Internet platform enabling older adult interaction with family and health system

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43AG039120-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43AG039120
Amount: $190,745.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: NIA
Solicitation Number: PA10-050
Small Business Information
DUNS: 833084994
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (919) 354-1091
Business Contact
Phone: (919) 354-1091
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This Phase I pilot is to assess the feasibility of using the Family Health Network's Connected for Life Program as an intervention to increase access to web-based technologies and as a tool to support independent living. The relationship between declining health and restricted social engagement is strongly positive. When mobility and energy levels wane, individuals are at risk for becoming more socially isolated, making way for loneliness, boredom, and feelings of helplessness. Social isolation can be exacerbated when loved ones live at a distance. Access to the internet for people whose health is declining holds promise for improving psychological well-being by mitigating this spiral of declining health and social isolation. Family Health Network's Connected for Life program incorporates a user-friendly platform which reduces normal barriers to computer and internet use through the use of touch screen technology. The focus of the design of the platform is to simplify theuse of core applications by having key content always on, using three clicks or less to navigate, increasing font size, simplifying common tasks, and integrating multiple forms of web-enabled communication. Connected for Life program also includes optional data capture features that enables users to track health promotion activities and if necessary, enable their social network to form a care circle to exchange information and work together to support the user to live independently. In Phase I, we willassess the capacity of the Connected for Life Platform to meet the communication, information-seeking and health promotion needs of community-dwelling older adults. We will prioritize and direct further development of the Connected for Life Platform to address the most frequently identified barriers to communication and technology use, develop the full Connected for Life Program by developing the support services and resources needed to optimize its adoption and use by an older adult population and assembleand/or develop the appropriate measures to assess the impact of the Connected for Life Program (i.e. the Platform and the support services and resources) on key outcomes such as frequency of reciprocal communication, quality of social relationships, psychological well-being, and loneliness. Together, Phase I milestones will define the parameters of the Connected for Life Program that will lead to a clinical trial for independent use by older adults for a period of time in their homes. PUBLIC HEALTHRELEVANCE: Successful aging means independence, a safe and secure environment, connectivity to family and health care and avoiding the daunting costs of institutional care. Practical applications using innovative technologies, such as provided in this proposal, will allow older adults to remain independent while staying connected to their care network.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government