AbstractSleep disturbances are common in older adults and may contribute to disease progression in certain populations (e.g., Alzheimer’s Disease). Light therapy is a simple and cost-effective intervention to improve sleep. Primary barriers to light therapy are: 1) poor acceptability to use of devices and 2) inflexibility of current devices to deliver beyond a fixed light spectrum and throughout the entirety of the day. However, dynamic, tunable lighting integrated into the native home lighting system can potentially overcome these limitations. Herein, we describe our protocol to implement a whole-home tunable lighting system which was installed throughout the homes of healthy older adults already enrolled in an existing study with embedded home assessment platforms (Oregon Center for Aging & Technology - ORCATECH). Within ORCATECH, continuous data on room location, activity, sleep, and general health parameters are collected at minute-to-minute resolution over years of participation. This single arm longitudinal protocol collected participants’ light usage in addition to ORCATECH outcome measures over a several month period before and after light installation. The protocol was implemented with 4 subjects living in 3 ORCATECH homes. Both technical and usability challenges were qualitatively explored. The successful implementation of our protocol supports the feasibility of implementing and integrating tunable whole-home lighting systems into an automated home-based assessment platform for continuous data collection of outcome variables including long-term sleep measures. Challenges and iterative approaches are discussed. This protocol will inform the implementation of future clinical intervention trials using light therapy in patients at risk for developing Alzheimer’s Disease and related conditions.
Published: September 21, 2022