LifeBio Inc. and Benjamin Rose Institute Receive Federal SBIR Grant on Aging
LifeBio Inc. and the Benjamin Rose Institute on Ageing have developed an online platform designed to help dementia patients find their lives with the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health. The grant is $2,499,818 in total for two years of use.
Small Business Innovation Project grant will help build methods to remember people with dementia.
The fiercely competitive SBIR program facilitates the participation of small companies in federal research and development with the potential for trade, such as LifeBio Inc., a business based in Marysville, Columbus, Ohio, which has twenty years of remembrance and life story work experience. In collaborating with non-profit organizations, such as the Benjamin Rose Center on aging, founded in 1908 and a nationally recognized non-profit located in Cleveland. Its mission is to foster support for older adults and caregivers.
Challenges Faced by People Suffering from Dementia
It can be difficult for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias to access recent memories, whereas long-term memory of personal significance may persist in later stages. Research suggests that reminiscence therapy, such as life history work (using written and oral life history), maybe an efficient way for people with dementia to tap into long-term memories and boost moods.
Therapy Platform—LifeBio Memory
The grant provides LifeBio Inc. creates a LifeBio Memory reminiscent therapy platform that transmits speech to text and generates life history with its novel machine-learning application.
• It acts as an engaging tool for facilitating contact between dementia patients and their care partners.
• This framework utilizes advanced machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and tags to simplify story description formats, conveniently accessible to healthcare professionals and caregivers, in snapshot and Action Plan formats.
How is the Platform’s Effectiveness Improved?
Benjamin researchers are conducting Focus Group Evaluations of the new platform’s prototypes with former and current LifeBio users and potential new users living at home or older living organizations.
A complete fidelity test will be conducted on the enhanced product with employees working with dementia people in housing facilities such as nursing homes and helped living facilities.
Personnel and resident participants will receive questions on closeness, empathy, communication and the quality of life/connections to determine the program’s effectiveness in promoting and improving person-centered care.
Potential Impact of Developing an Online Platform on Patients
• The online platform based on a popular pilot project in nursing homes shows that the LifeBio product of the first generation will improve personal care by better understanding the residents through the unique history of nursing homes.
• With the new research by LifeBio Memory, Benjamin Rose Institute plan to not only repeat the positive findings but show changes in the level of restlessness, anxiety, isolation and strengthened ties between people living with dementia and staff.
“We are excited to grow our existing partnership with LifeBio, Inc., and help bring the LifeBio program to the cutting edge of person-and-family-centered care,” said Silvia Orsulic-Jeras, Research Associate at Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging. “Our previous pilot study of the original LifeBio program demonstrated positive findings, such as reducing depression, increasing job satisfaction among nursing home staff as well as achieving high levels of satisfaction with the program from residents.”