Asbury Launches Senior Brain Health, Biosensing Pilots

REACT Neuro and Harvard Partnerships Showcase Senior Tech Innovations

As a community designed to support aging better for longer, Asbury Methodist Village is proud to be the only mid-Atlantic region testing partner for REACT Neuro, a program that utilizes virtual reality technology for cognitive assessments. The REACT Neuro program will be housed at the new Rosborough Brain Health Center for Excellence.

REACT Neuro is being developed by a team of internationally acclaimed neuroscientists. Leading the team is Rudy Tanzi, Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, who discovered the first Alzheimer’s gene.

REACT Neuro pilot

Currently, about 25 residents of Asbury – none of whom have memory issues – are enrolled in the REACT pilot, using the virtual reality headset by Pico Interactive to take a 7-minute exam that monitors eye movement, changes in voice, and changes in movement to measure executive function, attention, and memory. Pilot members are actually contributing data that will create REACT’s ‘normal’ brain function benchmarks. Eventually, the tool will be used to identify markers for early detection of neurological disease and develop treatment plans that support potential cognitive decline.

REACT Neuro is the work of brain experts from the Cambridge Innovation Center who hail from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital McCance Center for Brain Health.

“With heart health, we don’t wait for someone to have a heart attack to intervene,” says REACT team member Rudy Tanzi. “Doctors review metrics like blood pressure, heart rate, EKG, and when those metrics show concerning trends, doctors can intervene. REACT is launching pilots across the country with the goal of working to uncover those metrics for brain health.”

The goal is for REACT Neuro, which is a key component of the Rosborough Brain Health Center for Excellence, to eventually be offered to all Asbury residents at all levels of living. Asbury residents interested in learning about the pilot may contact Director of Wellness Sue Paul at spaul@asbury.org. Asbury Foundation is grateful for philanthropic support which helped enable our enrollment in REACT Neuro.

Harvard, NIA study at Asbury

Asbury Methodist Village is also proud to be taking part in a study to transform predictive data of COVID onset into preventive care that is funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging.

Harvard University’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass., the study’s principal investigator, is working with resident volunteers, and ThriveWell Tech, Asbury Communities’ IT services company.

Using Brigham and Women’s data on COVID cases, Harvard’s Machine Learning Team has created a risk-prediction model to predict and detect early indicators of COVID. They are partnering with Asbury to gather resident volunteers who can help them refine the predictive algorithm and test a COVID-sensing platform which uses biosensing technology to monitor such areas as temperature, activity levels, and heart and respiratory rates. ThriveWell Tech will play a key role in generating “streaming data” to feed the model and working with partners on a biosensing watch that will monitor and relay key vital signs in real time.

“We are extremely excited with the potential this pilot will have to use advanced cloud platforms to generate, consume, organize and analyze resident data for targeted actions and outcomes that will benefit residents,” says ThriveWell Tech President Nick Patel.

“This is truly the next phase of the evolution in post-acute care and a true reflection of how critical it is for senior living operators to adapt and consume new technology,” adds Doug Leidig, CEO of Asbury Communities, which operates Asbury Methodist Village. “We are honored for the support of members of the Asbury philanthropic family and grant-funding institutions that are helping to make these innovative pilots possible.”

“We are grateful that Asbury Methodist Village can serve as the staging ground for such important work,” says Michele Potter, Executive Director of Asbury Methodist Village. “We are thrilled to be able to work with this caliber of people and organizations as we help the seniors of today and tomorrow.”

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