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Enabling Tech: Scalable wearables (Milestone 11.D)

In Progress

Timeline Start - End

2016 - 2024

Research Implementation Area

Enabling Technologies and Disease Monitoring

Support the development and commericialization of wearables that can increase rigor in measuring environmental exposures and intervention dosing for various non-pharmacological modalities (e.g., light, sound, sleep, physical activity).

Success Criteria

Launch at least 10 projects conducting research and commercialization efforts towards the development of wearable sensors that can be used to quantify:

  • disease monitoring.
  • environmental exposures.
  • intervention dosing for non-pharmacological modalities.

Summary of Key Accomplishments

NIA is supporting several projects on the use of digital technology, including wearables and sensors, designed to detect changes in physical activity and sleep, for example, that may signal early cognitive decline before typical symptoms are identified by cognitive assessments or biomarkers. The Artificial Intelligence and Technology Collaboratories (AITCs), funded by NIA at the end of FY2021, are major infrastructure projects that will serve as a national resource to promote the development and implementation of artificial intelligence approaches and technology to improve care and health outcomes for older Americans, including persons living with dementia and their care partners. The work of the AITCs includes developing approaches to handling the vast amount of data collected from wearables in a way that enables clear analysis; providing pilot funding for projects to develop novel wearable and home sensor technologies; and developing low-burden wearables and hand-held technology tailored to the needs of older adults with AD/ADRD.

NIA also supports a growing portfolio of small business grants in this space. To date, 15 small business grants and technology transfer grants have been supported, most of which center on developing and using wearables for disease monitoring.

The key accomplishments summary is current as of March 2022. 

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