CareBand was awarded the National Institute of Aging (NIA) Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding to investigate the use of technology to monitor and measure engagement of older adults living in assisted living facilities (ALF) with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). The goal of this SBIR is to develop an accurate assessment of engagement, and ultimately introduce interventions to bolster resident engagement in leisure activities, and thereby promote social interaction, reduce psychological problems, and enhance quality of life.
Loneliness and depression are common among older adults, especially those living with dementia. People often move into assisted living seeking more engagement, yet engagement is a subjective measure that differs for each individual. Engagement occurs when people attend activities or socialize within their communities. Often the burden of measuring engagement falls on the already busy, ALF staff. Thus, there is a need for a robust, objective measure of engagement to determine the type and level of engagement required to promote high quality of life for people living with ADRD.
During Phase I of the SBIR study, an Appraised to Assist (A2A) system, provided by CareBand in partnership with Eperture LLC’s RememberStuff, Inc., will be created to automate the quantitative measurement of engagement among ALF residents. The 6-week pilot study will provide participants with a LoRa-based CareBand wearable to monitor their location and activity. Additionally, the participants will be given a RememberStuff tablet to receive reminders, assess meaningful engagement levels, and have confidence-building games to promote residents to attend activities. The correlation between the CareBand wearable’s recorded activity engagement time and the RememberStuff tablet interaction time will be used to create an automated measure for engagement and help ALF’s ability to support resident’s well-being.
CareBand will work closely with the CEO and co-founder of Eperture, Christine Mullholand and President Mary Ellen Mullholand. “We are pleased to be part of this collaboration at a time when technology is not only pivoting to address needs during a pandemic but also the needs of the culture change revolution in care communities across the United States,” said Christine Mullholand. The study team will also include research partners at Indiana University, Dr. Junhyoung (Paul) Kim and Dr. Angela Chow, along with consultant Dr. Phyllis Gaspar. The study will include ALF residents with ADRD and associated staff at Cantata Adult Life Services.
CareBand, powered by ThirdWave, is a Chicago-based company helping people living with dementia stay safe and out of the hospital with a LoRa-based wearable. CareBand reinvents the aging experience through room-level location tracking, behavior monitoring, and the identification of early changes in condition with artificial intelligence-based analysis of activity patterns. Learn more by visiting carebandremembers.com.
Eperture LLC is headquartered in Columbus Indiana with additional offices in Durango, Colorado and Key Largo, Florida. Eperture develops engagement and purpose support products that focus on the dignity for all who use this innovative technology. Learn more at rememberstuff.com.
Research is supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R43AG074753.
CareBand was the winner of a Building Entrepreneurs in Software and Technology Competition award in 2016. Through the award process, Indiana University was granted an equity position in the company.