Funding supports Phase II Research into Advanced Wireless Techniques for Remotely Monitoring the Wellness of Seniors

March 29, 2012, Reston, Virginia: AFrame Digital announced today that the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), awarded the company a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant. The more than $1 million grant supports a two-year study to evaluate the use of novel mobile technologies to improve remote health and wellness monitoring of seniors.

The project will monitor 90 adults, aged 65 years and older (including 60 with congestive heart failure), for six months each. The research will focus on the usability of the system by and for seniors and its ability to easily monitor health status in order to reduce the likelihood of unplanned medical events, which account for a large proportion of healthcare costs in the U.S.

"The goal of remote monitoring solutions is to improve quality of life and independence for the individuals being monitored," states Amy Papadopoulos, DSc, the Principal Investigator for the project and Senior Researcher at AFrame Digital. "We believe that providing patients and their caregivers with a more complete picture of their wellness on a regular basis could result in fewer medical emergencies and complications, which in addition to improving their quality of life, would also reduce the cost of health care."

AFrame Digital's FDA-cleared MobileCareTM Monitor system employs sensors embedded in discreet, nonintrusive wrist monitors to gather activity, location and impact data (including impacts related to falls) for real-time, continuous remote monitoring. The system transmits data over local wireless networks to secure servers, which process and display the data on web-accessible devices. Caregivers have access to easy-to-navigate, web-accessible dashboards and configurable alert settings, which generate exceptions-based reports and automated alerts to enhance the situational awareness and mobility of caregivers.

"The MobileCare Monitor system performs continuous trending of incoming sensor data against personalized baselines, with alerts based on significant deviations from those baselines," explains Christine Tsien Silvers MD, PhD, the company's Chief Medical Officer. She adds, "The intention is to combine the current capabilities with intelligent alerting from machine learning-based predictive analysis of sensor data."

In an earlier NIH Phase I SBIR study, AFrame Digital collaborated with Neil Charness, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Florida State University and a leading expert in researching human factors that influence the functioning of technological systems. Results from the Phase I study demonstrated the feasibility of monitoring adults ages 65 and older using the MobileCare Monitor system, including the wrist monitor and wireless third-party devices integrated with the system to collect blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen saturation level, weight and self-assessment survey data.

During the Phase II project, AFrame Digital will again collaborate with Dr. Charness. In addition, the company is collaborating with Ernest Brown, MD, medical director of Healthcare for the Homebound, an organization that provides home healthcare to underserved populations in Washington, D.C. The company is also collaborating with Commonwealth Care of Roanoke (CCR), which operates rehabilitation centers across the Commonwealth of Virginia. CCR will be using the system to monitor patients discharged from their facilities in an effort to reduce hospital re-admissions.

About AFrame Digital, Inc. (Reston VA).

AFrame Digital is a technology company specializing in research-based, innovative mobile wireless health and wellness solutions. Its commercial MobileCare Monitor™ system provides real-time, continuous health and safety monitoring of seniors, those managing chronic conditions, and other at-risk individuals. AFrame Digital's advanced, FDA-cleared, secure, and HIPAA-compliant solution detects falls and issues proactive, exceptions-based status reports and alerts based on personalized wellness profiles to help caregivers quickly attend to or avert crises. The system currently is installed in senior living, hospital, and individual home settings. Since 2005, AFrame Digital has received support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as well as the NIH, and continues to work closely with medical researchers in large military treatment facilities.

This project is supported by Award Number R44 AG29196-02 from the National Institute on Aging. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Aging or the National Institutes of Health.

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