Technology Supports for Home Health Care Providers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2R44AG023447-02
Agency Tracking Number: AG023447
Amount: $743,582.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2006-2
Solicitation Year: 2006
Award Year: 2006
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (719) 592-0347
Business Contact
Phone: (719) 592-0347
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): For family caregivers, the lack of knowledge and understanding of how to handle the disabilities that seniors are now experiencing results in inadequate care. Due to the fragmentation of the current health care system and lack of funding, no one single entity is responsible for providing or coordinating training and support for family caregivers. Family caregivers have difficulty getting to trainings and classes that would greatly benefit them and their ability to be a better caregiver because they have no one to relieve them from giving care while still maintaining other commitments. A portable health care support system that provides both recorded audio and picture-based instructions for each step in a home health care procedure could be a significant aid to alleviating this problem by providing a consistent, central source of information on the services provided to each individual. Very recently new computer devices, such as Tablet PCs, have been introduced that can provide powerful, portable computer systems for use in human service settings. Tablet PCs are fully functional PCs running a version of the Windows XP operating system, but with special features designed for portable use. The entire system is approximately the size of a notebook and users interact with the system through the touch screen display, rather than having to use a mouse or keyboard. These devices are lightweight, portable and can be used to present detailed instructions to family members on how to accomplish health care activities correctly while in the home. In Phase I of this project, we demonstrated the technical merit and feasibility of HomeCare Assistant for making it easier for family caregivers to perform health care services and keep track of the services that have been provided. The pilot study results showed significant reduction in caregiver stress for eight participating families as compared to eight control group subjects which received no experimental implementation (P<.05). In this Phase II project we will fully develop the HomeCare Assistant system and result in a system that is ready for commercialization in a Phase III project which will immediately follow Phase II. It is anticipated that this system will significantly increase the ability for family health care providers to confidently provide health care services to their family members, as well as experience sustained levels of reduced stress associated with the burden of family caregiving.

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

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