Rural-Health-Mate was developed under a grant from a division of the USDA that is focused on rural living for the purpose of improving the health and wellbeing of the elderly population in rural America. The technology bore from this project/grant was used to collect data/feedback from elderly in rural settings to bridge the communication gap and quality of care between face-to-face appointments. Rural Health Mate evolved into the foundation of what would later become CreateAbility’s Evalu8NOW technology solution.
Using recent research and development efforts in other SBIR projects and integrating existing technology, the Rural-Health-Mate was the first affordable system designed specifically for rural seniors to positively impact their health and promote aging in place.
The grant was issued to better monitor elderly clients in rural setting and allow for more transparency in daily living to positively affect: the higher incidence of diabetes and heart disease in rural elderly, improve lower-than-average health outcomes of rural elderly vs. urban counterparts, and conditions in rural America such as lower insurance coverage, financial circumstances of rural hospitals, federal rules regarding Medicare reimbursement rates, and too few health care resources that must cover a sparse and scattered population.
The primary functions of Rural-Health-Mate technology was to:
1) Provide a daily interaction between the senior and a key stakeholder.
2) Assess fall risk and preventing falls.
3) Coordinate services.
4) Remotely monitor vital signs (blood pressure, weight and others as needed).
5) Increase medication compliance.
With the success of Rural-Health-Mate noted through USDA Phase 1 results, CreateAbility secured funding for Phase II which focused on utilizing the technology to extend access to healthcare for all people who will not travel into the city for necessary healthcare checkups.
Today, the list of assessments provided by this avatar-led method of data collection (now called Evalu8NOW) has grown to include:
Mood (PHQ-9 and GAD-7)
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Dyscontrol (Managing Emotions)
Level of Disability (MPAI)
Vitals (BP, Weight, HR, Glucose / Blood Sugar, Pulse Ox)
Client satisfaction assessments
Social Determinants of Health (food insecurity, etc.)
Evalu8NOW paves the way for additional research and development, such as the effect of isolation on the health and wellbeing of older adults.
For more information on Evalu8NOW technology, out-of-the-box assessment solutions, or ways to customize Evalu8NOW technology to benefit your organization, please click here.