AGE-WELL teams are working on a wide array of technologies and services to support healthy aging. The focus is on turning great ideas into tangible, solution-driven products that benefit older adults and caregivers. Here are just three of the many innovations coming to market or already making a difference in people’s lives.
A daily reminder system
This mobile app helps those with early dementia or mild cognitive impairment to manage daily activities and keep track of how they are doing, providing greater independence. DataDay uses audio, text and visual prompts to remind people to carry out activities such as taking medications and preparing meals. The app was co-created by Dr. Arlene Astell (The Kite Research Institute at the University Health Network and previously Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences) and people living with dementia. DataDay will soon be widely available through Ontario memory clinics.
LiveWith Arthritis Plus:
Better manage arthritis
A new smartphone app is helping people living with arthritis to manage and assess their condition better. LiveWith Arthritis Plus uses novel medical imaging to help users track their pain, lifestyle and response to treatment, so they can find better solutions and work with their clinician to get healthier. First released in 2017, the app has been enhanced based on input from hundreds of Canadian users, says Shanil Gunasekara, founder and chief executive officer of Vancouver-based eTreatMD, which developed the app with support from AGE-WELL.
An on-screen fitness coach
VirtualGym is a computer-guided system for older adults with chronic conditions, early-to-moderate dementia, and mobility or other challenges that can prevent them from taking part in group-exercise activities outside the home. VirtualGym provides personalized exercise instruction and feedback to promote physical and cognitive health. It features an on-screen virtual coach and uses a special camera to record the movement of the older person in 3D. The project is led by Dr. Eleni Stroulia (University of Alberta) and Dr. Lili Liu (University of Waterloo and previously University of Alberta).
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