The SMARTech Project
The SMARTech Project is a transdisciplinary project consisting of commercial, academic, non-profit and older adult partners striving to make a difference in the lives of older adults.
Dr. Susan Kirkland is a Professor and Head of the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, at Dalhousie University. An epidemiologist by training, her research lies in the areas of chronic diseases and aging; she is particularly interested in the investigation of the multifactorial determinants of health as they influence healthy aging. Dr. Kirkland is one of three principal investigators leading the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, a prospective cohort of 50,000 men and women who are being followed for 20 years. In addition to her role as project lead for SMARTech, & OA-INVOLVE 2, she is the research representative on AGE-WELL's Board of Directors. Dr. Kirkland is also a member of CIHR’s Institute of Aging Advisory Board and a member of the federal Covid-19 Immunity Task Force Leadership Group.
As the former Director of Business Development for the Northwood Group of Companies, Margaret supported teams across a continuum of care as they pursued promising opportunities for innovation and intrapreneurship in keeping with Northwood's strategic directions. Previously, as the Senior Director of Northwood’ Christina and Hedley G. Ivany Place, Margaret opened a state of the art, long-term care facility which swiftly established a person-centered care model, providing all residents with access to green space, light and a welcoming home-like environment. Prior to joining Northwood, Margaret was a Senior Management Consultant with Royer Thompson Consulting Associates in Halifax.
Alisa Grigorovich is a critical gerontologist and a health services and policy researcher. Her research program focuses on the role of stigma and other social factors in driving health inequity in institutional and home care settings. A key interest of hers concerns the ethical, social and policy implications of introducing technology-based innovations to improve quality of care and quality of life for older adults.
Pia Kontos is a senior scientist at KITE-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, and Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the stigma associated with dementia and aging, and on the implementation and evaluation of arts-based innovations and intelligent technologies to improve the quality of care and quality of life for older adults living with disabilities.
Dr. Amanda Jenkins is the Community Engagement Manager at AGE-WELL and a Research Coordinator for OA-INVOLVE 2 (Older Adults' Active Involvement in Aging & Technology Research and Development). She holds a PhD in Applied Social Psychology from the University of Guelph and has a background in community-based research. She is a proponent of engaging community members in research in meaningful ways throughout the research process.
Ashley-Ann Marcotte is a Research Coordinator for Susan Kirkland at Dalhousie University. She has a Master's degree in Community Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University where she focused on healthcare access for LGBTQIA+ communities. She has an interest in Community Based Research and values community and partner engagement.
Kim Parker is a rehabilitation engineer at the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation & Arthritis Centre (NSRAC). She holds a cross-appointment in the Department of Medicine at Dalhousie University. Working as part of the Access to Technology Consultative Service at NRRAC, she works with individuals with disabilities to increase their functional capabilities through the use of assistive technology. She provides technical support to the Assistive Technology Program at NSRAC and collaborates with clinicians and faculty at Dalhousie University on rehabilitation research. Her research interests include the impact of assistive devices and therapeutic interventions on function, mobility and participation. She is passionate about the use of technology to assist all individuals to support function and participation.
Samina Abidi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the Faculty of Medicine and is cross-appointed in the Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University. She holds a PhD degree in Health Informatics, and an MD. She has a unique skill set where she is a clinician with expertise in health informatics. She is the recipient of the prestigious Steven Huesing Award from COACH (Canada’s Health Informatics Association). She has research interests in health knowledge integration, modelling and computerization, patient-centred care, chronic disease self-management and behaviour modification, clinical guidelines based clinical decision support and care planning, ambient assistant living, data visualizations, health IT evaluation. She is a member of CIHR College of Reviewers. She teaches health informatics topics in Master of Digital Innovation (MDI) - Health Informatics program and supervises a number of health informatics graduate theses. She is one of the directors for Research in Medicine (RIM) unit for the MD program at Dalhousie University.
Carlee is a student researcher working towards her Master’s in Epidemiology and Applied Health Research under the supervision of Dr. Kirkland. Her research interests include healthy aging and health equity.
