Tuesday, September 8, 2009

$500,000 in Grants Available

The Center for Technology and Aging located in Oakland California, has application guidelines available for their $500,000 Medication Optimization Diffusion Grants Program. Up to six one year grants will be awarded to organizations successfully proposing programs directly benefiting older adults. Four or five grants will focus on Californians while one or two may benefit older adults in other regions of the U.S.

Medication optimization refers to a wide variety of technologies designed to help older adults dispense and track their medications. Medication optimization technologies are particularly applicable for the elderly and people with chronic illness or complicated medication regimens. Sometimes this can help older adults avoid or delay a move from the home or community-based setting that they prefer.

“Medication-related errors are taking a terrible toll on the health and lives of older adults,” said David Lindeman, PhD, Director, of the Center. He reports that of the three billion medication prescriptions issued each year in the U.S., 12% are never picked up by the patient and 40% are not taken correctly. Additionally, older adults too often receive duplicate prescriptions or prescriptions that have not been safety checked for drug interactions. Yet, effective tools and technologies already exist to greatly reduce these problems.

The grant funding is available for programs to use technologies ready to be used more broadly. Grantees will be expected to have prior experience with medication optimization technologies and need to be able to demonstrate a positive and measureable impact in the near term. The grantees will also need to propose a strategy on how to successfully integrate the technology into state and national healthcare delivery and reimbursement systems.

The deadline for interested organizations to submit Letters of Intent is October 2, 2009. Applicants will be notified of they are selected to submit a full proposal by October 14th. The anticipated start date for the grants is January 1, 2020.

In August, the Center released “Technologies to Help Older Adults Maintain Independence: Advancing Technology Adoption”, a briefing paper that describes seven technology areas with significant potential to improve chronic healthcare while reducing healthcare costs.

To download the grant application information, go to www.techandaging.org/medopgrant.pdf or go to www.techandaging.org. To download the briefing paper, go to www.techandaging.org/briefingpaper.pdf. For more information, email Daniel Danzig at dan@danzigcom.com or call (925) 216-8153.