Embedding Health Care Technologies in Real-World Contexts: Developing the Scale-up, Spread and Sustainability of Assistive Technologies in Homes, Communities and Health Systems


Executive sponsor:

  • Heather Davidson
    BC Ministry of Health

Too often, promising technological innovations are not adopted, are abandoned or face other serious challenges to their uptake, spread and sustainability in real-world contexts (including in people’s homes, community settings, or health systems more broadly). This project aims to apply a new framework for theorizing and evaluating this phenomenon to several innovative assistive technologies (ATs) currently being developed in British Columbia for older adults.

By using a community-based participatory research methodology, the team will bring researchers, key health system decision-makers, technology developers, caregivers and older adults together into an inquiry team, focused on overcoming challenges to embedding ATs in end-users’ real-world contexts and identifying positive factors that support their uptake, spread and sustainability.

This project will directly address two BC health system priorities. Focusing on patients with complex medical conditions as well as the commitment to keeping seniors in their homes as long as safely possible (aging in place), the ATs are focused on improving the health and quality of life of older adults living with complex care needs and multiple chronic health conditions, as well as the onset of frailty.

The research will also contribute to enhancing access to effective primary health care. ATs are a crucial medium for enhancing access to primary health care, as many of the innovations are aimed at making communication and interventions between older adults and their primary health-care practitioners, including physicians, nurses and home support workers more effective.

The project’s objectives are to: