Project Summary: SilverLink
One of the most pressing societal challenges facing many developed and emerging countries is the aging of their population. For the U.S., the baby boomers are contributing to this phenomena and in China it is the result of the 4-2-1 family pyramid due to their one child policy. In addition, despite failing health most senior citizens prefer to live independently at home. The focus of healthcare technologies have therefore shifted from traditional clinical care to “at-home” care.
To address these significant healthcare challenges, Caduceus Intelligence Corporation (CIC), a technology spin-off company of the University of Arizona (UA), has developed a smart and connected home monitoring system for senior care. The system, referred to as “SilverLink,” enables remote care for the elderly population so that they can live independently at home. This population often has severe chronic conditions resulting in significant medical expenses. SilverLink, therefore, offers a vast improvement in healthcare quality and a reduction in healthcare resources. The system includes affordable and non-invasive home-based mobile health technologies, advanced and unique mobile health analytics algorithms, and a comprehensive patient health activity portal and support.
The patent-pending SilverLink system is unique in its smart and connected technologies and service model including: (1) affordable and non-invasive home-based mobile health technologies with wearable human and object activity sensors for monitoring health-related motion and daily activities and cost-effective pre-configured home gateway via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and 3G communication; (2) advanced mobile health analytics algorithms for fall detection, health progression monitoring, and patient health anomaly detection and alert in a cloud-based data center; and (3) comprehensive patient health activity portal and support for reporting user activity and health status and engaging with family members and caregivers.
In Phase I of this project, we completed the preliminary evaluation of SilverLink’s beta version. In our IRB approved user study, we tested the system with more than 20 real-world users above the age of 65 with differing chronic conditions and in different settings. Settings included retirement communities, hospitals, in-patient clinic the various chronic conditions included Parkinson’s Disease, heart disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, stroke risk, arthritis, etc. The field tests have allowed us to the test the system’s flexibility in meeting needs of different healthcare organizations. We have published research papers with NIH and International Conference on Smart Health 2016 in order to disseminate our findings to the research community.
SilverLink was selected as a finalist in the Aging 2.0 Global Startup Search competition in three local chapters, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Our idea and design were well received and we continue to use the feedback to improve our product. Our team also attended several expos including the Abilities Expo in order to recruit more patients for the user study. Abilities Expo has been the goto source for the community of people with disabilities, their families, seniors, veterans and healthcare professionals. It caters mostly to people with mobility disorders and has displays of the latest in assistive technology.
Our next steps in this project will be focused on conducting more user research to test our fall detection, fall risk prediction and health progression capabilities. These functionalities are what differentiate us from the other devices in the market. We plan to continue this research using the system’s unique preventive and predictive health analytics to: a) reduce re-hospitalization rates among seniors by allowing easy post-discharge care monitoring and b) predict and improve health outcomes by providing a tool to monitor fall risks, treatment adherence, treatment effects and real time patient health status.
Our team collaborated with physicians, caregivers and other patients to spread awareness about the project among our target population of senior citizens, people with disabilities, individuals who require long term care, caregivers and physicians/nurses. CIC has developed an exceptional network of commercial and strategic partners in the U.S. and China, including: UA AI Lab (technology), UA-Banner Health system (the largest non-profit health network in Arizona), Startup Tucson, Watermark Retirement Communities, HealthSouth (largest provider of post-acute services in the U.S.), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (China partner).
Subcontract from Caduceus Intelligence Corporation, "STTR Phase I: Advanced Analytics for Health Progression Monitoring and Fall Detection in a Novel Home Health Monitoring System," $87,073 (From NSF award IIP-1622788 to Caduceus Intelligence Corporation), July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017.