BioSensics’ Huntington’s Disease remote monitor gains NIH grant

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/PAMSysMotionSensorWHITE.jpg” thumb_width=”125″ /]Watertown, Massachusetts-based BioSensics announced that the company has received a $2.5 million, two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a continuous remote monitor for Huntington’s disease motor symptoms. The HDWear monitor uses BioSensics’ PAMSys sensor technology tested during pilot work performed with the University of Rochester Medical Center and Teva Pharmaceuticals. The study, published in the Journal of Huntington’s Disease (2016, Vol. 5, pp. 199-206), demonstrated a wearable sensor solution for remotely monitoring the severity of upper extremity chorea in Huntington’s disease.

The study will also use the HDWear monitor for a clinical study on patient response to anti-chorea medication or subtle motor abnormalities in the premanifest stage of Huntington’s disease.

It is interesting that the press release uses ‘telecare’ for HDWear, which is not much used in the US for behavioral monitoring though perfectly correct. HDWear’s use here builds on the company’s earlier sensors-based systems for telehealth, physical activity monitoring, fall risk assessment and detection. This Editor notes that BioSensics is one of the older telehealth companies still operating (2007), and now is primarily using its devices in research studies. Drug Discovery & Development,  Release.  Hat tip to Guy Dewsbury via LinkedIn (again)

Can technology meet increasing demand for social care? (N. Somerset UK)

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Could-you-care.jpg” thumb_width=”100″ /]North Somerset Council (west of Bristol in UK’s mid-southwest) provides care for more than 2,800 people. Their budget for adult social care this year is £65.3million. Yet even with this large budget, the trend is not its friend, according to Hayley Verrico, the council’s assistant director of adult support and safeguarding. In addition to the demand created by more older people and the ‘old-old’ growing frailer, there are special needs children who enter adult social care. The priority is to enable them to stay at home. Will this increased demand be met by technology? Ms. Verrico believes so, giving examples such as telecare and assistive technology for PERS, automatic tap (water) shutoffs, and door/wander sensors. The paradox is that carers also need to be trained in the meaningful monitoring and support management part of home care, transitional care, and encouraging that person to be more independent in activity, versus the traditional hands-on part of direct care.

This story is a chirping canary in the mine in UK, EU and the US. The last situation is in a way worse. Not only are we in the US not set up for community-wide maintaining of adults at home, but also most direct care workers are paid in the bottom quarter of US hourly wages with few perceived opportunities for advancement. Beyond monitoring, how do we handle the next meaningful step–telehealth and RPM?  North Somerset Times