The last decade has seen an explosion of new technologies aimed at assessing and improving health. Examples include wearable devices, communication aids, robotics and e-textiles, just to name a few. During this period, there have also been enormous advances in technologies that were not created for health-related purposes, but that have potential applicability to health assessments and interventions, including mobile device applications (“apps”) and social media platforms.
However, most of these technologies were originally developed for use in adults with typical cognitive and motor function. As a result, there is currently a relative paucity of valid and reliable technological tools for individuals with intellectual, developmental (IDD) and physical disabilities.
This notice therefore invites small business applications specifically aimed at developing or building upon existing technological tools to improve assessments, interventions, and outcomes for children and individuals with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities.
Scope of Support
Applications responsive to this Notice will address tools and/or technologies and target populations of interest. Proposals must address one or more target populations of interest:
- Infants, children, adolescents and adults with IDD
- Infants or children, adolescents at risk for IDD, such as those with birth ischemia, cerebral palsy, inborn errors of metabolism, genetic conditions associated with cognitive impairment, or traumatic brain injury
Applications proposing tools and/or technologies may include, but are not limited to, home monitors, point-of-care diagnostic technologies, mobile devices, mobile device apps (including social media apps), and wearable sensors and monitors. They may also include tools that help share information between caregivers, or between families and clinicians, including tools that interface with electronic health record (EHR) platforms.
Technological areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Tools and technologies for assessing health and functional status among target populations. These may include:
- tools and technologies that identify physical, mental health, or behavioral comorbidities among individuals with IDD, such as seizures, sensory impairments, sleep impairments, or metabolic disorders
- tools and technologies that aid in monitoring and promoting optimal physical, mental health, or nutritional status (Quality of Life) among individuals with IDD
- tools and technologies that support activities of daily living and independence
- Tools and technologies that identify robust and reliable clinical outcome measures or biomarkers or validate existing measures for use in treatment trials and assessments for those with IDD
- Tools and technologies to deliver interventions to target populations. These may include:
- tools and technologies that aim to improve compliance with interventions such as medications
- tools and technologies that allow interventions to be delivered remotely
- tools and technologies that aid caregivers in caring for individuals with IDD
Some specific examples of tools and technologies that could be applied to individuals with IDD include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Validation of eye tracking technology to identify and monitor social gaze preferences in children at risk for autism, or children with autism receiving interventions targeting their social interactions
- Validation, reliability and sensitivity of activity sensors
- Actimetry sensors to identify and monitor sleep behaviors in IDD populations
- Devices that monitor physiologic parameters that may be valuable on their own or as proxy measures of other outcomes of interest; examples include heart rate monitors, multi-channel EEGs, or instruments that measure metabolite levels, such as ammonia levels among individuals with urea cycle disorders, or devices that measure heart rate, blood pressure and skin conductance as proxy measures of anxiety
- Mobile device applications (“apps”) to aid communication in individuals with language impairments
- Social media platforms or apps that can help individuals with IDD connect to caregivers, health or medical services, or support communities
- E-textiles and clothing applications to improve the mobility and functioning of individuals with motor impairments and IDD
Application and Submission Information
This notice applies to due dates on or after January 5, 2021 and subsequent receipt dates through January 8, 2022.
Submit applications for this initiative using one of the following funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) or any reissues of these announcement through the expiration date of this notice.
- PA-20-260 - PHS 2020 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC and FDA for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications (Parent SBIR [R43/R44] Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- PA-20-262 - PHS 2020-2 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC, and FDA for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications (Parent SBIR [R43/R44] Clinical Trial Required)
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the funding opportunity announcement used for submission must be followed, with the following additions:
- For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-HD-20-025” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B will not be considered for this initiative.
Please direct all inquiries to the contacts in Section VII of the listed funding opportunity announcements with the following additions/substitutions: