CART Mission

The CART Initiative seeks to create a national research infrastructure that uses rapidly evolving new technologies and big data to study aging in place. Over the next four years, CART will determine how these technologies can be used to detect meaningful health changes in older adults of diverse backgrounds. Researchers want to understand how to ensure independent, healthy aging for our growing aging population.

How will the CART Initiative achieve its goals?

Aging in Place

Aging in Place refers to when a person chooses to live in a residence of their choice, for as long as they are able to, as they age. Someone might choose to stay in his or her own home in order to remain independent or to continue living in a familiar environment. Many of those over the age of 65 are choosing to age in place in the United States.

As more people chose to age in place, challenges will arise in facilitating independence and health. After the age of 65, 70% of Americans will also need some long-term care services, in the form of home care, assisted living or adult day services.* Considering the growth of the aging population, the cost of care is projected to be over $1 trillion dollars by 2050 in the United States.** Many new technologies have been introduced and developed over the past decade that hope to improve how health care professionals address and assess the health care and home care needs of older adults who age in place.These technologies use sensing computing, mobile and wireless communications, wearable technologies and big data analytics to continuously measure activity and movement in real-time.

Though they are abundant, these technologies have yet to be fully evaluated or implemented. The CART Initiative seeks to better understand how these technologies can be used to assess activity in a home and track health and well-being, with the eventual goal of using the collected data to potentially detect the onset of medical problems that may need a medical practitioner's or caregiver's attention.

* U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Who needs care? [online]. Available at:
** Kaye H, Harrington C, LaPlante M. Long-term care: Who gets it, who provides it, who pays, and how much? Health Affairs. 29:11-21, 2010.