You are here

Rural-Health-Mate: A Tele-Monitoring System That Improves Rural Senior's Healthcare Via Monitoring, Communication & Stakeholder Interaction

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2015-33610-23783
Agency Tracking Number: 2015-04161
Amount: $499,661.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.6
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-07-24
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
Indianapolis, IN 46224-0000
United States
DUNS: 034332168
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Stephen Sutter
 (317) 777-0356
Business Contact
 Stephen Sutter
Title: President
Phone: (317) 777-0356
Research Institution

The significant gap in the healthcare services available to rural seniors is well supported by prior research. Frequently, rural seniors must travel long distances regardless of weather conditions to healthcare facilities. The senior's family members often worry about their loved ones and may not get accurate information regarding their health and behaviors, and falls, missed meds, and nutrition issues are often under-reported.Private Duty Nursing companies, Skilled Nursing companies, Outpatient Rehabilitation Providers, occupational therapy agencies and hospitals all struggle with how to serve rural seniors because they are dispersed over large geographies. The typical human-dominant model is costly and struggles to prevent healthcare incidents and readmissions from previous ER visits. This is a global problem, but the aging of America has raised the awareness within our nation.Existing solutions are expensive, do not automatically report what led up to the incident or situation, and are not designed to help prevent situations. Most require high-speed Internet services which is a mismatch given low coverage in most rural areas. Also, the lack of scalability and customization options drives the cost up and requires most seniors to buy more capability or service than they need.Rural-Health-Mate (RHM) is a system that helps rural seniors maintain their independence in their home through the use of unique and cost-effective remote monitoring and tele-health techniques. Unlike other approaches, RHM does not rely on high speed internet or video cameras with remote technicians.Current experimental remote monitoring systems focus on a specific illness or disease such as Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or diabetes. Instead, RHM addresses the top three major areas that cause rural seniors to result in extended and expensive hospitalizations: falls, medication non-adherence, and safety violations (such as leaving the stove on unattended, etc.).Also, current "Smart home" technology is focused on a younger audience that wishes to remotely scan their home, or remotely control lights or locks. The intelligence in RHM is focused on the rural senior, and therefore also collects data in the home through an intelligent network of sensors, vital sign appliances, and the senior's activity patterns. RHM uses a distributed intelligence model:- an in-home Control Center that collects sensor data and vital signs, and communicates with the individual on their TV, and- cloud computing that relays notifications and alerts to the proper personnel as well as providing a portal for coordinating care with family members, caregivers and healthcare providers.CreateAbility will build on the success of Phase I and complete the development in Phase II in preparation for full-scale commercialization in Phase III. Phase III will incorporate a nationwide business-to-Business (B2B) model, where CreateAbility's customers are the businesses that serve rural seniors. These include rehab services, skilled nursing, and private duty nursing companies.The basic methods and approaches that will be used to collect and inform the target audiences are:A. Confirm our findings from the Phase I pilot study using a series of focus groups, phone surveys and face-to-face meeting s with rural healthcare providers.Assistive Technology Partners will facilitate the focus groups using the Nominal Group Technique (NGT). The NGT approach guarantees that all members get an equal voice in the outcomes of the group's impression and voting on the importance of new features and functions.Phone surveys will be handled using a scripted tool to minimize variances of the responses. Face-to-face meetings with existing healthcare providers and support personnel to rural seniors will also be scripted, and yet still provide for the additional data that may be unique to each meeting.B. Enhance the Phase I prototype based on this feedbackThe

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

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government