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Rock Steady A mobile gamified vestibular rehabilitation therapy app for older adults with complaints of dizziness

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R43DC016245-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43DC016245
Amount: $224,993.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIDCD
Solicitation Number: PA16-302
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-04-03
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-10-07
Small Business Information
2400 LINCOLN AVE
Altadena, CA 91001-5436
United States
DUNS: 830186933
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 SHERYL FLYNN
 (213) 537-0771
 sheryl@bluemarblegameco.com
Business Contact
 SHERYL FLYNN
Phone: (626) 296-6400
Email: sheryl@bluemarblegameco.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

Project Summary
The long term objective of this SBIR application is to develop and test a minimum viable product MVP of Rock Steady
a software application for adults with vestibular dysfunction This product is relevant to the mission of the NIDCD
because it addresses the request for the development of technologies for the study diagnosis and treatment of balance
disorders particularly for the elderly The envisioned product is an elegantly simple mobile application that is designed
to measure adherence to a home exercise program of gaze stability exercises based on recommendations from the
Clinical Practice Guidelines for Vestibular Rehabilitation This product was conceived in response to four main drivers
the growing number of adults aging with balance impairments due to vestibular dysfunction the finding that vestibular
rehabilitation therapy VRT improves quality of life the need for developing engaging exercise programs that will
improve adherence to VRT and a lack of commercially available low cost tools to support VRT This application is
very timely given the growth in the number of older adults and the ease of dissemination via smart tablets PCs which are
being adopted by older adults at faster rates than ever before By deploying the app on common digital technology we will
ensure its widespread adoption Finally it will be designed with end user feedback from all stakeholder groups including
people with vestibular dysfunction Broad Objective We intend to translate existing evidence based educational
material assessments and gaze stability exercises to a mobile device for widespread dissemination and adoption to
increase adherence with home and clinic based VRT promote health and wellbeing and improve patient care and
outcomes through coordinated higher quality of care Approach In Phase we will employ user centered design
methodologies to develop and evaluate reliability validity and usability of Rock Steady for adults with vestibular
dysfunction over age integrate eye head tracking and identify and evaluate feature and content
expansions adaptations for Rock Steady In Phase we will employ user centered iterative design approaches to
develop Rock Steady and further feasibility usability and a pilot effectiveness study Research Design We will use a
randomized trial design to evaluate reliability validity and usability All participants will complete two versions of
standard evaluations of vestibular dysfunction using traditional paper pencil method and via the app Participants will be
randomized to begin with either the app or traditional approaches Reliability will be compared using interclass correlation
coefficient validity will be evaluated using Pearson Spearman statistics and usability will be evaluated using the System
Usability Scale questionnaire Expected Outcomes We believe that Rock Steady will be a valid and reliable adjunct to
VRT The app will provide healthcare professionals with important data regarding adherence and function while also
reducing the cost of care delivery Project Narrative
This proposal describes the development of Rock Steady a novel approach to fall risk reduction through digital
assessment and guided exercises for adults with balance impairments due to vestibular deficits Rock Steady presents
opportunities for improved management of fall risk and quality of life and to containing the cost of health care in the
elderly

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

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