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People Power Awarded Grant from National Institute on Aging for Berkeley Caregiver Study

By Ken Briodagh
July 02, 2018

According to a recent announcement, People Power, Internet of Things (IoT) software company providing white-label IoT solutions for energy, security and care services, has received first year funding of a research grant expected to total $4.5 million over three years from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) focused on in-home supportive solutions for dementia caregivers. The results of the collaborative research with University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) will produce critical information about how connected in-home services can best administer assistance and peace of mind to caregivers actively involved in providing care for a family member with dementia. Additionally, these findings will improve quality of life to help aging adults live more independently.

The grant is funded through the National Institute on Aging whose mission is to improve the health and wellness of older Americans through biomedical, social and behavioral research focused on aging processes and age-related diseases.

People Power, a developer of smart home solutions with artificial intelligence-based (AI) microservices for the energy and security industries, will leverage the company’s technical and human interface expertise to develop commercial care solutions based on collaborative research with UC Berkeley’s Professor Dr. Robert W. Levenson, a 2018 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Science. A recognized expert in the fields of emotional functioning and neurodegenerative diseases, Dr. Levenson will utilize state-of-the-art research methodologies to assess emotional functioning in persons with dementia and their caregivers and to evaluate the effects of People Power’s connected in-home services at the Berkeley Psychophysiology Laboratory, one of the world’s leading research laboratories for the study of human aging. 

“We can help people care for their loved ones using smart home services that reduce stress, anxiety and loneliness,” said Gene Wang, CEO, People Power. “Receiving this grant and our collaboration with Professor Levenson at UC Berkeley is the first step in providing desperately needed support for caregivers through carefully designed connected services.”

To address a large and expanding global market opportunity, the goal of the initiative is the development of an affordable commercial service to increase safety and quality of life for both caregivers and persons with dementia. Building upon the foundation of People Power’s low cost, easy-to-install intelligent home security solutions, the customized service will target the critical needs of family caregivers including personal safety, health, daily activity monitoring and social integration.

“Caregiving for persons with dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases can be extremely stressful, and many caregivers experience marked declines in mental and physical health,” said Dr. Robert W. Levenson, Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley. “Our participation in this collaborative research with People Power will address the profound intertwining of the lives and well-being of caregivers and persons with dementia as they engage in one of life’s most challenging and intimate relationships.”

This Small Business Innovation Research Project has been wholly funded by National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under award number R44AG059458.


Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

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