The Developing Regional health innoVation Ecosystems (DRiVE) project                                                                                                

Project Leads: Josephine McMurray & Heidi Sveistrup                                            Collaborators: James Conklin, Ryan D’Arcy, Don Juzwishin, Scott Lear, Paul Stolee, David Wolfe                                                                                                                                            PostDoc: Heather McNeil                                                                                                      Funding: AGEWELL NCE                                                                                                  Abstract:                                                                                                                              Translating novel research into practice, policy and commercial applications requires strong relationships among researchers, policy-makers, practitioners, and industry. There is growing recognition that these relationships are most effective at a localized or regionalized level, where there are opportunities for direct personal contact and communication. This project involves in-depth exploration of the processes of technology innovation, adoption, dissemination and commercialization in regional health innovation ecosystems (RHIEs) with close university-industry linkages. DRIVE will develop model for AGE-WELL that will facilitate partnerships and local collaborations between researchers, policy-makers, practitioners, and industry.

DRiVE has three sub-projects currently underway: 

1. The ECOTECH Project

Project Lead: Heather McNeil                                                                                  Collaborators: Josephine McMurray, Heidi Sveistrup                                                  Funding: AGEWELL NCE                                                                                                Abstract:                                                                                                                                There’s a growing trend to increase transparency, empower citizens and democratize health care. As we seek better ways to support our aging population, there are many compelling reasons to engage older adults and their caregivers in the development of community infrastructure that supports innovation in health and ageing.                  Traditionally, innovation arises from collaboration amongst researchers, government and industry. The ECOTECH project is exploring how older adults and their caregivers can be involved at the policy & planning level, as well as throughout the development and commercialization stages of innovative technology development.

2. SAM3

Project Leads: Rafik Goubran, Frank Knoefel, Heidi Sveistrup, Bruce Wallace      Collaborators: Josephine McMurray, Heather McNeil                                                  Funding: Bruyère Research Institute, Carleton University, AGEWELL NCE                          Abstract:                                                                                                                                SAM3 is a collaboration between the Bruyère Research Institute and Carleton University in partnership with the AGE-WELL National Centre of Excellence. SAM3stands for Sensors and Analytics for Monitoring Mobility and Memory. The focus of this innovation hub is on research and innovation to develop technology based solutions that enable an aging population to live independently, longer. These solutions are co-created with industry, clinical, academic, and older adults and their families. SAM3 hub will help build regional capacity for industry/clinical/academic/user collaborations and will assess the benefits of new technologies through trials with real users in clinical and home settings.

3. Assessing the Feasibility of Establishing an Interaction Space for OT-related Technologies & Innovations

Project Leads: Heidi Sveistrup, Mylène Bastarache, Danièle Caron, Alexandra Belliveau        Collaborators: Heather McNeil, Josephine McMurray                                                    Funding: Bruyère Research Institute, Carleton University, AGEWELL NCE                Abstract:                                                                                                                                      In collaboration with occupational therapy students we are conducting a literature on the feasibility or the benefits of implementing a “storefront” location where older adults can interact with potential innovations/technologies that may support them in living independently and safely. A study that will be conducted in the SAM3 hub, will examine the feasibility of establishing a “smart apartment” that will be used to both train professionals on novel research and off-the-shelf technologies to support older adults in their homes, as well as older adults and caregivers themselves, in their use.


The WEiRED Project (Women Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Regional Ecosystem Development

Project Leads: Josephine McMurray                                                                        Collaborators: Kerstin Ettl, Katherina Kuschel, Vesna Mandakovic, Judith Sixsmith, Heidi Sveistrup                                                                                                                          Funding: SSHRC. Wilfrid Laurier University                                                                  Abstract:                                                                                                                            WEiRED is a program of research aimed at investigating the relationship between opportunity-driven women entrepreneurs and regional innovation ecosystems. Innovation is increasingly viewed as a way to enhance economic growth and is particularly important for the development of novel technologies. There is considerable theoretic and empirical research to support the need to develop regional capacity to support individuals’ capacity for innovative activity that leads to industry and sectoral transformation through new entrepreneurial activity.  WEiRED held a symposium with 50 invited experts and stakeholders at Communitech in June 2017, The “From Exception to Rule: The Role of Women Entrepreneurs in Regional Innovation Ecosystem Development” symposium is being used to develop a Partnership Development Grant that will be submitted in the Fall 2018 and will be related to findings from the symposium.


