What is CART?
The Collaborative Aging Research using Technology (CART) Initiative is a multi-year nationwide study that seeks to facilitate the health and independence of older adults who are members of diverse communities. The Initiative uses innovative technologies to advance research about aging in place. Developed and managed in partnership between OHSU, the Department of Veteran Affairs, Rush University and the University of Miami and funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Initiative underscores the sharing of ideas, resources and data amongst its many collaborators.
The Past and the Future
Various organizations and past partnerships laid the groundwork for CART. Starting in 2001, a series of workshops hosted by the National Research Council and the National Institutes of Health explored how health-related technologies could impact a growing aging population. That same year, the Oregon Center for Aging and Technology (ORCATECH) was established with the goal of developing and implementing technologies that gather real-time data about day-to-day life activities.
In 2010 the Senior Independent Living Research Network Initiative (SNI) brought together federal agencies, private industries, foundations, healthcare providers and academic institutions to develop a wide-scale framework for research into aging in place. The technology infrastructure from ORCATECH and the collaborative research network from SNI gave CART the blueprint to study aging in place on a larger scale.
The technology platform is outfitted in the homes of older adults, including African-Americans and Latinos living in Chicago and Miami, low-income octogenarians living in Portland and veterans living in rural areas of the Pacific Northwest. The Initiative began installing the technology platform in 240 homes in 2017.
Using the data compiled during Phase I - otherwise known as the Demonstration Project - researchers will be able to recommend when the network of homes should be expanded and how many more homes should be included in this expansion. The overall goal during the expansion phase (Phase II) is to include several thousand homes.