The AGE-WELL National Innovation Hub: Advancing Policies and Practices in Technology and Aging (APPTA) is a joint initiative from AGE-WELL (Canada's technology and aging network) and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF). Their office is located at York Care Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Launched on May 16, 2017, this hub has the purpose of bridging the gap between healthcare policy needs and solutions. This is done by designing innovative solutions to specific policy, program and service challenges, and developing best practices for rapid adoption of technologies across Canada. This hub:
- Brings together innovators and entrepreneurs with end users, policymakers and service providers to help transform their ideas into market successes.
- Gives stakeholders (Provincial Health Systems; Organizations offering frontline services; Researchers, Innovators, Startups) ready access to the latest research findings and information on emerging tools and health technologies that can support independent living and improve quality of life of older adults and caregivers.
- Provides new training opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the field of technology and aging.
AGE-WELL NCE Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement and Long Life NCE Inc.) is Canada’s technology and aging network. AGE-WELL is dedicated to the creation of technologies and services that benefit older adults and caregivers. The aim of the organization is to help older Canadians maintain their independence, health and quality of life through technologies and services that increase their safety and security, support their independent living, and enhance their social participation.
AGE-WELL National Innovation Hubs engage a range of stakeholders on a national level to advance innovation and adoption of technology-based solutions for healthy aging.
This is extremely relevant in a province like New Brunswick where currently 16 per cent of the population is over the age of 65— about 122,000 out of a total population of 755,000. That is slightly higher than the national average of people over the age of 65, which sits at 14 per cent. Of this percentage, only 3 per cent are nursing home residents (Government of New Brunswick, 2017). Understanding the desires of the other 97 per cent is key to creating policies and programs to serve older adults in the province. It is important to note that the over 65 population in New Brunswick is expected to grow to close to 30% over the next 15 years.
Using dedicated infrastructure and expertise at the local level, AGE-WELL hubs are places where industry, community, government, researchers, end users and others can interact and generate new ideas together. The aim is to foster more efficient development, testing and delivery to market of products and services that will benefit seniors and caregivers across Canada.