Affiliation: OHSU Oregon Center for Aging and Technolgoy
Funding Period: 2005 - 2015
Funding Source: NIH NIA R01AG024059
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What the study is about
This project is an NIH Biomedical Research Partnership Grant, titled Intelligent Systems for Detecting Aging Changes (5-year, $7 million project funded through National Institute on Aging: R01AG024059). This is a collaborative effort of medical and engineering faculty, as well as of academic and industry partners.
The traditional model of periodic office visits does not allow for a complete picture of an individual’s normal range of functioning. In this traditional model of occasional visits, care providers cannot see the range of good days and bad days. By using technologies to create a discrete, in-home assessment system that collects data all the time, we may be able to better detect when problems occur. The figures below illustrates how continuous data can be more informative than standard periodic data. Perhaps more importantly, a home-based model takes health care assessment to elders in their homes. This model has great potential to allow health care providers to begin to address emerging problems before they would otherwise be clinically evident. In addition, residence-based assessment will be more reflective of how elders function in their everyday lives.
This BRP is the first large-scale project of its kind to study continuous assessment technologies in community homes. The specific aims of this study are:
1. To determine if continuous, unobtrusive assessment of physical activity and computer use detects incident memory decline in seniors living in typical community settings;
2. To develop new ways of detecting motor and cognitive change in these community settings, to test new sensor technologies; and
3. To understand how information from these technologies could be used to help elders and to understand how elders and health care professionals view these technologies.
What the study involves
Phase I: pilot study (May 2006 – January 2007; completed)
- 13 volunteers, age 65 and over
- Assessment includes sensor installation, including computer software (computers and training provided, as needed)
Phase II: longitudinal study (February 2007 – January 2011)
- Up to 300 volunteers, recruited from CCRCs in the Portland metro area; age 80 and over (or 65 and over if they live with a spouse who is 80 or over), who also meet some health and memory criteria (recruitment period: February 2007 – January 2008)
- 3-year participation includes:
- Standard clinical assessments: annual memory assessment and clinician exam, 6-month telephone follow-up; optional participation in genetic studies and brain donation
- Activity assessment: motion sensors installed in all rooms of residence, multiple in hallways and contact sensor on door; volunteers are asked to wear identification device if more than one resident that helps us know who is who in the home (Please note that we will not collect data about what the volunteer is doing in their home, just that they are doing something – no pictures or direct observation.)
- Computer assessment: software installed on volunteer’s computer (or one provided by the study -although supplies may be limited) to capture computer activity and typing speed (Please note that we will not collect data about what the volunteer is doing on their computer, just that they are doing something.)