UB’s Center for Excellence in Home Health and Well-Being through Adaptive Smart Environments (Home-BASE) performs transformative research and educational activities dedicated to home health and wellness in three areas: Environments for Health and Well-Being, Integrated Assistive Technologies, and Home Health Informatics. It is a multidisciplinary center supporting faculty and student collaborations across multiple schools within the university including the Schools of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Nursing, Public Health and Health Professions, Architecture and Planning, and Medicine.
Alignment with UB’s Mission:
The center is aligned with 3 UB Strategic Strength Initiatives: Information and Computing Technology, Integrated Nanostructured Systems, and Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan.
Importance of Technologies and Environments that Support Home Health
There is a great need for technological advancements that support home health throughout the lifespan. Economic realities, a rapidly aging population, and increased rates of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease have focused national awareness on the need to reduce health care costs while improving access to health services, encouraging lifestyle choices that improve individual health, and supporting continued independence for aging or functionally limited populations. These pressures have resulted in numerous calls for transformative models of healthcare delivery, a shift from reactive to preventative care, and development and implementation of electronic health records and other health information technology. A key component of this change will be a shift of healthcare and information delivery from traditional medical settings to the home.
Recent advances in information technology, sensing systems, and assistive technologies and environments provide opportunities to significantly advance home health and wellbeing practice. But, there are many questions about how to best support health and wellbeing in the home across the lifespan. For example: How can information technologies be used to promote healthy lifestyle choices at home? Which combination of biosensors and data fusion techniques can most effectively monitor health among people in the home? How can communication between patients and clinicians be best supported in home health care? What factors contribute to consumer acceptance of advanced technology in home settings?
Designing and implementing realizable technologies and environments that seamlessly support and promote healthy behaviors and choices, assist and adapt to individuals with varying abilities, and allow individuals to meaningfully interact with their own health information and health care providers requires researchers who have a deep understanding of personal health needs and practices, environmental and systems design, and technological possibilities.