DEVELOPMENT OF A BATTERY FOR MEASURING COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT IN THE RAILROAD

Award Information
Agency: Department of Transportation
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 14138
Amount: $50,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Timeline
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 1990
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
51 Federal Street Suite 402, San Francisco, CA, 94107
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Judy Illes
 Clinical Research Psychologist
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
WE PROPOSE TO DEVELOP AN INEXPENSIVE, PORTABLE SYSTEM FOR QUICKLY ASSESSING COGNITIVE FUNCTIONAL ABILITY (CFA) AND WORK READINESS OF PERSONNEL WHO PERFORM CRITICAL JOBS SUCH AS TRAIN ENGINEERS OR OTHER OPERATORS OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS. IN THIS FEASIBILITY STUDY, WE WILL TEST THE PRACTICALITY AND RELEVANCE OF OUR SYSTEM TO RAILROAD PERSONNEL. WE WILL TEST SEVEN TRAIN ENGINEERS TWICE A WEEK FOR 6 WEEKS. EACH ENGINEER WILL BE TESTED AT THE BEGINNING AND END OF HIS SHIFT, AND THE DATA WILL BE ANALYZED FOR CONSTRUCT VALIDITY ON SUBJECTIVE MENTAL STATUS,RETEST RELIABILITY, DAY-TO-DAY VARIABILITY, AND INTER-INDIVIDUAL VARIABILITY. WE WILL ALSO MAKE A PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS OF THE SENSITIVITY OF THE TESTS TO CHANGES IN CFA DUE TO FATIGUE BETWEEN THE BEGINNING AND END OF THE WORKSHIFT. IF SUCCESSFUL, THE COST OF IMPLEMENTING SUCH A SYSTEM WILL BE MINIMAL COMPARED TO THE HUMAN AND EQUIPMENT COSTS INCURRED BY THE RAILROAD FROM ACCIDENTS DUE TO HUMAN ERROR. UNLIKE URINE, BREATH OR BLOOD TESTS, OUR SYSTEM WILL DIRECTLY MEASURE THE COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS UNDERLYING THE SKILLS REQUIRED FOR SAFE AND EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE ON THE JOB. THE PROPOSED COMPUTERIZED SYSTEM WILL BE CAPABLE OF DETECTING COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE IMPAIRMENTS DUE TO FATIGUE OR ILLNESS NOT CURRENTLY POSSIBLE WITH EXISTING METHODS, IN ADDITION TO DETECTING IMPAIRMENTS RESULTING FROM DRUG OR ALCOHOL USE. ASSESSMENTS WILL BE MADE IN LESS THAN 3 MINUTES. BECAUSE OF ITS PORTABILITY, EASE OF USE, AND BREVITY, THE SYSTEMN MAY ALSO BE USED IN THE CONTEXT OF MONITORING PERFORMANCE THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF WORKSHIFTS. EACH OF THESE APPLICATIONS WILL INCREASE SAFETY AND REDUCE OVERALL OPERATING COSTS FOR THE RAILROAD, AND ALL AGENCIES UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.

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

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