Daniel has a background in cultural sociology, philosophy, and political science, with interests in critical realism, symbolic interactionism, and figurational sociology. He has worked on a variety of interdisciplinary, mixed methods research projects focused on socioecological resilience, and has conducted process and outcome evaluations of programs aiming to improve the lives of at-risk youth, people with addictions, and communities experiencing poverty, pollution, violence, and neglect
Kirstie Smith is a data analyst for Dr. Susan Kirkland at Dalhousie University. She holds a Masters of Art in Sociology from Dalhousie University where she studied Atlantic Canadians’ perceptions of cultural difference using Statistics Canada data. She is has a background in both qualitative and quantitative data analysis and is interested in person-centred research.
Igor Pekelny is a research assistant for the SMARTech Project. He holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Criminology and Psychology and has experience with community program evaluations, and crime prevention program design and management. His goal is to combine his passion for photography and servicing underprivileged youth into a free recreational course to assist in addressing youth gang involvement and violence, and help to safeguard those who need it the most.
Novalte Founder & CTO
Michael Cullen is Irish and an electronic engineer. He has more than 10 years of experience working in the Assistive Technology field in Ontario and helped over 400 individuals, including kids with physical disabilities, aging adults, and those with acquired injury, to live more independently. His vision is to break barriers that impede the optimal use of technology, providing the greatest degree of independence for people with mobility challenges.
Novalte Customer Success Engineer
Anthony has several years of experience dealing directly with assistive technology users, leveraging a combination of off-the-shelf smart tech products with customized AT solutions to promote independence. Anthony works as Novalte's first point of contact for clients during training and support throughout the lifetime of their system.
Wayne Tucker graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology (1991) and a Master of Science in Applied Social Psychology (1995). He was a PhD student in the Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Western Ontario between 1997-1999 where he completed his graduate course work. He completed a graduate level certificate in Field Epidemiology in 2006 at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is currently completing his Executive MBA online at Quantic School of Business and Technology with a completion date of Sept 2021. Wayne’s work experience includes 20 years of management in several healthcare sectors (Public Health, Acute Care and Primary Care). He recently joined Northwood, a Long Term Care/Home Care organization in Halifax in the position of Director of Research, Innovation and Quality.
Northwood Occupational Therapist
Gail has worked for over 30 years at Northwood, as a clinical Occupational Therapist combined with leadership responsibilities. She has worked extensively with residents in the areas of wheelchair seating and positioning, promoting functional abilities, fall prevention and injury reduction. Gail was also instrumental in creating Northwood's Seeds for Success program for therapeutic mental health support.
John is working on the SmartTech project as an Occupational and Physiotherapist Assistant. He is excited to be able to use his skills as an OTA/PTA, Patient Care Technician, and theatre background in a way that is innovative and will help change the long-term care industry for the better.
Megan is a SMARTech OTA/PTA on this project. She graduated from NSCC with her OTA/PTA diploma in 2019 and has been working in long-term care ever since. She is very excited to be part of this project and see what this technology will bring to those in long-term care!”
Alka Modi, Vice President of Client Services at Think Research leads the senior care portfolio focused on improving seniors care through innovative technologies, evidence-based content, and data-driven outcomes.
Passionate about driving health system improvement using data and analytics, Monica completed her Master of Science degree in Health Services Research at the University of Toronto and currently works as the lead of business intelligence and analytics at Think Research
CEO Age Care Technologies
Prof. Ian Philp is the Founder of Age Care Technologies which develops and licenses the use of tools for care-planning and training in person-centered care for older people. Ian holds a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Edinburgh and was a practicing physician for 35 years in the UK National Health Service. As Professor of Health Care for Older People at the University of Sheffield, he led teams that won the UK hospital team of the year in the care of older people and the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education for research into improving the quality of life of older people. Ian has ten years experience as an Executive Medical Director of hospital and community services and from 2000-8 he was the National Clinical Director for Older People in England.
John Hamblin worked for many years in the Technology and IT sector where he performed a wide variety of functions and ultimately became the President and CEO of a mid-size technology hosting and support company. In 2017, he founded Aging2.0 Halifax, an independent Not for Profit associated with Aging2.0, a Silicon Valley-based organization with more than 125 Chapters around the world aimed at supporting the development of products and services for older adults. John is also on the Board of Community Links Nova Scotia, an organization aimed at supporting older adults in all aspects of their lives throughout Nova Scotia. Over the last 5 years, John has been heavily involved in projects and initiatives geared to enhancing the life and independence of older adults and those with mobility challenges. He was also recently appointed to the AGE-WELL National Industry Advisory Committee which is developing recommendations and policies to ensure older adults have the opportunity to utilize smart tech to assist them in aging well in their homes.