Online Psychosocial Assessment Instruments Technology Transfer

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R41AG037216-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41AG037216
Amount: $111,770.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: NIA
Solicitation Number: PHS2010-2
Small Business Information
CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIVERSITY
961 ANDOVER WAY, LOS ALTOS, CA, 94024-7007
DUNS: 829913479
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 EDWIN SELKER
 (650) 964-6094
 TED.SELKER@WEST.CMU.EDU
Business Contact
 BENAY DARA
Phone: (412) 268-8746
Email: kbasile@andrew.cmu.edu
Research Institution
 Carnegie-Mellon University
 5000 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA, 15213-
 () -
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
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 who will 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. In particular, 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), and to 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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