Bicycle-driven simulator helps LTC patients
April 25, 2018
OTTAWA – Bruyère Research Institute (BRI) has acquired a Norwegian technology to promote exercise for older adults in Bruyère’s outpatient rehabilitation and long-term care programs.
The technology is called Motiview and was designed by Norwegian company Motitech. It works by positioning patients on a stationary bicycle in front of a television screen that simulates real-life bicycle ride locations from around the world.
This technology can have significant benefits for seniors. Previous studies indicate the technology has helped increase the balance and mobility of patients. BRI researchers are hopeful it can also benefit patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
“Through this technology, individuals with memory loss can virtually bicycle through locations that are familiar to them. This can help trigger the patient’s recollections,” said Dan McEwen, a postdoctoral research fellow and lead researcher on the project. “This is important because it gives the individuals a sense of competence and confidence as they reminisce about happy memories, all while being physically active on the stationary bike.”
The Norwegian ambassador to Canada, Anne Kari Hansen Ovind (pictured), and representatives from Motitech were at Bruyère to celebrate the launch of this technology in Ottawa. This project led to the creation of a new partnership between industry and academia that looks at ways to help older adults remain healthy, engaged and independent.
“Research and innovation are core instruments when aiming for better quality of care,” said Ambassador Ovind. “It is therefore a pleasure to see new partnerships develop, building on the already extensive networks in the medtech sector that have been established between Norway and Canada.”
The technology has already drawn attention and praise from Prince William and Kate Middleton, who experienced it first hand in Norway earlier this year.
During her visit, Ambassador Ovind also learned about other technological innovations being researched at Bruyère. She visited the AGE-WELL SAM3 National Innovation Hub, a space used by technology developers to test innovations that will help seniors maintain an independent and healthy lifestyle.
One of these innovations is a sensor system that monitors activity in a home. “For a person with dementia to be able to live at home, they must be safe and their caregiver must remain healthy to support them,” explained Bruce Wallace, executive director of AGE-WELL SAM3. “However, caregivers often sleep with one eye open in order to prevent their loved ones from injury should they wander in the middle of the night.”
The system is designed to detect when the person with dementia gets out of bed. When this happens, the system activates to guide them to the bathroom, then back to their bed and away from other areas of the home. The sensors will only awake the caregiver in the event the patient tries to exit the home. Ambassador Ovind attended a demonstration of this technology during her visit.
These sensors, along with the Motiview project, are examples of the innovative solutions being researched at Bruyère to improve seniors’ health and healthcare.
About the Bruyère Research Institute
The Bruyère Research Institute supports investigators who contribute to a better, more responsive healthcare system that delivers the best care to patients, residents and families. The Institute is a proud partner of Bruyère Continuing Care, the University of Ottawa and others and provides solutions to improve the health and healthcare of aging and vulnerable Canadians. The Institute’s research focuses primarily on evidence, health system evaluation, brain health, geriatrics and rehabilitation, primary care, palliative care, and global health. For more information, please visit www.bruyere.org/bri.