Message from William Reichman, MD, President and CEO

Every day I witness the mounting challenges that older adults, their families and care providers face as a result of age-related decline and disease. Of particular note is the challenge of navigating the vast complexity in providing a good quality of life for older adults that experience cognitive decline and related diseases.

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Message from Ron Riesenbach, VP Innovation and CTO

I am pleased to report that in 2016-17, the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) achieved many exciting milestones, building on the strong foundation and significant momentum we established in 2015-16, our start-up year, delivering well on our commitments to improve the quality of life for older adults and to foster commercial growth and stimulate job creation in the seniors’ care sector.

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We recognize that addressing aging and brain health challenges requires a concerted, integrated, multi-disciplinary, and cross-sector effort.

Bianca SternExecutive Director, Health Innovations

Quanta developed the QOCA home solution to empower older adults and their families with better social engagement and healthier wellbeing. CABHI helped validate the solution in a Canadian setting and facilitate opportunities to collaborate with Baycrest to bring forth innovative applications to further improve the brain health and wellbeing of older adults in the worldwide population.

Terence HuangDirector, Quanta Research Institute, Quanta Computer Inc.

Working with CABHI has allowed us to accelerate the development of our innovation and its evaluation so that our technology can be made available to older adults much faster than we had ever anticipated.

Sonia HardernProject Lead

Simply put, we wouldn’t be able to develop this solution without CABHI funding support. With CABHI’s help, we’ve taken what was once just an idea and created a prototype that can be tested and validated in the real world.

Keri-Leigh CassidyMD, FRCPC, Founder, Fountain of Health Initiative of Optimal Aging

Spark will help us move Learning the Ropes off the page and online in order to reach into the homes of older adults across Canada, allowing them to better manage the impact of cognitive decline and extend their independence longer.

Kelly MurphyProject Lead

The Spark Program has given us the resources needed to push the pace of innovation and provide state of the art technologies to assist our patients to walk confidently and safely. Thank you, CAHBI!

Pearl GryfeClinical and Managing Director, Assistive Technology Clinic

Supporting events like the Hacking Health Waterloo Hackathon allows CABHI to encourage the development of a culture of innovation, and inspire the next wave of Canadian healthcare entrepreneurs to develop new solutions to longstanding challenges facing the aging and brain health sector.

Bianca SternExecutive Director, Health Innovations

$50,000 can go a long way in moving an innovation from the idea stage through to the prototyping stage. No doubt CABHI’s support has been the key resource in helping us progress towards having a real impact on the experience of our residents.

Sonia HardernProject Lead

Spark funding has made it possible for us to evaluate our clinical intervention model by testing it in the community.

Amruta ShanbhagIntegrated Care Pathway

CABHI’s support has helped us undertake usability testing and accelerate the development of our solution much faster than we could have on our own.

Toolkit for Assessing Balance and Mobility


To accelerate the development, validation, commercialization, dissemination and adoption of innovative products, services and best practices to support brain
health and aging.


A world in which people can age in the setting of their choice, maintaining their cognitive, emotional, and physical
well-being as well as their independence as long as possible.

The CABHI Team


CABHI is a solution accelerator, helping to drive innovation in the aging and brain health sector.

The result of the largest investment in brain health and aging in Canadian history, it is a first-of-its-kind partnership of healthcare, science, industry and government, serving as a hub for the design and development of innovations to help older adults age safely in the setting of their choice while maintaining cognitive, emotional and physical well-being. Programs help us develop a rich source of inputs to the innovation pipeline, which has a “leaky” design on purpose so that new innovations can enter the pipeline and refinements can be incorporated at any point along the timeline.

The Spark Program captures innovation at the early stage, toward the left-hand side of the pipeline in the diagram. The Industry Innovation Partnership Program and Researcher-Clinician Partnership Program capture content and activity in the late solution development and validation phases, and the Knowledge Mobilization Partnership Program supports programs ready for market adoption. The Brain Health Foundation Program reinforces every portion of the innovation pipeline.

Program Achievements

New Funding Programs Launched in 2016/17

In 2016-17, we were excited to launch calls for innovation in four unique programs and award a total of $4.5 million in funding to 39 projects that align with our strategic priority themes:

  • reducing unnecessary emergency department visits for older adults living with dementia
  • preventing falls and reducing fall-related injuries in older adults living with dementia
  • providing better management of complex conditions in home settings for older adults living with dementia
  • improving brain health and cognitive fitness in older adults

Innovation in the senior care sector is vital to address the increasing needs of an ever-growing aging population. CABHI is currently collaborating with 27 leading seniors’ care organizations across Canada and the United States on promising solutions in medical devices, therapeutic approaches, emerging technologies, wellness and digital health solutions, health-care delivery practices, and training and support for practitioners and caregivers.

Spark Program

Often, the best ideas for improving health outcomes or the quality of life for older adults come from individuals working at the point-of-care, but ...

