Exploring innovation, technology and infrastructure at Age-Well’s 2nd Annual Conference

hand pushing innovation button on touch screen

Members of CC-ABHI’s management team recently attended AGE-WELL’s 2nd Annual Conference & Annual General Meeting in Montreal. Age-Well is dedicated to the creation of technologies and services that benefit older adults and caregivers. Their work aligns with CC-ABHI’s objectives to accelerate solutions that can help to improve brain health and cognitive function in older adults.

The conference brought together a variety of stakeholders, including industry and community partners, investigators, students, older adults and caregivers. Over the course of the two-day event, the CC-ABHI team had the opportunity to meet and interact with a diverse network of Age-Well researchers, and engaged in lively discussions about bridging the gap between research, innovation, and adoption. These are areas where CC-ABHI and Age-Well together play a critical role in helping to improve the quality of life for seniors.

One of the themes underlying much of Age-Well’s research is how to keep older adults living healthier and longer within their own home. This is a particular challenge for dementia patients, given the added complexities of their illness that impact on their ability to live independently at home. Over the course of the conference, researchers shared details about their work in the form of quick pitches that aligned with Age-Well’s ‘work packages’ or theme areas. These included: Understanding the Needs of Older Adults; Technology for Maintaining Good Mental and Cognitive Health; and Technologies for Supporting Functional Autonomy and Independence.

The conference also provided an opportunity to learn more about key system challenges, such as the adoption of innovations in the marketplace, from the perspective of provincial policy makers. The advice given is worthy of sharing broadly with innovators within our CC-ABHI network: 1) Engage policy stakeholders early in the process 2) Build a strong business case that incorporates a benefits evaluation and key outcome indicators that are supported through qualitative data/stories and 3) Incentives for adoption need to be clear.

The work of Age-Well and its network is a testament to our government’s commitment to supporting health innovation in Canada. Organizations such as CC-ABHI and Age-Well can help to ensure that the most promising innovations are designed with the end-user in mind and tested in appropriate environments to acquire the necessary proof-of-principle.

In summary, the CC-ABHI team was delighted to learn more about the breadth and depth of innovations underway across Canada. Through CC-ABHI’s funding programs, many innovators across Canada and the US are eligible to apply for funding that can help them test their innovations in a real-world setting.

When great innovations are disseminated into and adopted by the marketplace, the resulting impact can lead to cost savings, economic development, and most importantly, improved quality of life for older adults. At CC-ABHI, we are proud to be part of the solution to this important innovation process. To learn more about CC-ABHI programs, visit our Innovation Opportunities page.