of fracturing a bone. Further, after a first fracture, the risk of having another increases by 86% (Kanis JA, et al. Bone. 2004), and subsequent fractures are up to 3 times more expensive for patients (Song X, et al. 2011). That’s why this program seeks solutions in the journey after an older adult’s first fracture—from hospital to recovery.

The health sector has been working toward improving the longevity and health of older adults for years, but have yet to find a scalable solution that consistently catches people who have osteoporosis and are at high risk for experiencing subsequent fractures. Read our Opportunity Areas below to learn why.

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Opportunity Areas

Opportunity Areas are specific calls to action that guide our community. They serve as provocations that are intentionally aligned with our Challenge topic and partner priorities and ripe for innovation. Regardless of the Opportunity Area, the hope is that all ideas will approach the Challenge question through the lens of preventing fractures due to osteoporosis. This will encourage us to learn from outliers, and be critical about the ways in which our solutions can be applied to various populations and different persona communities. Paying attention to users outside the mainstream will help us uncover hidden insights and work-around solutions that will strengthen the broader bone health innovation system as a whole.

Best practices in medical publications show there are three key steps that can help ensure a patient’s first fracture due to osteoporosis is their last.

Identifying people at risk

How might we identify at risk individuals in the community or health system?

Osteoporosis is a silent disease: People can be unaware they have it because they don’t feel it. A fracture can be the first sign that something is wrong. Many older adults in the later years of their lives—when they are unable or choose not to work—can be without the resources or access to appropriate care, and instead suffer silently. We know older adults who have already had one fracture are at highest risk, but there are opportunities to improve how they are tracked and handed off between points of care, to coordinate the availability and distribution of risk information in the community so more of us are looking out for one another, and to meet folks where they are most often.

Investigating the cause and connecting dots

How might we inspire health providers, caregivers, or patients to investigate the cause of a fracture?

The primary way to figure out if someone has osteoporosis is with a DEXA scan, a diagnostic tool that measures bone density. It’s an assessment a doctor needs to decide to order, but the diagnosis and care of a fracture is a winding treatment path, and providers along the journey may not be aware of the fracture or connect it to osteoporosis. First-responders in emergency care are responsible for treating the break rather than the cause, and rarely have the time or resources to flag a need for further investigation. Care Coordinators in hospitals can help to connect a patient’s care, but they can be under-equipped or may not exist. Primary Care doctors may be unaware of a previous fracture, may suggest nutritional changes without educating the patient on their condition, or may fail to investigate the fracture cause because of competing health priorities. Older adults can be hesitant to explore their health for fear of what they may learn or because other health conditions compete for importance in patient and provider minds.

Intervening for prevention

How might we help older adults with Osteoporosis access intervention to prevent future fractures?

Navigating the healing process and the overwhelming and disjointed information—whether for a fracture patient, primary caregiver, care specialist or community worker—is not easy. Multiple pharmacological products exist today in addition to many other treatment options, such as diet and exercise, but aren’t integrated into treatment plans for a holistic approach that goes beyond fracture healing and fall prevention. How can existing treatment plans take a holistic approach to go beyond fracture healing and fall prevention? Let’s consider innovations that might leverage systems and resources, aggregating or increasing the trustworthiness of information so that it is useful, reliable, and easy to access for all players involved.


Want to suggest ideas outside of our framework? Tell us how other ideas might achieve the impact we’re discussing, and how your approach works!

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Who We are Designing For

To catalyze and guide your thinking, we are providing Personas and their use cases and Journey Maps that represent the diverse challenges of those living with osteoporosis and those who care for them.

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With the goal of truly impacting the issue, incentives have been crafted to support the strongest ideas in their path to impact at scale, including a combination of acceleration, inspiration, connections, and visibility. To encourage innovators new to the space to share their insight, we have also included incentives that honor their time and effort. As the Challenge unfolds, we'll share more about additional ways Challenge Partners will support winners.

5 Top Ideas

  • Design sprint to refine idea: UCB will fund a design sprint for five Top Ideas. The sprint will be hosted by innovation experts, osteoporosis experts, and aging experts from the Challenge Partner Network to help refine and improve winning ideas with the goal of getting the ideas closer to implementation readiness.
  • Keynote spot at an upcoming bone health event: UCB will provide the winners an opportunity to speak at an upcoming bone health industry event and/or a UCB town hall event to raise awareness about osteoporosis and describe how their solution is able to make an impact. UCB will provide coaching on how to tailor a story for a healthcare audience.
  • Exploring fit for pilot with a hospital in the US: UCB and the Challenge Partners will explore the opportunity to pilot a Top Idea with a health system in the US. If the fit is mutual, support may include: expert feedback from UCB and hospital staff, expert feedback from patients and caregivers, access to space and systems, and data collection.

5 Honorable Mentions

  • Microgrant donation and IDEO U Class: Honorable Mentions will receive a microgrant of a $200 donation to a nonprofit of their choice, and have the option to take an IDEO U On Demand Class of their choice.

