Under the acronym "Survey and Test Platform for use in Underserved Populations, Phase II (STeP- UP2)," Advanced Medical Electronics Corp, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and several secondary partners, proposes to expand the prototype hardware/software platform called STeP-UP created in the first phase of this STTR project. We have demonstrated the feasibility of a platform that can easily accommodate hardware and software services with different applications in the field of vision testing running as classes, and parameters and data being passed among these classes as XML tokens. We now propose to broaden the range of applications with auditory, perceptual, and cognitive tests, as well as a range of survey instruments for interview and self-reporting purposes. We have obtained commitments from several researchers and companies interested in bundling their tests and surveys into a single portable platform. The hardware for the proposed phase 2 units will consist of a touch screen portable PC with an external flat screen, sound card, and earphones for stimulus presentation;screen calibration subsystem;and optional chin rest and gaze tracking subsystem. The system will be sufficiently light-weight and portable to administer a variety of tests and survey instruments in settings ranging from living rooms to libraries, from community centers to nursing homes, and from inner cities and rural counties in the US to locations throughout the developing world. The hardware will be physically durable and have built-in calibration and monitoring services;optional gaze- tracking capability will continue to be an integral part of the design and prototype. The graphical user interface of the software will be sufficiently simple to allow administration by non-professionals, following a brief instruction through a built-in on-screen course, and will have built-in redundancy and error checking. The objective for phase 2 of the project is for the AME team to work with outside researchers and companies to expand the platform for functional data collection in visual and auditory function, attention, cognition, and health and wellness surveys;and for the JHU team to validate the integrated test and control software in a wide-ranging population of unaffected and special needs subjects of varying ages;this validation stage will include test and survey administration by minimally trained individuals. This should form the basis for a production and marketing program by multiple vendors.
Health studies of underserved populations, whether in the inner city and rural US or in the developing world, often lack precise and versatile test and survey instruments, and trained professionals to operate these instruments. The major objective of this proposal is to further enhance a previously constructed prototype test and survey platform based on a tablet PC with a secondary screen and high quality sound, with integrated calibration and monitoring hardware and software tools and a gaze-tracking subsystem. The upgraded system will be geared towards screening tests and surveys of visual and auditory function, attention, cognition, and health and wellness in general. Such a platform can be used by surveyors in the community to rapidly screen for sensory and wellness problems that may warrant medical attention.