Coverage of SAM3 by Canadian Healthcare Technology

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Best Buy Health, the Bruyère Research Institute, and AGE-WELL are partnering on new research into how technology is introduced into the home to support aging in place, in collaboration with experts from Carleton University. Researchers from Bruyère and Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design will be working with occupational therapists (OTs) to better understand how consumer technology, such as Best Buy’s Healthy Homes bundles, can be used to improve quality of life for older adults aging at home.

With more and more consumer technology solutions available, researchers are looking to see how that technology is adopted and implemented in the homes of older adults. Occupational therapists (OT) are a central part of this research, as they have a critical role in recommending solutions to support older adults’ ability to perform daily activities in the home.

“We know that most older adults want to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. The home assessment is an opportunity to identify challenges in the home environment, and to suggest where assistive devices and technology can help support safety, independence, and wellbeing,” said Dr. Krista Whitney (pictured), co-investigator and physician at Bruyère.

The project team will review how technology is currently integrated in home assessments, then look to understand how older adults are using recommended technologies to validate the benefits and identify key challenges and barriers. The team will create an approach to incorporate technology into OT recommendations. Participating occupational therapists will pilot the approach with older adults, seeking feedback on their experience, and providing their own feedback.

“The life solutions we dream of are ones that can enable independence and living well. Best Buy Health is thrilled to be partnering with the Bruyère Research Institute and AGE-WELL to make people’s homes healthier,” said Sara Aghvami, director of Best Buy Health. “Technology solutions offered by Healthy Homes bundles offer older adults the opportunity to take control of their health and home.”

“Supporting multisectoral collaborations that foster healthy aging and advance the AgeTech sector is an important part of AGE-WELL’s mandate. We are delighted to support exciting collaborations between active members of our network like Best Buy Health, Bruyère, Carleton University and our SAM3 National Innovation Hub to develop and evaluate technology-driven solutions that promote aging in place,” said Alex Mihailidis, PhD, scientific director and CEO of AGE-WELL, Canada’s technology and aging network. AGE-WELL is a co-funder of the project with Best Buy Health.

Long-term, the team hopes to develop a clinical practice toolkit to better include consumer technology solutions in occupational therapists’ home assessment guidelines.