Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Developing a smartphone app to enhance older drivers’ longevity and safety

Johnathon Ehsani PhD, MPH | Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Competition Sponsor: US National Academy of Medicine
Awardee Year: 2022

This catalyst proposal describes a groundbreaking approach to promote older adults’ longevity, mobility, and safety. Transportation is a social determinant of health, and extending older adults ability to continue driving is a prerequisite for healthy longevity. Driving cessation is associated with a range of negative outcomes for older adults. In the U.S., driving is a necessity for mobility because of disinvestment in alternative modes of transportation. However, driving poses unique risks for older adults. This population is overrepresented in motor vehicle crash deaths and injuries and have the highest fatality rate per 100 million miles driven. Using a combination of artificial intelligence and epidemiology, I will develop a smartphone application that provides the safest possible route navigation for older drivers, based on individual characteristics, health conditions and risk profile. In addition, the app will monitor driving behavior and detect when an individual’s driving behavior declines, flagging the possibility of a health problem which may require assessment and indicate a cessation of driving. The goal is to extend older drivers’ mobility for as long as possible, thereby extending their independence, while keeping themselves and other road users safe.


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