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Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement and Long Life - AGE-WELL

$36.6 million for 2014-19
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Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement and Long Life

Number of partners

Partner contributions
$5.6 million

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario

Scientific Directors
Alex Mihailidis Alex Mihailidis

Andrew Sixsmith Andrew Sixsmith

Board chair
Mike Harcourt Mike Harcourt
Former Premier of British Columbia

Growing older with dignity and grace with some high-tech help

The opportunity

Aging populations globally are stimulating rapid advances in artificial intelligence, mobile technologies, e-health and other technologies. These simultaneous developments create an ideal opportunity for Canada to emerge as a global leader in designing technology that optimizes the well-being of older adults. Much of this expertise is located at the Intelligent Design for Adaptation, Participation and Technology (iDAPT) centre, part of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network and one of the most advanced rehabilitation research centres in the world. Experts at iDAPT and Simon Fraser University are working with researchers across Canada, industry partners, service providers, older Canadians and their caregivers to develop practical, cost-effective solutions that meet real-world needs.

How AGE-WELL is seizing the opportunity

Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement and Long Life (AGE-WELL) brings together 30 universities and more than 100 industry and non-profit organizations to address a wide range of complex issues in technology and aging through receptor-driven transdisciplinary research, training programs, partnerships, knowledge mobilization and technology commercialization. AGE-WELL is driven by three key questions:

  1. What do older adults and caregivers need and how can technology meet those needs?  
  2. What technology-based systems and services should be used to enhance the health and well-being of older adults and support independent living? 
  3. How can innovation be fostered in the short-and long-term to benefit older adults, health care providers and Canadian industry?

In addition to studying the ethical, policy and regulatory issues associated with new technologies, AGE-WELL also tackles early stage funding, entrepreneurship training and other commercialization challenges.

Among the results

  • AGE-WELL provides funding and experiential learning opportunities for more than 200 emerging researchers and new professionals in technology and aging.
  • AGE-WELL’s Strategic Investment Program supports three new start-ups: Winterlight Labs, which is commercializing a tablet-based speech-assessment technology that identifies Alzheimer’s, aphasia and Parkinson’s disease with 85-100% accuracy, Braze Mobility, which is commercializing an add-on system to transform any commercial wheelchair into a “smart” wheelchair able to prevent collisions, and Steadiwear Inc., which is commercializing a “smart” glove that reduces hand tremors.
  • AGE-WELL served on the advisory board for uberASSIST, a new Canadian service providing transportation for older adults and people with disabilities. The network was also consulted on the driver training program. As part of the partnership, Uber funded a scholarship for a graduate student to explore issues related to seniors and transportation.
  • PRED-FALL is an AGE-WELL Core Research Project developing technologies to predict, prevent and detect falls, including a wearable sensor system that transmits information about mobility patterns and falls. The research team is also field-testing compliant flooring that cushions falls and could reduce the frequency of hip fractures and head injuries. 

Connect with AGE-WELL


November 15, 2017
February 6, 2017
December 16, 2016
September 29, 2016
December 30, 2015
August 19, 2015
Giving older adults and their caregivers a voice in research
January 31, 2017
Jim Mann is one of more than 747,000 Canadians living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, but don’t ask him what new technologies would make his life easier and safer. Read more
Predicting falls before they happen
May 13, 2016
Helping his grandmother navigate the icy sidewalks of Winnipeg as a boy and witnessing her fear of falling helped motivate Steve Robinovitch to pursue research focused on keeping vulnerable seniors safer. Read more