SOURCE: Center for Technology and Aging

Center for Technology and Aging

July 27, 2011 12:00 ET

Center for Technology and Aging Awards Mobile Health Grants to CalOptima, Family Services Agency of San Francisco, Front Porch Center for Technology Innovation and Wellbeing, HealthInsight, and Sharp Healthcare Foundation

OAKLAND, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 27, 2011) - The Center for Technology and Aging (techandaging.org), with funding from The SCAN Foundation (thescanfoundation.org), is investing a total of $477,150 in one-year grants among five organizations that will demonstrate the best ways to implement mobile health (mHealth) technologies for older adults with chronic health conditions.

Using mHealth technologies for health monitoring could save from $1.96 billion to $5.83 billion in healthcare costs by the year 2014, according to Juniper Research. The five grantees are innovative public and private health and social services provider organizations that are each forging a different path toward mHealth-enabled healthcare quality and cost improvement.

  • CalOptima, Orange County, Calif., (caloptima.org) - Preventing or delaying transitions of Medicare members with heart disease to higher levels of care settings using mHealth and wireless solutions.
  • Family Services Agency of San Francisco (fsasf.org) - Using a cloud-based electronic health record with a tablet-based touchscreen assessment and care planning tool to improve assessment, service coordination and outcome evaluation for frail and isolated, low-income seniors, including some with behavioral health or substance abuse issues.
  • Front Porch Center for Technology Innovation and Wellbeing, Los Angeles (bit.ly/m3Azfx) - Addressing medication adherence among active, independent older adults using a medication adherence app for cell phones.
  • HealthInsight, Utah (healthinsight.org) - Using a SMS-based mHealth intervention to improve diabetes education and care management in older adults.
  • Sharp HealthCare Foundation, San Diego (sharp.com/sharp-foundation) - Managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) care by remotely monitoring patients.

"We're undertaking this initiative just as the mHealth field is rapidly growing and demonstrating significant potential to improve care processes, expand access to care, augment other home care technologies, and reduce the costs of care," said David Lindeman, PhD, director of the Center for Technology and Aging.

HealthInsight and Sharp are also Beacon Community Program (bit.ly/c3OHc0) participants, supported by grants from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to "demonstrate the ability of health information technology to transform local healthcare systems." (For more information: San Diego Beacon Community: sandiegobeacon.org/Pages/default.aspx; Utah IC3 Beacon Community: healthinsight.org/Internal/Beacon.html)

In conjunction with the grants, the Center for Technology and Aging released "mHealth Technologies: Applications to Benefit Older Adults," a position paper that discusses how cell phones, smart phones, laptop and tablet computers, and other mobile-enabled devices are being used to help millions of older Americans -- as well as their physicians and caregivers -- manage chronic disease, use medications properly, avoid safety risks (e.g. fall detection), access online health information, and stay well. www.techandaging.org/mHealth_Position_Paper_Discussion_Draft.pdf

The grant program's goal is to practically demonstrate effective approaches to using mHealth in a variety of settings and circumstances that result in better quality healthcare at a lower cost. "These technologies can and should be more rapidly adopted by healthcare providers and patients because they reduce the use of ER's and hospitals by older adults, diminish the need for those with chronic illness to move to intensive higher-cost care settings, and lesson the burden on family and professional caregivers," said Lindeman.

The Center for Technology and Aging (techandaging.org) is the national resource for expertise in the use of patient-centered technologies for older adults. CTA supports the adoption and diffusion of technology-enabled care that is patient-centered, coordinated, efficient and effective. CTA is focused on four areas of opportunity that can transform lives: medication optimization, remote patient monitoring, care transitions, and mobile health. Established with funding from The SCAN Foundation (thescanfoundation.org), CTA is affiliated with the Public Health Institute (phi.org) in Oakland, CA.

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