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BetterAge Receives $2.5 Million SBIR Grant From National Institute on Aging

Funds to Transform Older Adult Well-Being Through Innovative Web-based Platform


After a rigorous selection process, BetterAge has been awarded a major Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by the National Institute on Aging. The $2.5 million grant will support the development of a groundbreaking web-based platform designed to enhance the quality of life for older adults and their caregivers.


The grant will enable BetterAge to build a platform at the forefront of personalized population health, offering a comprehensive, rules-based expert system that evaluates twelve domains of wellbeing, social determinants of health and consumer preferences and priorities. Through a detailed assessment, and evidence-based advice, the platform provides older adults with personalized, actionable plans tailored to their unique needs and life contexts. The platform simultaneously captures new data and insights to inform organizations and policymakers.


"Receiving this grant is a testament to the urgent need for innovative solutions that address the holistic well-being of the aging population," stated Jim Firman, Ed.D., Principal Investigator of the project, and a veteran in aging program development. "BetterAge is set to transform how older adults and the organizations that serve them approach health and well-being, providing them with the tools and support necessary to lead fulfilling lives.”


The project builds on Dr. Firman's extensive background in developing innovative services for older adults, leverages the expertise of leading experts in gerontology, healthcare, and technology development, including BetterAge’s Chief Technology Officer, Stephen Engels, Yong Choi, Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh) and BenTen Technologies.


The project involves collaborating with six leading community-based organizations as pilot/research sites, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.


Other leading experts contributing to the success of this project are Brita Roy, MD, MPH, NYU Langone School of Medicine; Susan Hughes, DSW, University of Illinois, School of Public Health; Dacher Keltner, PhD, UC Berkeley School of Public Health; Robyn Golden, LCSW, Rush Medical School; Chintan Pandaya, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Information Technology; David Bass, PhD, Benjamin Rose Institute; Prabhjot Singh, MD, PhD, MPH, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; and Jay Greenberg, ScD, Social Enterprise Advisors.


The grant will fund two critical phases of development: initial research and testing to refine a comprehensive platform, followed by a randomized controlled trial to validate its efficacy. A key focus will be on inclusivity, ensuring the platform meets the diverse needs of older adults, including underserved communities.


“We are thrilled to partner with BetterAge on this innovative project,” said Greg Olsen, Director of the New York State Office on Aging. “I have seen the BetterAge platform and know it will bring value to older adults, organizations, and policymakers. NYSFOA is committed to the expansion of its use in New York as it promises to be a significant advancement in our collective efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of older adults.”


“BetterAge will enable Area Agencies on Aging to reach more older New Yorkers earlier on in the aging journey while also providing new data and insights to inform policy and advocacy efforts,” said Becky Preve, Executive Director of the Association for Aging in New York. “With the NIH standing behind our work, we can fully commit to developing a platform of health education and engagement that will change the lives of older adults and make a lasting impact on communities all over the country,” said BetterAge CEO and Co-Founder, Diana Yin.

 

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