NNCI Synapse: Development of a Mobile Application to Disseminate Neuroscience Training to Medical Professionals

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 4R44MH115546-02
Agency Tracking Number: R44MH115546
Amount: $618,735.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 102
Solicitation Number: PA14-197
Solicitation Year: 2014
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-08-31
Small Business Information
200 RESERVOIR STREET, SUITE 202, Needham, MA, 02494-3146
DUNS: 621513451
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (352) 212-2616
Business Contact
Phone: (617) 467-6014
Email: kpaquette@center4si.com
Research Institution
PROJECT SUMMARYABSTRACTWhile biological models of mental illness once emphasizedchemical imbalancesmodern perspectives increasingly incorporate a more nuanced understanding of genetics and epigeneticsneurotransmitters and neuroplasticityand the functional dynamics of neural circuitsYet despite extraordinary advances in neuroscience that have dramatically enhanced our understanding of the brain and of the neurobiological basis of psychiatric illnessthe field of psychiatry has been slow to integrate a robust neuroscience perspective into clinical practiceMost practicing psychiatrists trained in an era before the advent of modern neuroscienceand residency programs lack resources to create curricula on their ownThis Fast Track SBIR will leverage the resources and experience of the National Neuroscience Curriculum InitiativeNNCIto create and test NNCI SynapseWhere Learning Takes Placea beautifully designedintuitive mobile application that promotes self directed learning for mental health professionals to initiatecustomizeand complete innovative courses of self study in clinical neuroscienceNNCI Synapse will reimagine the NNCI learning experience with the added utilityuser experienceand convenience of a mobile platformContent will include animated videosaudio podcastsand case studieswith a strong focus on the use of narrative storytellingand users will be awarded continuing education credits for learning activitiesIn Phase Ia pilot study will be conducted with psychiatristsnand will achieve the following aimsdevelop a prototype of NNCI Synapseandassess feasibilityacceptabilityand preliminary effectiveness of the product for a fully powered Phase II clinical trialDuring this mixed methods pilot studya pre post study design will be used to explore changes in knowledgeskillsand attitudes and semi structured interviews will be conducted to gather data on feasibility and acceptability of NNCI Synapse for neuroscience educationPhase II will employ a randomized non blinded prospective lagged start single crossover design with psychiatristspsychologistssocial workersand psychiatric nursesnand will achieve the following aimsrefineexpandand finalize NNCI Synapse based on Phase I findingsassess the effectiveness of NNCI Synapse in improving mental health professionalsattitudes toward clinical neuroscienceunderstanding of core contentand ability to apply this content to clinical scenariosanddetermine whether improvements in outcomes are related to individualspatterns of use of NNCI SynapseThe research team is confident that users of NNCI Synapse will increase understanding of the biological underpinnings of psychiatric illnesses and their relevance to clinical work and will be better equipped with the knowledge and skills to communicate with patients about cutting edge discoveries in neuroscienceThese gains will offer practitioners the opportunity to create a new dialogue with patientstheir familiesand other health care professionals about the cause and meaning of psychiatric symptoms

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