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R3 Telewellness Technologies

Principal Investigator

Tracy Mitzner, Ph.D.

Team

Elena Remillard, M.S., Kara Cohen, B.S/B.A., Laura Rice, Ph.D., MPT, ATP, Jenay Beer, Ph.D.

Students

Lelah Cochran, Tanvi Dange, & Ritika Sadalge.

Partners

Tai Chi for Health Institute

Overview

Group exercise classes, such as yoga and Tai Chi, have the potential to provide both physical and social health benefits. However, substantial barriers exist for adults aging with lower-body mobility disabilities to engage in group exercise classes, including lack of transportation to classes, inaccessible buildings where classes are held, and lack of appropriate modifications. Tele-technology, such as video-conferencing software with audio and video exchange, provides the opportunity for people to deliver and attend group exercise classes remotely, with great potential to support people aging with mobility disabilities (Beer, Mitzner, Stuck, & Rogers, 2015). 

Building on our earlier TechSAge research on the acceptance and usability of such “Telewellness” technologies, we are using video-based conferencing to translate an in-person, evidence-based Tai Chi class to an online, social experience. The Tele Tai Chi intervention study will explore whether or not the Tele Tai Chi program can increase social interaction and positive health behaviors (i.e., physical exercise frequency) among older adults with long-term mobility disabilities. 

Project Status

The ‘Tele Tai Chi’ study is underway! We are seeking participants for a clinical trial for Tele Tai Chi, an 8-week virtual seated Tai Chi program for older adults with long-term mobility disabilities. The program consists of two online classes per week on Zoom, questionnaires, and an interview. Participants must be between the ages of 60-80, have mobility challenges for at least 10 years, and have access to a computer or tablet with a webcam and internet access. Participants will be compensated $60 for their time. For more information, see study flyer or contact Elena Remillard, study coordinator, at elena.remillard@design.gatech.edu

Tai chi class broadcasted on Zoom video conferencing

The TechSAge Tool, “Guidelines for delivering telewellness programs to older adults with disabilities”, is now available. It includes key considerations in the design and execution of telewellness programs for older adults with disabilities (e.g., software selection, safety, class organization and logistics, social time structure, and technical support), which are informed by our experience developing and conducting a Tele Tai Chi program as part of a clinical trial.  

Select Publications

Mitzner, T. L. & Remillard, E.T. (2019). How one telewellness project focused on helping older adults with mobility disabilities age in place. The Journal on Active Aging, 18(4), 72-77. https://techsage.gatech.edu/sites/default/files/2020-12/Telewellness-low%20res.pdf

Mitzner, T. L., Stuck R., Hartley, J. Q., Beer, J. M., & Rogers, W. A. (2017). Acceptance of televideo technology by adults aging with a mobility impairment for health and wellness interventions. Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering, 4, 1-12. 10.1177/2055668317692755

Beer, J. M., Mitzner, T. L., Stuck, R. E., & Rogers, W. A. (2015). Design considerations for technology interventions to support social and physical wellness for older adults with disability. International Journal of Automation and Smart Technology (AUSMT), 5(4), 249-264. 10.4017/gt.2015.14.1.004.00

Wu, X., Thomas, R. C., Drobina, E. C., Mitzner, T. L., & Beer, J. M. (2017). Telepresence heuristic evaluation for adults aging with mobility impairment.  Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 61(1), 16-20. 10.1177/1541931213601499

Stuck, R. E., Hartley, J. Q., Mitzner, T. L., Beer, J. M., & Rogers, W. A. (2017). Understanding attitudes of adults aging with mobility impairments toward telepresence robots. Proceedings of the 12th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction [Late Breaking Report], 293-294. 10.1145/3029798.3038351

Wu, X., Thomas, R., Drobina, E., Mitzner, T. L., & Beer, J. M.  (2017). An evaluation of a telepresence robot: User testing among older Americans with mobility impairment.  Proceedings of the 12th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction [Late Breaking Report], 325-326. 10.1145/3029798.303832

Project Alumni

Megan Bayles, B.S., Grace Cha, M.ID., Lawrence Chan, MS-HCI, Jordan Chen, M.S., Lucile Dupuy, Ph.D., Christina Harrington, Ph.D., Jordan Hartley, B.S., Nida Javaid, B.S., Laura Matalenas, Ph.D., Sean McGlynn, Ph.D., Kaitlyn Shinault, B.S., Rachel Stuck, M.S., Dann Rhee, B.S.

 

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