Online Psychosocial Assessment Instruments Technology Transfer

Award Information
Department of Health and Human Services
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
961 ANDOVER WAY, LOS ALTOS, CA, 94024-7007
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
(650) 964-6094
Business Contact:
(650) 964-6094
Research Institution:
Carnegie-Mellon University

5000 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA, 15213-
() -
Nonprofit college or university
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): As elders age, they need increasing amounts of adaptive assistance and care from their caregivers- people who are often busy or remote. With the baby boomer generation preparing to retire, the sheer number of people whowill need support will far outstrip the nation's ability to provide professional caregivers. Furthermore, the nation will not be able to afford residential care costs for those elders who could live independently with appropriate gerontechnological support. This project will explore the feasibility of utilizing integrated information and measurement technology to help extend the period of an elder's independence in their residential setting, with improved quality of life and reduced total cost of care. Inparticular, the project will examine how the (semi-)automated in-home collection, analysis, and appropriate distribution of psychosocial data might enable elders to maintain this independence, with support from members of their social support network. Manual collection of patient psychosocial data (e.g., paper versions of the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) [Cleeland, 1991]) is error-prone and often incomplete due to poor patient compliance. By augmenting the Kinnexxus system with a selection of the everyday sensors (e.g., cameras and microphones) and online assessment instruments, one might be able to automate much of the information acquisition. This phase of the technology transfer focuses on the feasibility of measuring pain attributes with a combination of sensors and online assessment instruments. The study's specific objectives are to evaluate novel pain assessment technology, compared with conventional use of the paper-based BPI, to demonstrate the feasibility of a flexible and robust extension to the Kinnexxus platform, supporting elders' everyday monitoring of pain. The project will examine issues regarding effectiveness and usability of the novel technology. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Aging-in-place can be enhanced, quality of life extended, and costs reduced by providing an adaptable elder kiosk with attached psychosocial sensors and assessment instruments for an elder to use in his/her residence, connecting by Internet to a customizable social network that links the elder with family members, clinicians and other caregivers, wherever they are located. An important role played by this kiosk is to provide useful reminders to the elder at the appropriate time and place in order to collect psychosocial assessment information (e.g. pain assessment), andto distribute and analyze such information in a way that is appropriate to the roles played by the various members of the elder's support network. Aging-in-place has become an extremely important consideration for public health, due especially to the pending retirement and aging of the baby boomer generation, who will need appropriate gerontechnology to support their independence as they age, while reducing public expenditures for elder care.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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