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New Penn Collaboratory Aims to Improve Care for Older Adults

The Penn Artificial Intelligence and Technology Collaboratory for Healthy Aging (PennAITech) seeks to explore the use of artificial intelligence and other technologies to improve in-home care for older adults and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. The Collaboratory will leverage extensive expertise in artificial intelligence, consumer informatics and aging, access to patient cohorts and resources of Penn’s School of Nursing, the Perelman School of Medicine, and other departments across the University of Pennsylvania. PennAITech is made possible through a grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The award is expected to total $20 million over five years.

Leading this effort will be:

  • George Demiris, PhD, FACMI, a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with joint faculty appointments in Penn Nursing’s Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences, and the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine;
  • Jason Karlawish, MD, Professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and Neurology, co-director of the Penn Memory Center and Associated Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Perelman School of Medicine; and
  • Jason Moore, PhD, FACMI, Professor and Chair of the Department of Computational Biomedicine, Cedars Sinai.

“Aging in place is a priority for most older Americans. This goal can be challenged by chronic illness including Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias. We need innovative solutions that will help us detect risks, address disparities, support decision making and improve access to care,” said Demiris. “The overarching goal of our Collaboratory is to facilitate the development and dissemination of such tools to help aging Americans live safely, in optimal health, and remain socially engaged. To achieve this, we will develop and implement a national pilot project funding program for the development and evaluation of cutting-edge technology.”

PennAITech aims to identify, develop, evaluate, commercialize, and disseminate innovative technology and artificial intelligence (AI) methods and software to support older adults and those with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Diseases in their home environment. It is motivated by the need for a comprehensive pipeline from technology-based monitoring of older adults in the home, collection and processing monitoring data, integration of those data with clinical data from electronic health records, analysis with cutting-edge AI methods and software, and deployment of validated AI models at point of care for decision support.

“Penn is uniquely poised to serve as a research and innovation accelerator based on our expertise in geriatric medicine, aging, Alzheimer’s disease and biomedical informatics,” said Karlawish. “We aim to advance the development of effective solutions that will be used in the real world and ultimately improve the lives of older adults’ and their caregivers.”

A central focus of the PennAITech Collaboratory is to advance this vision through the solicitation, review, and funding of pilot grants focused on technology and AI development to advance the science of care management and aging in place for vulnerable older adults or those with Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s related diseases such as Lewy Body Disease receiving skilled home and community-based services. Funded pilot projects will be supported through cores focused on administration, stakeholder engagement, technology identification and training, clinical translation and validation, networking, and ethical and policy issues. Pilot projects will be solicited from academia, industry, and health systems.

The PennAITech is funded by NIH grant P30AG073105. For more information please visit: http://pennaitech.org.