Top Ideas and Honorable Mentions

  • UCB and Challenge Partners will elevate visibility to the Top Ideas and Honorable Mentions through communications and connection to network and relationship building opportunities.
  • The Design Institute at the University of Texas Dell Medical School will offer Top Idea and Honorable Mention teams the option of advising on health service implementation issues and user experience design.
  • The Texas Medical Center Innovation Center will offer Top Ideas one hour of feedback on fit for hospital partnerships/piloting and opportunities in Houston, and a short call with any Shortlisted team

UCB is committed to complying with healthcare laws and regulations, including those that require reporting transfers to value to healthcare providers.

As always, we encourage everyone to take your ideas forward and implement them in your own communities.

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Evaluation Criteria

This innovation Challenge will support organizations and entrepreneurs working to design solutions that support better connection of fractures to osteoporosis. Together, we hope to create impact and yield tangible solutions that our Sponsors and partners can support or integrate into their work long after the Challenge ends. Submissions are welcome from individuals, nonprofits, and for-profit organizations working anywhere in the world. With the goal of truly impacting the issue, UCB hopes to further the winning innovation through piloting after the close of the Challenge. Therefore, we’re excited about early stage innovators who want to translate or scale their innovation for impact either on their own with piloting assistance from the Challenge Partner or by having their idea adopted by a health system.

We’re looking for ideas that are…

Patient centered / human-centered

We want ideas that are centered around real, human experiences. This is at the heart of OpenIDEO’s approach. Lead with empathy by talking to potential end users, prototyping, and gathering feedback, then be sure to include in your submission how your idea responds to your user insights.

Anchored in the post-fracture care journey

Our experts have identified the post-fracture time (from entering the hospital to full recovery) as holding the most promising points of intervention. We want to support ideas that can articulate how they fit into the recovery journey.


Starting local can be really powerful—but how might your idea be transferable to a large number of patients or networks? How is your idea implementable in the long-run when health systems and providers have limited budgets and competing priorities to keep everyone healthy?


The impact your idea makes should be measurable in or around a health system. Some examples of measurable impacts may include:

  • Reducing fracture rates
  • Decreasing the burden faced by patients and systems
  • Improving the patient experience

Visit the Challenges FAQ page for answers to common open innovation Challenge questions. If you have questions around the submission process, or the Challenge in general, you can contact for more information.

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Additional Resources

This list of Additional Resources has been co-created alongside experts to support you in crafting your idea.

Throughout the Challenge, participants will also be supported with:

  • Access to research information to support the ideation process
  • Toolkits outlining design processes to support the innovation journey
  • Access to experts in health, aging, and the bone space
  • One-on-one mentor sessions. Up to 30 solution teams that move into the Refinement Phase of the Challenge will be paired with Innovation Coaches and Community Prototypers and Advisors for guidance and support
  • New connections and the opportunity to meet co-creators while growing your network via the OpenIDEO platform and bone community
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About Our Partners

UCB is sponsoring this Challenge. AARP Innovation, the VA Innovation Center, the National Osteoporosis Foundation, and TMC Innovation are Partners.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) is the leading health organization dedicated to preventing osteoporosis and broken bones, promoting strong bones for life and reducing human suffering through programs of public and clinician awareness, education, advocacy and research. Established in 1984, NOF is the nation’s only health organization solely dedicated to osteoporosis and bone health.

At UCB, we come together everyday laser-focused on a simple question: How will this create value for people living with severe diseases? We are a global biopharmaceutical company committed to innovation to improve the lives of people with neurological, immunological, and bone diseases, finding solutions to meet their unique needs. For more information on UCB, visit: and follow us on Twitter: @UCBUSA.

AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. AARP Innovation Labs launches new products and collaborates with startups to spark innovations that span generations.

The VA Innovation Center (VIC) initiatives are designed to ensure the success of innovation initiatives authorized by VA MISSION Act, Section 152. 1703E.

The TMC Innovation Institute is a unique learning environment aimed at impacting the health care industry through the collaboration of medicine and cutting-edge technology from around the world. By supporting entrepreneurs as they broaden their vision and network, we help companies take their products from bench to bed.

The Design Institute at the University of Texas Dell Medical is a first-of-its-kind institute born from the radical collaboration between Dell Medical School and the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. It was established because health is one of the last frontiers to embrace design as a creative, human-centered approach to defining and solving problems. Through design, the Design Institute provokes every aspect of health systems to work better for people. Its embedded team of health design specialists uses creative problem-solving methods to deeply understand the needs of patients and providers, generate fresh systemic approaches, and rapidly prototype and realize solutions.

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Top Ideas
Top Ideas
Challenge Team:

Natalia Vasquez

Program Lead

Manisha Laroia

Community Fellow

Hillary Liang

Outreach Specialist

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