The proposed AIR project will commercialize a new technological breakthrough, the Interactive Web-Enabled Research System (IWERS-TDP), for the delivery and evaluation of a new online prevention application, TeenDrivingPlan, and will determine and implement adaptations of IWERS-TDP for its use as a general-purpose platform (IWERS-GENERAL) for large scale evaluation of diverse applications. The IWERS concept applies methodologies that bring rigor and required privacy and security of FDA-monitored clinical research trials to the evaluation of online applications. Year 1 will involve developing the Ecosystem, commercializing TeenDrivingPlan and the IWERS-TDP evaluation system, and designing market-driven modifications of IWERS-TDP. Year 2 will focus on growing the Ecosystem and implementing required software adaptations to evolve IWERS-TDP into the IWERS-GENERAL platform, in partnership with industry collaborators and new investors.

The proposed Ecosystem will support two national goals: (1) to strengthen the US innovation ecosystem (for technology to promote health and wellness) and (2) to create a society in which all people live long, healthy lives. Through accelerated commercialization of evaluated, commercially viable online applications in injury prevention, health promotion and disease management that are broadly available through the Web, the Ecosystem will reduce disparities in access to high quality health resources. Experiential training in entrepreneurship will prepare diverse students for careers in e-Health through work on IWERS development, research and commercialization. Jobs will be created as the Ecosystem is established and evolves into a regional hub-and-spoke technology cluster in Health and Wellness in the Greater Philadelphia Region. The woman-led Ecosystem will promote diverse faculty participation.

Project Report

This Accelerating Innovation Research project addressed a major health issue: creating an accountable digital health revolution. The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and others recognize the potential for technology to transform healthcare. Unfortunately, technological advances for health, safety and well-being have outpaced the evidence. This project created a systematic evaluation platform that can be used broadly to conduct the evaluation studies needed to assure that digital health solutions are safe, effective and efficient in achieving real health outcomes. The project incorporated careful integration of medical practice, physician-patient interactions, and best practices in clinical trials with behavioral science and computer science methodologies. One specific instantiation of the use of the Evaluation Platform involved a randomized trial of a new intervention to improve safe driving skills among novice young drivers. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for adolescents and the digital health intervention, Teen Driving Plan, aimed to guide families through the learner phase. For a six-month long randomized trial, the Evaluation Platform collected data regarding the use of Teen Driving Plan and managed many of the research processes. Results of the evaluation demonstrated the effectiveness of Teen Driving Plan in improving safety relevant, on-road driving behavior, primarily through greater driving practice diversity. Further analysis of how families used Teen Driving Plan revealed improvements for future learner driver interventions: provide important information early in the learner period when engagement is greatest, encourage continued learning as part of logging practice drives, and incorporate monitoring software for further personalization to meet family needs. The Teen Driving Plan was launched commercially by a large automobile insurer who made it available for free to the public. This proof of concept and the business development work of the Accelerating Innovation Research grant led to a small business technology transfer grant aimed to commercialize the Evaluation Platform.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)
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Barbara H. Kenny
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The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
United States
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