The SMARTech Project
LivMoreSMARTech is a real-world transdisciplinary research partnership led by Dalhousie University and Northwood. National and international academic, not-for-profit and industry leaders, together with older adult advisors, are exploring how SMART technology might improve health and well-being for people living in long-term care and receiving home care. We seek to understand the experiences, needs, and desires for well-being among this group of older adults aging with disability. As we build and test a new SMARTech Service that combines customized SMART technology, person-centred assessment and powerful data analytics with rehabilitation supports, we seek to enhance autonomy, independence, and well-being for these individuals. We also want to understand the impact of this Service on these older adults, their caregivers, and care delivery.
Healthy Aging is about creating environments and opportunities that enable older people to be and do what they value through their lives.
Many older Nova Scotians living in long-term care or receiving home care services have pre-existing or age-related disabilities. Assistive technology and rehabilitation supports offer these people a chance to optimize their functional capacity so they can actively participate in society, for as long as possible. SMART technology has enormous potential to foster healthy aging and independence. For SMART tech to deliver its promised value, we need to customize technology to the needs of these older adults and integrate these solutions into their daily lives. With the benefit of comprehensive health and social care assessment and point of care data analytics, we empower formal and informal caregivers to partner with older adults to improve care.
The Digital Divide
People who live in long-term care or receive home care are often aging with disabilities that affect their ability to access and use technology. Nursing homes and communities may not have the expertise or resources to help people with disabilities to use technology to promote and enable independence and social interaction. Older adults who may benefit the most are often the same ones who face the most barriers. In an increasingly digital world, these people are at risk of further disadvantage. SMART technology may address equity issues by broadening access to cost-effective and evidence-based therapeutic interventions that have typically been limited to acute care environments. Comprehensive health and social assessment and organizing health knowledge may highlight means to reduce the impact of social, cultural and economic factors that perpetuate disparities so everyone gets the best care.
The SMARTech Service
A personalized and scalable SMART tech solution to support independence, autonomy, and well-being in long-term care and home care settings.
The SMARTech Service combines elements of gerontology and rehabilitation with technology to create solutions for disability related to impairment and/or aging. Our pilot, focused on the health and well-being of 75 research participants, uses a person-centred and inclusive lens. Service elements include:
1) Novalte technology and off-the-shelf SMART devices with personalized training and troubleshooting support
2) comprehensive assessment to understand health and social care needs of the care recipient to optimize functional ability, intrinsic capacity and successful interaction with the care environment, and
3) engagement of rehabilitation expertise and interpersonal supports to empower self directed successful participation in learning, leisure, relationships and civic life.
4) Analytics support to facilitate client-driven service improvement efforts at the point of care.