CALGARY, Alberta – The Ward of the 21st Century (W21C), a health systems research and innovation initiative, has been named a new AGE-WELL Core Facility in Human Factors and Usability Testing.
W21C is focused on improving patient safety and quality of care and is based in the University of Calgary’s O’Brien Institute for Public Health and in the Calgary zone of Alberta Health Services.
Launched in 2015 through the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program, AGE-WELL is Canada’s Technology and Aging Network with a mission to accelerate innovation in the field of technology and aging that will improve quality of life and produce economic and social benefits for resident.
“The W21C will be a great resource for AGE-WELL researchers, trainees and network partners,” said Dr. Alex Mihailidis, scientific director of AGE-WELL, in a statement. “It will provide a collaborative space and expertise to help bring new ideas, prototypes or health care products for testing in pre-clinical and clinical environments.”
W21C’s facilities include the Healthcare Human Factors and Simulation Laboratory, which serves as a test-bed for innovative medical technologies and approaches. W21C’s Human Factors team uses a variety of research methods to gain a better understanding of human-system interactions to inform decisions, from product design to policy.
“Our organizations both place a premium on involving end-users―the people who will actually use our innovations―at all stages of product design and evaluation,” Mihailidis said. “This partnership will help ensure that our network members get the user’s perspective, so that we come up with useable, real-world products to support older adults and their caregivers.”
AGE-WELL core facilities promote and trigger national and international interactions for AGE-WELL and provide physical and/or virtual venues for researchers to meet, collaborate and exchange ideas.
“Finding solutions to aging in place is a strategic research priority for W21C,” said Dr. John Conly, medical director of W21C, in a statement. “Our partnership with AGE-WELL provides an exciting opportunity for us to collaborate at a national level―working with industry, government, patients and their families, and other health care providers to develop and test innovations that will enable us to age where we choose.”