With more than a fifth of all Canadians projected to be aged 65 or older prior to 2030 (according to Statistics Canada) and up to 6% of the population anticipated to be aged 80 or older within that same period, experts at Carleton University, the Bruyère Research Institute, the National Research Council Canada (NRC) and Best Buy Health are currently exploring how enhanced smart-home monitoring technologies could play a key role in keeping seniors in their homes longer and improving their overall health and quality of life as they age.
As Canada continues down the path towards an aging population with increased health care costs and needs, smart home integration for seniors may be a crucial step in establishing sustainable care for the future, while helping older adults live more independently by providing caregivers with valuable data that can help identify changes in daily functioning and inform possible health needs.
In this talk – moderated by Dr. Amaya Arcelus, Director of the NRC’s Aging in Place Challenge Program – event panelists Dr. Rafik Goubran, Carleton’s Vice-President (Research & International), Dr. Frank Knoefel, Bruyère Research Institute physician, Dr. Heidi Sveistrup, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer at Bruyère Research Institute and Vice-President, Bruyère Continuing Care, and Sara Aghvami, Director of Best Buy Health, will discuss the benefits of in-home sensor-based smart technologies that can monitor numerous aspects of older adults’ health, safety and well-being. In outlining their collaborative research, the panel will identify how sensor data can help caregivers identify seniors’ health needs and lead to informed care decisions. They will also discuss important privacy considerations, along with broader applications of health-based smart home monitoring, such as assisting persons with disabilities and enabling greater personal health awareness among the general population.
Dr. Amaya Arcelus (Moderator)
Dr. Arcelus is the director of the NRC’s Aging in Place Challenge Program. The program aims to provide innovative solutions that empower older adults and caregivers to live safe, healthy, and socially-connected lives within their homes and communities of choice. Amaya’s work in this field began during her PhD in electrical and computer engineering at Carleton University, where she earned the Senate Medal for her research into context-aware smart home monitoring. She spent 3 years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto and the University Health Network, initiating and leading a program on autonomous physiology and activity monitoring to support older adults living with heart failure. Prior to joining the NRC, Amaya worked for Defence Research and Development Canada, where she began as a scientist and ultimately served as manager of the Cyber Operations Science & Technology Program.
Dr. Rafik Goubran (Panelist)
Dr. Goubran has served as Vice-President (Research and International) at Carleton University since 2017. Previously, he has served as Carleton’s Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Design, and as Chair of the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering. Dr. Goubran’s expertise is sensor applications and data analytics. He is the Challenge Area Lead on Supportive Homes & Communities at AGE-WELL, Canada’s technology and aging network of excellence. He is an affiliate investigator with the Bruyère Research Institute. In collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of researchers, Dr. Goubran is designing smart environments for the independent living of seniors. He is exploring how sensor systems can be embedded into patients’ environments to monitor health, wellness and vital signs.
Dr. Heidi Sveistrup (Panelist)
Dr. Sveistrup is the CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of the Bruyère Research Institute and VP, Research and Academic Affairs at Bruyère Continuing Care, a multi-site academic health care organization. As a full professor in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, at the University of Ottawa, her research focuses on rehabilitation and the use of technologies to support wellness, engagement, and long life. Under her leadership, Bruyère has doubled its research intensity, added a leading innovation program embedding Canadian technology into health, and increased the impact of Bruyère research and innovation across the health sector.
Dr. Frank Knoefel (Panelist)
Dr. Knoefel is a Physician at the Bruyère Memory Program in Ottawa and Senior Investigator at the Bruyère Research Institute. He holds appointments in the Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa and Systems and Computer Engineering at Carleton University. His research focuses on the use of technology to help older adults to age in place. Previously he worked as Medical Director of Geriatric Rehabilitation and Chief of Staff and VP Medical Affairs at Bruyère Continuing Care.
Sara Aghvami (Panelist)
As Director of Best Buy Health, Sara leads a team committed to enrich Canadian lives through technology. In her role in, Sara develops strategies and business models through partnerships with health care providers, senior living/living care organizations, clinicians, and researchers to drive positive benefits for consumers, businesses, and communities. With more than 20 years’ experience in retail and leadership, Sara is an expert in technology commercialization, omnichannel logistics, service offerings, customer experience, and humanizing processes to gain customers for life. Sara believes staying human and relevant in any industry drives business success and community trust – she is motivated by creating meaningful changes.
This event is part of Carleton University’s 2021 Throwback homecoming celebration. Throwback is an opportunity for Carleton to open its virtual doors to alumni, donors and community members to celebrate our shared past, present and future through reunions, family-friendly and community-building events, spirited challenges, targeted discussions, and much more.