Smart & Connected Rural Communities

S&CC Planning: Smart & Connected Rural Communities, NSF Award # 1737592

PI: Cajetan M. Akujuobi, P.E.
Co-PIs: Pamela Obiomon, Farrah Cambrice, Noel Estwick, Jerrel Moore
Senior Personnel: Dr. Shumon Alam, Dr. Suxia Cui
Students: Obinna Akujuobi, Fields Chastity
Community Partner: Mayor David Allen & City of Prairie View
Affiliation: Prairie View A&M University

Status of the Project | Outcomes

Project Aims

  • The primary goal of the Smart and Connected Rural Community planning grant is to explore how technology can be used to enhance the lives of rural residents.
  • The City of Prairie View (CPV) is selected for this planning project for its distinctive rural nature. Rural Community's unique Challenges are Low Income, Aging population,  and Aging Infrastructures.
  • To improve the quality of life, our researchers must assess the needs and desires of Prairie View Community (PVC) residents and tailor smart tools to meet those needs.

Project Activity

  • Since last year our team has been working closely with the Mayor, CPV residents and local government and engaging all the stockholders to asses the need of smart solutions. Below is the flowchart of project activity.


Current Status of the Project

  • The team has worked collaboratively to create an in depth survey instrument that was used to assess Prairie View City residents’ views on technology and some of their concerns regarding the implementation of SMART technologies.
  • Facilitated community meetings with the citizens of Prairie View City.
  • Administered in depth surveys with Stakeholders and then gathered qualitative feedback in an open forum on how technology should be implemented in the City of Prairie View.
  • SCC Team has completed Demographic Assessment, Assessment of Crime and Safety, Assessment of Health Services, and Assessment of Technology.
  • The research team completed the analysis of the needs and desires of the residents of the City of Prairie View.
  • Of the four sectors (healthcare services, communication technology, safety and emergency preparedness) under investigation, healthcare services or lack of healthcare services received the lowest satisfaction ratings from analysis. Therefore, healthcare services needed the most improvement.
  • Based on the findings from the assessment of the needs of  the community, the research team has formulated new research questions focused on telehealth services.
  • The research team will collect more data using a quantitative survey that will provide more information in the area of telehealth services.


  • Analyzed the need of the of Smart & Connected Rural Communities: need telehealth services using smart technologies
  • Formation of a Community Advisory Board
  • Identified an industry partner in the area of healthcare delivery (Copharix).
  • Submission of manuscript entitled Facilitating a Community-University Partnership in a Black Rural Community to the National Social Science Journal
  • Develop educational and training plan involving smart technologies in telehealth.
  • Will submit a grant proposal to NSF for the implementation of the selected smart technologies for the Smart & Connected Rural Communities

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