With the dramatic growth of the senior population, aging Americans and their families need easy access to the most up-to-date information to enable them in making informed decisions regarding their well being. The National Institutes of Health has acknowledged this need by awarding a $1.25 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to a collaboration between the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI and My Health Care Manager, Inc., a national leader in managing the issues and options of aging. The grant will be used to enhance My Health Care Manager’s proprietary suite of software and decision support system entitled Senior Care Navigation System or SCANS®.
SCANS® enables health care managers to tap into industry-wide best practices, recommended actions and real world tools in order to help seniors and their families make critical decisions. Through its text mining laboratory led by Mathew Palakal, Ph.D., the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI will add increased functionality to SCANS® by developing an automated knowledge acquisition system. This system will mine large, text-based literature databases to allow senior care agencies and providers to access the latest research on geriatric health issues – information that could significantly impact healthcare decisions made by seniors and their families.
“There is a rapidly growing need in this country for improvements in older adult care planning. We are losing billions of hours and dollars in lost productivity as families struggle to provide much needed assistance for loved ones based upon fragmented, incomplete and outdated information,” said Jane Niederberger, president, My Health Care Manager. “The outcome and application of this research from the NIH grants will provide timelier, concrete, actionable advice and support for caregivers to enhance the well-being of seniors. SCANS® is changing the face of senior care and how to deliver it faster, with higher quality and consistency.”
“Our SCANS®/Care Advisor technology directly addresses the challenges of the older adult and their families as they attempt to navigate the health care system by helping geriatric care managers provide the best practice caregiving advice,” said Eric Tinsley, chief technology officer and vice president of research and development. “The system dramatically improves the efficiency; completeness, consistency, and quality of care planning in addition to providing practical tools to implement the recommendations contained in the plan.”
The NIH’s SBIR grant comes after the Indiana Economic Development Corporation provided a $1.9 million grant from the Indiana’s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund to initially develop SCANS® in 2008. My Health Care Manager was recently recognized with a TechPoint Mira Award for SCANS®/Care Advisor. The information technology system was created by an extensive team of experts in geriatric medicine, health informatics, engineering and computer science, and is the foundation of My Health Care Manager’s holistic, personalized and
comprehensive approach to geriatric management services for seniors and families.