NIH Research Opportunity: NIH Grant-Subcontract for Clinical Research Center

NIH Research OpportunityClinical research centers are encouraged to consider the NIH research opportunity outlined herein. Telemental Health can be broadly defined as the delivery of mental healthcare services to distal locations by electronic connectivity. In recent years, telemedicine has expanded to include a wide range of remotely delivered services, including vital signs monitoring, medication management, “telepsychiatry” and others. The increasing utilization of telemedicine is driven by cost and, for distal (“underserved”) regions, a lack of professionals to deliver otherwise unavailable services.

The proposed Multimodal Computerized Assessment System (MCAS) will support remote, audio-video-based administration of computerized neuropsychological tests and behavioral-psychiatric measures (BPMs) in a similar manner as if the clinician were sitting face-to-face. MCAS will enable qualified clinicians to remotely conduct complex neuropsychological and psychiatric evaluations across a range of brain disorders, including: traumatic brain injury, stroke, brain tumor, neurotoxicological insult, HIV-related encephalopathy, schizophrenia, and dementias. The MCAS will improve access, lower cost, and increase quality of care.

A cross-platform architecture will serve three distinct domains: clinical practice; clinical trials and research.  Remote locations broadly include hospitals (e.g. state mental health services, VA system), managed care facilities, group practice sites, nursing homes, correctional facilities, regional health clinics, in both rural and metropolitan areas. The MCAS GUI will provide onscreen controls enabling an examiner to: control the pace of the test session, repeat and supplement computerized instructions, immediately score verbal report or overt behavior in real time, and enter session notes. Thus, the MCAS is well suited for application in impaired populations that commonly require ongoing monitoring and supplemental instruction.

In this telehealth research project, contracted sites will perform beta-testing of remotely administered televideo-based, computerized cognitive assessments in 20 human participants with a previously diagnosed CNS disorder (schizophrenia, dementia, TBI) over a 6 month Phase I period. The subcontract amount is approximately $20,000, depending on the applicable indirect cost rate. Subcontractor sites must have research experience, familiarity with IRB application.

Affiliation with a university or an established community-based health provider institution is a requirement.

Interested parties should send a site description and current CV to James P. O’Halloran, Ph.D. 




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