CABHI launches Leap, a virtual community
May 25, 2022
TORONTO – The Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), led by Baycrest, has launched Leap, its virtual innovation community for older adults and caregivers. Leap connects innovators developing solutions (i.e., products, programs, services) with their intended end users to understand users’ lived experiences, needs, and preferences.
Innovators use these critical insights to inform the design and delivery of their solutions for optimal success.
“The Leap community can help innovators of all types – founders, researchers, private and public sector organizations – understand and partner with their users to develop more successful solutions,” said Dr. Allison Sekuler (pictured), president and chief scientist at CABHI. “Leap puts older adults and caregivers at the centre of innovation. Anyone developing age-related products, services, or programs will benefit from incorporating insights of the Leap community into their solution.”
By joining Leap’s community of older adults, caregivers, innovators, and thought leaders in the aging and brain health innovation space, Leap members can connect socially while learning and building new collaboration and technology skills.
The United Nations reports there are more than a billion people aged 60+ globally, and the number of countries with large populations of seniors continues to grow. Now, more than ever, innovation is essential to meet the challenges of an aging population. Agetech is increasingly helping older adults live lives of purpose in the setting of their choice.
Since its inception in 2015, CABHI has engaged older adults and caregivers in its solution acceleration work through its Toronto-based Seniors Advisory Panel (SAP). SAP members have been integrally involved in the design, development, and refinement of Leap. Leap will significantly scale up the reach and diversity of older adults and caregivers bringing their insights to the design, development, validation, and dissemination of new innovative solutions.
Built as a virtual community centre, Leap’s rooms create environments for learning, sharing stories, informing and co-designing solutions, and accessing best-in-class innovations.
Since the launch of the beta version of Leap in 2021, more than 600 members from across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom have attended more than 100 Leap events, accessed learning resources, and shared their guidance with innovators.
Leap members have informed the evolution of Leap itself, with the newly launching version customized to meet their needs for a streamlined, engaging, and personalized user experience. The new version also includes a Marketplace, which curates leading agetech solutions for members’ consideration and purchase.
“I have come back to re-engage with CABHI’s older adult community a few times. Each time I was able to address a different aspect of the prototype I was working on. I refined it and returned for more feedback. Working together with older adult end users allowed me to improve the functions and features of my solution and how it might be adapted to the different needs of my future clients,” said Sharon Kiptoo, co-founder of GTCare Companion.
The Leap community is now expanding, welcoming new members from communities across Canada, North America, and globally. Membership is free for older adults 55+ and anyone who identifies with the role of caregiver. Agetech innovators and companies (especially those working in the areas of aging at home, caregiver support, care coordination, cognitive and mental health, and financial health and wellness) are encouraged to connect with the Leap team (email@example.com) to explore how the community’s insights can fast track their success.
“I’ve always been a life long learner and get excited at the prospect of innovations that can make the aging experience better for myself and others. Having the opportunity to connect with people from all over, share my stories and give innovators the benefit of my experience is very fulfilling. Leap is a community of people who, like me, want to age with quality of life, continuously learning, and making a contribution,” said Hilary Randall-Grace, Leap member.
Leap is a welcoming, diverse, and engaged community where life experience meets innovation. Leap bridges the gap between its members – older adults and caregivers – and the innovators developing solutions meant for them. Leap members connect to exchange stories, learn about aging and brain health innovations and provide feedback to innovators to make their agetech solutions better and more readily accessed and adopted. Working with innovators from research, academia, not for profit and private sector organizations, Leap activates and engages older adults and caregivers in a new and influential role. Leap is an initiative of the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), powered by Baycrest. CABHI is a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector and part of Baycrest, a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education. Learn more about becoming a member or working with the Leap community at https://www.cabhi.com/leap/
A solution accelerator for the aging and brain health sector, CABHI provides funding and support to innovators for the development, testing, and dissemination of new ideas and technologies that address unmet brain health and seniors’ care needs. Established in 2015, it is the result of the largest investment in brain health and aging in Canadian history. CABHI is a unique collaboration of health care, science, industry, not-for-profit and government partners whose aim is to help improve quality of life for the world’s aging population, allowing older adults to age safely in the setting of their choice while maintaining their cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being. CABHI gratefully acknowledges the support of its funders: the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and the Baycrest Foundation.