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Detecting Distress Events of Isolated Elderly Living in Remote Rural Regions

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2016-33610-25452
Agency Tracking Number: 2016-00960
Amount: $99,969.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.6
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-08-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-01-14
Small Business Information
14300 34TH AVE N 326, Minneapolis, MN, 55447-0000
DUNS: 078662436
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Tom Plocher
 (612) 481-8723
Business Contact
 Thomas Havey
Title: President
Phone: (612) 481-8723
Research Institution
The objective of this project is to develop technology for detecting distress events of isolated elderly people living alone in remote rural regions. Many people live in isolated rural homes for a significant percentage of their adult life. As these people become elderly they can have a high preference to stay in their home as long they believe they can care for themselves. They may also be unable to afford to move to a place in a nearby town. Once they have reached an advanced age they can find themselves living alone. Perhaps a spouse has died or other family members or friends have left. Some may be financially able to move to a home in a community with neighbors nearby, however, will insist on staying in their isolated rural home because they resist the change. Many isolated rural homes cannot be viewed by a person passing in a car. Neighbors cannot notice changes in normal patterns such as lights or curtains which might indicate a problem in the home. There are many ways an elderly person living alone can become incapacitated and unable to call for help. Personal emergency alerting devices can be a solution for some situations but not all. An elderly person alone and in distress can be in a life and death situation in an isolated rural home. An innovative new automated technology is developed in this project that can detect if a person is incapacitated and automatically call for help using conventional telephone lines or a cell phone backup.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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