ARLINGTON - The
University of Texas at Arlington’s College
of Nursing and College of Engineering have received $634,500 in federal funds
to kick off Smart Care – a discovery and demonstration center for technologies
to help senior citizens, people with disabilities and injured veterans live
healthier and longer in their own homes.
will work with business and industry partners to integrate advanced sensors,
wireless communication and other technologies into a simulated home
environment. Smart Care will evaluate the usefulness of existing medical
monitoring devices or hardware. Researchers will also develop interfaces to
connect devices and software that can interpret data and alert healthcare
providers to needs for intervention.
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Arlington, championed the initial funding for the project of
$634,500 from the Health Resources and Services Administration.
“I am proud to see that UT Arlington is once again leading the way when
it comes to high tech medical care,” Barton said. “The technologies developed
will give more seniors a chance to spend their golden years at home. Plus Smart
Care will reduce costs, while at the same time allowing nurses and doctors to
be more efficient with their time. This research will ultimately save lives and
money, not only in North Texas, but nationwide.”
start-up funding will move Smart Care toward becoming an innovative model that
can be applied throughout the country, said Carolyn Cason, associate dean for
research in UT Arlington’s College of Nursing.
"With a growing senior population
and more Americans than ever living with disabilities, technology devices have
a promising role in monitoring health data, evaluating rehabilitation, and
assisting treatment decisions," Cason said. "UT Arlington's Smart
Care can be on the forefront, allowing for more efficient use of these advances
and reducing the risks of independent living."
of the technologies already slated for evaluation in the Smart Care center
bathroom with a health-monitoring toilet that measures the volume and frequency
of elimination of urine and solid waste. It also includes an electronic mat
that captures subtle differences in balance.
electronic medication delivery and reminder system that is integrated into a
sleep center that will be equipped with sensors to monitor sleep apnea and
other sleep disturbances.
In addition to
Cason, the team of researchers includes Associate Professors Manfred Huber and
Gergely Zaruba and Senior Lecturer David Levine from the College of
Engineering’s Computer Science and Engineering Department.
an assistant nursing professor and director of UT Arlington’s Adult and
Gerontologic Nurse Practitioner Program, will act as program manager for Smart
Care researchers will use UT Arlington’s Smart Hospital and laboratory space in
UT Arlington’s Social Work Complex to begin their work. They also plan to build
relationships with area retirement centers where technology can be installed. Eventually,
Smart Care will be a freestanding facility with a living environment and
research stations, researchers say.
The University of Texas at
Arlington is one of the state’s seven emerging research institutions and has
nearly 33,000 students. Visit www.uta.edu for more information about
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.