Brain FX Screening & Risk Management Program – Economic & Clinical Evaluation

Project Leads: Josephine McMurray, Azim Essaji, Paul Holyoke                          Collaborators: Grace Liu, Moyo Sogaolu                                                                      Funding: OCE Health Technologies Fund                                                                            Abstract:                                                                                                                                  When it comes to dementia and other cognitive diseases of aging, studies suggest that timing is key to health care cost savings and that cost-effective early detection and intervention, using a range of different intervention effects should be an achievable goal. There is evidence from economic modelling that the cost of an earlier dementia diagnosis and the downstream costs of providing evidence-based treatment may be more than offset by the cost savings accrued from the benefits of: a) anti-dementia drugs and caregiver interventions, and b) delayed institutionalization and enhanced quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers. This study will evaluate the effects and model the possible costs of the use of the BrainFX SCREEN and 360, to detect the early signs of dementia, and to provide comprehensive reports and treatment suggestions to clinicians and families. 10,000 screens will be administered and added to BrainFX’s Living Brain Bank (database). ThoughtWire, an industry partner, will develop an algorithm to automate the process of mining health records for older adults at risk of dementia and Alzheimers.


AI, Trust and Older Adults

Project Leads: Richard Booth, Josephine McMurray                                                  Collaborators: Gillian Strudwick, Cheryl forchuk, Adam Morse, Jessica Lachance, Arani Baskarna, Lauren Allison, Shreya Shah                                                                                Funding: SSHRC                                                                                                                    Abstract:                                                                                                                                Intelligent assistive technologies (IATs) (systems that can autonomously adjust their                performance to the user and/or environment) become more commonplace and embedded                                                                                 within Canadian society, exploring how various cross-sections of the population use and                                                                                     experience these forms of artificially-intelligent technology is important. Currently, older                                                                                       adults make up a sizeable demographic of the Canadian population, and are defined as                                                                                       individuals aged 55 and older. Past research has indicated that the use of IATs may be                                                                                         beneficial to older adults to help facilitate their aging in place (that is, living independently,                                                                                   safely, and comfortably in the home or community of their choosing, regardless of income,                                                                                   ability level, or age). As older adults begin to use IATs in activities of daily living, deeper                                                                                       insights related to how the concept of trust is developed between people and these                                                                                           technologies is important. We conducted a Knowledge Synthesis project to explore the                                                                                       concept of trust, related to older adults’ adoption/use of IATs to support aging in place.

                                                                                Secondary Project:

                                                                               1. Gendered Perspectives of Trust, AI and Older Adults                                                                                                                                         Project Leads: Heather McNeil, Shreya Shah                                                                                                                                                             Collaborators: Josephine McMurray, Richard Booth                                                                                                                                                   Abstract:                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Canada’s population, like many western democracies, is aging; by 2030, 25% of the                                                                                            population will be over 65. This important societal shift brings with it the challenge of caring                                                                                for an increasingly fragile, elderly population whose desire is to age independently and in                                                                                    the comfort of their own home. Technologies, particularly intelligent assistive devices (IATs)                                                                                  such as robots, are seen as an important part of the arsenal of solutions that will help us                                                                                      care for future generations. Understanding how and why older adults might adopt and use                                                                                  IATs to help with activities of daily living will ensure that future technologies will be part of                                                                                    the solution. In this paper we explore how gender, as an attribute of both the user and of a                                                                                  robot’s perceived anthropomorphic qualities, influences and is influenced by trust. This                                                                                        project involves a literature review, and 16 interviews with older adults to understand how                                                                                    gender impacts perspectives of trust related to in home IATs.

Back to Our Work→



Project Leads: Josephine McMurray, Jim Wallace                                              Collaborators: Richard Booth, Chatura Ranaweera, Tina Chan, Alaadin Sidahmed      Funding: SSHRC                                                                                                              Abstract:                                                                                                                                  This study, conducted by a multi-disciplinary research team, will explore the barriers and       facilitators of the adoption and use of smartphone applications for collection of context-                                                                                       sensitive service user experience data for service research, where many commercial                                                                                           service assessment techniques originate.  The “context” of what and where data is                                                                                               collected may invoke opportunities to promote or constrain certain behaviours (Johns,                                                                                         2006). We define context-sensitive data as that which, due to that location from which it is                                                                                   collected (such as a pay-day loan establishment), or the nature of its contents (such as HIV                                                                                   results from public health clinic), might interfere with an individual’s willingness to share                                                                                       that data with a researcher. There is little guidance to help data collectors determine                                                                                             when smartphones should be used to access a user’s private data and even less is                                                                                               known about whether a user’s location and context may impact their willingness or ability                                                                                     to share that data. We are currently designing a field study with MetricWire to test a model                                                                                   developed through in-depth  interviews.