BSF, Health Cities, Best Buy partner on aging at home
September 28, 2022
CALGARY – The HealthTech Home project, a new initiative from The Brenda Strafford Foundation (BSF), Health Cities and Best Buy Canada, aims to address pressure on health systems by integrating and validating consumer technology and innovative health solutions in a residential setting.
The HealthTech Home project creates a sandbox environment deployed within a BSF-owned condo unit for independent older adults that is connected to one of their continuing care homes. Health technology solutions are selected and installed to monitor the health of an independent-living condo tenant over the course of one year in an effort to slow, or reverse, any decline in health, and to aid aging in place.
The selection, implementation, and evaluation of technology will build a framework that supports aging in place. Currently, little framework exists to inform technology implementation for aging care in a residential setting.
In addition to validating consumer and health technologies, this project has established the HealthTech Home Innovation Council, the first group of its kind. The Council, comprised of key stakeholder groups, will meet regularly to share results and review outcomes to inform policy and funding decisions. Once a technology has been validated within the project, the Council will assist with scale and deployment to ensure greater impact.
Best Buy Canada is the project’s first technology partner. The company’s expertise in commercial technology designed to support aging in place, paired with its unique ability to introduce foundational elements into the HealthTech Home in a consolidated way, allows for an agnostic approach to vendor selection scalable across Canada. Additional partners include the University of Calgary’s Brenda Strafford Centre on Aging, CBI Health and W21C.
“Today’s generation of aging seniors have different expectations around remaining in their homes and maintaining their independence as they age,” says Tony Weeks (pictured), president and CEO at The Brenda Strafford Foundation. “We are committed to leading research and innovation that enhances the quality of life and quality of care for older adults in support of our mission to optimize well-being and enrich people’s lives, creating impact within our seniors’ care communities, and beyond.”
As the largest generation of Canadians, the Baby Boomer Generation, reaches the senior age demographic, aging at home has become a priority in the health sector. Recent studies have shown aging at home can lower the cost to the healthcare system while enabling older adults to remain safe, independent, and connected to their homes and communities. However, understanding the technology required to support older adults to age at home is not always a straightforward selection, as many products are costly or do not integrate directly with existing consumer or health systems.
“We know that enabling seniors to age in place, where they are comfortable and have the support of their communities, leads to better health outcomes,” says Reg Joseph, CEO at Health Cities. “Designing a technology and solutions framework is key to building a more efficient health system for aging populations. Alberta’s economy is dependent on creating these opportunities for Canadian health technology companies to integrate their solutions.”
“Best Buy Health is driven by the belief that technology can make life better – at any age, for any need,” says Sara Aghvami, director at Best Buy Health. “We are thrilled to work on the HealthTech Home project, and we believe it will provide a perfect example of how technology enriches lives and allows countless people to age in any place they call home.”
About The Brenda Strafford Foundation
The Brenda Strafford Foundation (BSF) is a registered Canadian charitable organization established in 1975. The Foundation’s core operations are in seniors’ care, owning and operating five continuing care communities in and around Calgary, and with a strategic focus on research and innovation in seniors’ health and wellness. The Foundation also operates local charitable programs to serve women and children fleeing domestic violence and families at risk of homelessness, as well as international charitable programs for vulnerable populations in need of health services in underserved regions of the Caribbean. Visit www.theBSF.ca for more information.
About Health Cities
Health Cities is a Canadian not-for-profit corporation that works with clinicians, innovators, philanthropic organizations, and companies to develop new models of care that can drive better health outcomes and economic growth in the health sector. Our focus is on transforming innovations from our health sector into solutions that have commercial application and global relevance, adopting them for impact locally and scaling them for export to global markets. Visit healthcities.ca for more information.
About Best Buy Canada
A wholly owned subsidiary of Best Buy Co., Inc., Best Buy Canada Ltd. is one of Canada’s largest and most successful omnichannel retailers, operating the Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile, and Geek Squad (www.geeksquad.ca) brands. With over 160 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores across Canada and an expanded assortment of lifestyle products offered through BestBuy.ca, Best Buy is a leader in total retail, catering to customers how, when, and where they want to shop. Best Buy Canada is committed to making a positive impact in the community by providing services and technology that help caregivers, enhance digital skills, and expand the reach of businesses that specialize in care. For more information, visit BestBuy.ca.