Coast to Coast Seminar Series: "Technologies for ageing well: Research to Innovation"

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
11:30 - 12:30

Dr. Andrew Sixsmith & Ms. Rowena Rizzotti
Dr. Andrew Sixsmith is a Professor in the Department of Gerontology, Simon Fraser University and Ms. Rowena Rizzotti is Vice President Operations for Retirement Concepts


Research into Innovation

The ageing of the population presents many challenges, not least how services can be improved in order to enhance the health and quality of life of older people in the context of limited financial resources. In this context, information and communication technologies (ICTs) have a huge potential to improve services and enhance the well-being and social participation of older people. ICTs for older people have emerged as a major component of R&D programmes worldwide. While technical challenges remain important, future research must focus on innovation as the key goal and respond to respond to a number of non-technical factors if the benefits of ICTs are to be realised. Most research in the area has had a ‘technology-push’ approach that has typically failed to appreciate the significant challenges to creating viable service processes and business models that include technological innovation. Making technology solutions a reality in terms of real-world products and services requires addressing these challenges in a way that creates positive outcomes for all the stakeholders involved. Indeed, our ideas of knowledge translation must go beyond the typical end-of-project dissemination approach to one that includes stakeholder participation and business modelling as fundamental to the whole R&D cycle, so that technologies are congruent with the real-world opportunities and constraints.

About the Speaker

Dr. Sixsmith has been Professor and Director of the Gerontology Research Centre at Simon Fraser University since 2007. Dr. Sixsmith is an executive board member of the International Society of Gerontechnology and was Chair of the 7th World Conference of the Society in 2010. His research interests include development of technologies for independent living, modeling well-being of seniors, long-term care and theory and methods in gerontology. He has attracted funding for many prestigious research projects from the European Commission and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Department of Health and Department of Industry in the UK and CIHR in Canada. Dr. Sixsmith has substantial teaching experience within gerontology and has been responsible for innovatory educational initiatives in the area of technology and aging.

Rowena Rizzotti is a highly successful health care leader with over twenty five years experience in both the private and public sectors. A recognized leader in large scale change management processes including Innovation and quality improvement initiatives, Rowena has a significant senior-level experience in multi-site, complex business environments with a very strong understanding of clinical operations and a passion to bring research and evidence into all planning and health care service delivery.