Ontario Shores, Ontario Tech U establish partnership
November 6, 2019
WHITBY, Ont. – A new partnership between Ontario Tech University and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences will create a Clinical Demonstration Unit (CDU) at Ontario Shores to explore a wide range of innovative treatment options for patients with dementia.
“We are proud to partner with Ontario Tech to create a space of technological innovation in frontline dementia care. With more than 46 million worldwide living with dementia, Ontario Shores is excited to play a lead role in revolutionizing dementia care for our communities and beyond,” said Karim Mamdani (pictured), president and CEO, Ontario Shores.
To help individuals with dementia remember events, people and places from their past, research teams from both organizations will combine expertise to explore the potential of high-tech tools such as conversational robots, reminiscence therapy using virtual reality, and a multi-sensory wellness chair.
The CDU is part of the Geriatric Dementia Unit at Ontario Shores and together, the teams will implement bold new technology-enabled solutions for dementia care including:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): Leveraging AI with a conversational robot to detect and manage behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.
- Virtual Reality: Introducing reminiscence therapy through a virtual reality application to promote social connectedness.
- The Wellness Nordic Relax Chair: Providing an individualized multi-sensory experience, including music therapy, rocking, tactile stimulation/low back vibration, contoured design and deep pressure stimulation via a weighted blanket.
- Bright Light Therapy: Providing prescribed exposure to light five to 30 times brighter than typical office lights to promote calmness, happiness and improved sleep.
- Personalized Music Interventions: Using parametric speakers to provide individualized music therapy, which can evoke memories from the past and increase communication.
Ontario Shores and Ontario Tech look forward to the evolution of this CDU partnership and the introduction of these innovative and non-pharmacological patient-centred interventions to improve the quality of life for patients with dementia.
“Our interdisciplinary research approach in the coming months and years will help us collectively address the challenges of dementia care and develop innovative solutions,” said Dr. Steven Murphy, president and vice-chancellor, Ontario Tech University. “Through the ethical application of technology, we will chart important new ground on a pressing societal issue affecting so many families.”
About Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) is a leader in mental healthcare, providing a range of specialized assessment and treatment services for people living with complex mental illness. Patients benefit from a recovery-oriented environment of care, built on compassion, inspiration and hope. Ontario Shores engages in research, education and advocacy initiatives to advance the mental healthcare system.
About Ontario Tech University
A modern, forwarding-thinking university, Ontario Tech advances the discovery and application of knowledge to accelerate economic growth, regional development and social innovation. We inspire and equip our students and our graduates to make a positive impact in a tech-focused world. For us, it’s not only about developing the next tech breakthrough. Understanding and integrating the social and ethical implications of technology differentiates us as a university. Learn more at ontariotechu.ca.