Industry Innovation Partnership Program (I2P2)

 The Industry Innovation Partnership Program (I2P2) launched in October 2016 I2P2 provides funding to innovators from industry organizations to ...

Researcher-Clinician Partnership Program (RCP2)

 In February 2017, CABHI launched the Researcher-Clinician Partnership Program (RCP2), a third program to drive innovation and economic development ...

Knowledge Mobilization Partnership Program (KMP2)

One of the biggest challenges to innovation adoption is scaling up after validation To overcome this hurdle, CABHI launched the Knowledge ...

Continuing Programs

In 2015-16, CABHI’s first year of operation, we focused on start-up and invested in accelerating a set of strategic launch projects funded through initial programs. These programs will continue to provide funding for innovative projects that do not fit into the opportunity sets outlined above.

Strategic Opportunity Fund

The Strategic Opportunity Fund (SOF) supports large, strategic initiatives, projects and partnerships that are aligned with CABHI’s mission to improve health outcomes and quality of life for older adults, and drive economic growth and investment in the seniors’ care marketplace on a wide scale. Examples of projects under development for 2017 are joint programs with Canadian provincial innovation authorities, a venture capital group and a seniors’ care association. Total funds available under this program are $2.8 million CAD.

Brain Health Foundations Program

The Brain Health Foundations Program advances promising aging and brain health discoveries that are connected directly to CABHI research. The Baycrest Foundation is contributing $25 million over five years, recognizing the need to support foundational understanding of the brain and aging and how potential solutions may provide meaningful impact. The Brain Health Foundations Program supports core research in three themes of inquiry: (1) cognitive rehabilitation for cognitively impaired individuals; (2) brain health and wellness programs to maintain health and potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline; and (3) dementia care for caregivers who are caring for older adults suffering from dementia.

Innovation to Impact: Project Snapshots

We are proud to share snapshots of some of the projects we have funded. Successful project proposals each demonstrated a significant potential to help older adults maintain cognitive, emotional and physical well-being and independence, while driving economic impact and investment in the aging and brain health marketplace. The following projects illustrate our overall commitment to accelerating the development of innovations that show promise for measurable impact in four strategic areas of focus: Aging at Home, Cognitive Fitness, Emergency Department Visit Reduction and Falls Prevention.

Toolkit for Assessing Human Balance and Mobility

A team of bioengineers and doctors from the University of Waterloo and the Grand River Hospital at Freeport in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario has developed a balance assessment toolkit that costs under $3,000. The team envisions expanding the reach of more accurate balance assessment to physicians, physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals in a wide range of healthcare settings.


Individuals with dementia often experience challenges with sensory input and interpreting the environment. They can take longer to adapt to sudden light changes and may experience an increased sensitivity to glare. Light and other visual disturbances can cause illusions and misperceptions that put them at a higher risk of falling.

Laser Walk

Many older adults are at risk of falls and fall-related injuries as their ability to walk declines over time.  A team of engineering and rehabilitation professionals at the Assistive Technology Clinic in Toronto is using their $50,000 award from CABHI to develop a laser light module that can project a line of light in the user’s path to help them navigate safely and independently.


The Integrated Community Care Team (ICCT) is a joint initiative of North York General Hospital, the Toronto Community Care Access Centre and Baycrest, created to combat the fragmented care that frail seniors with complex needs often receive and that often results in poor outcomes and unnecessary use of healthcare system resources.

AM-PAC™ Tool

The Activity Measure-Post Acute Care (AM-PAC™) tool is a short paper questionnaire that measures basic mobility, daily activities and applied cognitive ability. It has been validated in multiple clinical settings, including acute care. This project is evaluating its use among frail elderly adults in high and low-intensity rehabilitation programs at Baycrest.

RNAO Falls Fellowship Project

Falls are the predominant cause of injury for older Canadian adults, accounting for over 85 per cent of all injury-related hospitalizations.

Dementia Observation Mobile APP

Led by a geriatric psychiatrist/clinical researcher, a project team from the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute is using their Spark award of $48,650 to accelerate the development of a mobile app that can track and assess responsive behaviours in people with dementia.

Integrated Care Pathway

An integrated care pathway (ICP) is a new approach pioneered at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, designed to ensure that a person with dementia who needs help sees the right people in the right order, at the right place, and at the right time throughout their treatment journey.

Learning the Ropes for Living with MCI

A group of psychologists and a social worker at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto designed an intervention program for people living with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) called Learning the Ropes for Living with MCI. With an award of $49,675 from CABHI, they are scaling up the program to reach beyond the research setting to help more people with the brain disorder living in the community.

The Fountain of Health Initiative

A project team of geriatric psychiatry experts at Dalhousie University in the Nova Scotia Health Authority has developed the Fountain of Health (FoH) Initiative for Optimal Aging. It is one of the first educational initiatives of its kind in the world looking to translate the current science of healthy aging, well-being and resilience into practical tools for use by clinicians and the public.

