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. The non-adoption, abandonment, scale-up, spread, and sustainability (NASSS) framework will be app/node/5126lied to several innovative assistive technologies (ATs) currently being developed in British Columbia for older adults.

By using a community-based participatory research methodology, this work will bring researchers, key health system decision-makers, technology developers, care-givers 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 the health system priority of services for seniors with complex medical conditions and the commitment to keeping seniors in their homes as long as safely possible (aging in place). The ATs in this project will be 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.

This research will also contribute to enhancing access to effective primary health care. ATs are a crucial medium for accomplishing this, 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.

This project will work towards directly improving the uptake, spread and sustainability of promising ATs in British Columbia, and will develop and sustain effective partnerships between the research community, the BC Ministry of Health, CanAssist and other relevant organizations.