Norwegian Health Minister visits Hamilton to announce a health research project and discuss innovation

HAMILTON, ON – Norwegian Minister of Health and Care Services, Bent Hie, and Norwegian delegates will be visiting Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) to announce a new health research partnership and to explore the potential of new partnerships involving health innovators from Hamilton and Norwegian industry.

The GERAS Centre for Aging Research, a partnership between Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University, is leading a research study to pilot one of the world’s first “smart” hospital beds from Norwegian health tech company Ably Medical, and assess its impact on patient care and the work of health care providers.

The GERAS Centre is the first in Canada to test Ably Medical’s innovative hospital bed. This wireless bed has sensors built in to monitor the patient’s health data. Upon changes to the data, the system predicts possible outcomes and provides insights for early intervention. On top of that, the bed’s design models that of the human spine and moves to provide better mobility and stability.

“Innovation is key to finding new and better ways to providing sustainable health care,” says Ted Scott, Acting VP Research and Chief Innovation Officer at HHS. “We are working towards a shift from hospital to home healthcare whereby a more proactive, self-managed approach is taken. This makes digital health innovation a priority. The GERAS Centre’s partnership with Ably Medical is a great start to future collaborations with Norway.”

“Since Canada and Norway have similar health care systems, social structures, plus the challenge of an aging population, it’s a natural fit for us to collaborate on healthcare innovations,” says Bent Hie, Norwegian Minister of Health and Care Services.

Mobility plays a significant role in seniors’ health. However, the lack of mobility for those that are in a hospital bed for extended periods of time can negatively impact the health of these patients. So, with funding from the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) in Canada and Innovation Norway, the GERAS Centre is exploring the impact the Ably bed has on patients’ quality of life as well as the level of care that can be provided.

“With our aging population it is important to find new and innovative ways to provide care to older adults,” says Dr. Alexandra Papaioannou, Executive Director at the GERAS Centre, HHS geriatrician and study lead. “If these beds prove to be effective they’ll not only benefit the health of our patients, but improve our staff’s ability to provide care.”

Through Norway’s Innovation Norway, the country is helping startups grow and commercialize worldwide, with a focus on the healthtech industry in Canada. While CABHI is focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector. Through these two organizations, the partnership between the GERAS Centre and Ably Medical formed.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the Norwegian Ministry visit.

When: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 11:30am, Formal Remarks 12:00pm
Media Interviews 12:15pm, Health Expert Tables 1:00pm, Panel Discussion
Where: HHS, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, 711 Concession St, Hamilton, ON
Who: Rob MacIsaac, President & CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences Ted Scott, Activing Vice President Research & Chief Innovation Officer Mayor Fred Eisenberger, City of Hamilton Bent Hie, Minister of Health and Care Services, Norway Additional representatives of Norwegian Delegation

For more information, please contact:
Ellie Stutsman Public Relations & Communications Hamilton Health Sciences 905-521-2100 ext. 73669

About GERAS Centre Since its foundation in 2013, the GERAS Centre for Aging Research has emerged as an international leader in fractures, frailty, and dementia research. As part of Hamilton Health Sciences and affiliated with McMaster University, the Centre aims to advance health care through education and research by exploring innovative ways to improve the quality of life and care for seniors.