The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a new grant called Collaborative Aging (in Place) Research Using Technology (CART) (U2C), which is a result of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Aging in Place Workshop called the Trans-NIH/Interagency Workshop on the Use and Development of Assistive Technology for the Aging Population and People with Chronic Disabilities that was held last year and produced this workshop report.
The purpose of this Inter-Agency FOA is to develop and validate the infrastructure for rapid and effective conduct of future research utilizing technology to facilitate aging in place, with a special emphasis on people from underrepresented groups. “Aging in place” refers to a person living in a private home or community for as long as possible, while receiving support and services to help them to safely remain independent as they age. This initiative grew out of a visioning workshop led by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Computing Community Consortium and funded by the National Science Foundation on the technology needed to enable successful aging in place: http://www.cra.org/ccc/visioning/visioning-activities/aging-in-place.
The growth in our aging population, will have an enormous impact on our health care systems and care providers over the next few decades. Innovative strategies are needed to develop technologies to support the emerging shift of care from inpatient settings to the home.
Awardees from this grant will develop and validate an infrastructure to support the development of aging in place technological research.
The following objectives should be met in an application:
- Establish and implement the basic governance, operational, and policy structures needed to develop and sustain a technology-based infrastructure that will enhance aging in place research;Establish and coordinate requirements, standards, specifications, and resources for aging in place research;
- Design the infrastructure and expected data models to be supported by the system by identifying and qualifying the equipment and software necessary to support the CART-equipped individuals and homes for the demonstration project. The infrastructure should be built with the flexibility to incorporate new and emerging technologies and support tailored deployment based on users care and monitoring requirements;
- Design an illustrative study protocol for the final demonstration project which will recruit a moderate-scale (at least 200 homes) cohort of older adults (stratified by age to include a range of older adults with at least one existing medical condition) for the demonstration project;
- Develop and refine the infrastructure based on initial design, study requirements, user-testing and iterative deployments of the system; ultimately building to an extended system test of at least 6 months for an initial or refined study protocol;
- Assure usability and acceptability of hardware and software technology, communications and feedback interface(s) for older adults and members of the care team;
- Support remote configuration and deployment of software and hardware tools based on factors such as health status, home environment, or user preference which support ability to scale deployments;
- Develop and execute an iterative demonstration project to test the system. Compile results and assess study outcomes.