Cover and Comfort Wrap

The Comfort Care Wrap is a solution to minimize the distress many people with dementia experience in the loss of control, privacy and dignity during personal hygiene and bathing activities.

Virtual Care in Transition

Virtual Care project builds on an existing Baycrest program, which uses video to help transition clients with dementia-related responsive behaviours to long-term care.

PLEASE Program

Seniors with cognitive challenges benefit from leisure activities. However, research has shown that those living in institutional settings participate in far fewer activities and spend more time alone than in community settings.

Virtual Calm

Family members are often challenged with finding appropriate activities to engage individuals with dementia.

Play Intervention for Dementia

Based on the success of their play intervention program to stimulate and engage day program participants living with dementia, a team of seniors’ care workers at the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care in Scarborough, Ontario is developing educational resources for caregivers in the community.

Caregiver Support

Support groups can provide emotional support to caregivers while empowering them with concrete information on providing engaging activities for individuals living with dementia.

Supporting a Culture of Innovation

CABHI is a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector and a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). As the first-ever partnership in aging and brain health, we are committed to supporting a culture of innovation to achieve our mission to accelerate the development, validation, commercialization, dissemination and adoption of innovative products, services and next practices in aging and brain health.

In 2016-17, we brought stakeholders together in new and unique ways to drive ideation, collaboration, dissemination and adoption of new products, processes and methodologies that can help older adults age safely in the setting of their choice while maintaining quality of life, and that have significant potential to stimulate the economy. The following is an overview of the outreach, knowledge dissemination, international business development and network partnership activities we championed in the last year, illustrating the scope of our outreach.

Outreach Activities

Hacking Health Waterloo Hackathon

CABHI proudly sponsored the Hacking Health Waterloo Hackathon held on November 18-20, 2016 at the Kitchener, Ontario City Hall.

Aging@Home Design Sprint

Recognizing the rising number of seniors with dementia and the increasing challenges of meeting their needs, CABHI brought together a diverse group of stakeholders for a 2.5-day design sprint to drive collaboration in new and unique ways.

Mobile Innovation Cart

Point-of-care staff at hospitals and long-term care centres, and the older adults they care for, are in an ideal position to provide valuable insights for innovations.

Seniors’ Advisory Panel

A strong culture of innovation takes the end-users’ lived experience into account.

Knowledge Dissemination

For stakeholders to have the opportunity to adopt aging and brain health issues and solutions, they must first be aware of the possibilities. To promote the awareness of new innovations,...

International Business Development

CABHI is actively developing national and international partnerships with organizations that are aligned with the World Health Organization’s global dementia strategy, to amplify Canada’s role in shaping the evolution and care of seniors living with dementia around the world.

Network Partner Collaborations

We are grateful to be working with network partners who have dedicated resources, infrastructure and expertise to help us develop new solutions, test them in real-world settings and disseminate knowledge and best practices.

Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE)

ONE is an organization committed to supporting entrepreneurs starting, growing or financing new business ventures. ONE supports individuals by providing a host of resources, including business support, online tools and connections with mentors and peers such that entrepreneurs have the best chance of success throughout their start-up journey.

Regional Innovation Centers

The CABHI Innovation Office works in partnership with selected regional innovation centers (RIC) to broker relationships, resources and other opportunities for innovators whose projects enter the CABHI innovation pipeline.


CABHI and Baycrest have had a longstanding professional relationship with OCAD U, the largest and most comprehensive art, design and media university in Canada. OCAD U’s programs and research bridge fields of digital media and design, sustainability, health and wellness, cultural diversity and indigenous cultures.

Leading Age

As stated on their website, Leading Age is a Washington, DC-based association of community-based, nonprofit organizations dedicated to making America a better place to grow old.


 CABHI is Senior Care Provider Alliance Partner of Aging2.0, an international, interdisciplinary innovation community of leading seniors’ care organizations and technology companies.


AGE-WELL (Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement and Long Life NCE Inc.) is a Canadian network of researchers and industry, government and non-profit partners dedicated to the creation of technologies and services that benefit older adults and caregivers.

Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN)

OTN is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the Government of Ontario working to deliver care to more patients through innovative telemedicine solutions that bridge the distance of time and geography.

Saint Elizabeth Health Care

Saint Elizabeth Health Care is a not-for-profit company that brings healthcare services, including senior living services, to people across Canada.

Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA)

During 2016-17, CABHI was selected as a Strategic Alliance Partner to the OLTCA, an organization that represents over 400 long-term care homes across Ontario.

Seniors Quality Leap Initiative (SQLI)

Innovation accelerators are emerging in many sectors; however, a key differentiator in the development of CABHI was its focus on the seniors’ sector, building upon the existing partnership with the members of the SQLI.