The goal of this three-year Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Competing Phase II Renewal project, titled "SocioWorks: A Web Toolset Product for Applied Social Network Analysis" is to create a technologically and organizationally scalable web application toolset for social network methods and their application to improving health and productivity - integrated across the units of analysis of individual patients, health care providers, administrators, and public health officials. This enterprise robust product, named "SocioWorks"", is intended to meet emerging needs in markets for applying Social Network Analysis (SNA) to solve problems and generate new knowledge in the health domain. SocioWorks will be designed to enable and facilitate observing, understanding, working with, and changing relationship-based organizational knowledge and processes in hospitals and other health care systems. It will support social network-based clinical and public health intervention research and programs, and it will serve as a tool for patients and families to better perceive themselves and the social structures they are embedded within. SocioWorks will have value to communities, for example to help families adjust to caregiving needs for a relative and to scale related research and intervention up to the policy level to support such caregiving. This project seeks to develop and integrate tools to take advantage of, and extend, understandings of how peer, family, team, organizational, and other social structures influence and are part of health processes and outcomes, and, to support scientifically guided change. While this project will focus on developing SocioWorks for applying to aging issues, the utility in all realms of health will be equally promising. Network analysis has expanded in some branches of health research in the past several years, and has been recognized in aging research as important for some time. As such, the utility of network studies for intervention is becoming clearer. Different levels of data (i.e., individuals, providers, institutions like hospitals, and public health systems/management) can be gathered as well as linked together in the proposed SocioWorks software infrastructure. As proposed for this web-based software, interventions will work not only at the level of social organization at which they are directed, but can also be incorporated into interventions at other levels as well as integrated with research and analysis across the various levels of social organization. Integrated network analysis would help people at any of the levels identify which social network types or features are associated with which kinds of health behaviors and outcomes, plus provide the basis for developing specific ways in which to address social constraints and opportunities related to health aspects of aging. SocioWorks will facilitate using social network approaches in diverse settings and multiple sites by giving users significant capabilities to author and manage their projects, protocols, procedures, assessment items, and data to meet their specific needs. SocioWorks will provide protocol-based task scheduling and tracking functionality for social network research projects and programmatic applications, such as Patient Safety and Quality Improvement programs in hospitals. SocioWorks will provide tools for multi-site research collaboration, rule-based sharing of study information and data sets, and security management. It will support interoperability and integration with other systems using standard methods, and will include data import and export in standard formats. The underlying technologies will be reliable and scalable, and clients using computation-intensive algorithms will be able to use computational resources from the application servers. As a pure web-based system, SocioWorks will offer full functionality as a hosted application, but clients will have options for deploying the system on their own servers

Public Health Relevance

This project titled "SocioWorks: A Web Toolset Product for Applied Social Network Analysis" will create a highly innovative web toolset for social network methods and their application to improving health and productivity. This enterprise robust product, named "SocioWorks"", is intended to meet emerging needs in markets for applying Social Network Analysis (SNA) to solve problems and generate new knowledge in the health domain. SocioWorks will be designed to enable and facilitate observing, understanding, working with, and changing relationship-based organizational knowledge and processes in hospitals and other health care systems. SocioWorks will facilitate using social network approaches in diverse settings and multiple sites by giving users significant capabilities to author and manage their projects, protocols, procedures, assessment items, and data to meet their specific needs. It will be architected to support ongoing change and evolution in response to new user goals, needs, problems, and requirements, providing a deep level of sustainable innovation.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
Project #
5R44AG038316-06
Application #
8314015
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-HDM-G (12))
Program Officer
Haaga, John G
Project Start
2010-09-15
Project End
2014-08-31
Budget Start
2012-09-01
Budget End
2014-08-31
Support Year
6
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$779,846
Indirect Cost
Name
Medical Decision Logic, Inc.
Department
Type
DUNS #
943185496
City
Baltimore
State
MD
Country
United States
Zip Code
21202