Baycrest Health Sciences will lead a new Canadian venture aimed at optimizing the cognitive, emotional and physical well-being of older adults—across the country and around the globe.
The Government of Canada 2015 Budget announcement included a federal investment of $42 million over five years for the creation of the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CC-ABHI). Combined with commitments from the Baycrest Foundation and 40 leading industry, academic, public sector and not-for-profit partners, this brings the total investment in CC-ABHI to $100 million. CC-ABHI will become a national hub and network dedicated to the development, validation, commercialization, dissemination and adoption of brain health and seniors care products and services.
This is one of the largest senior care investments globally, and creates a national centre dedicated to driving innovation in aging and brain health through CC-ABHI’s unique multi-faceted partnership.
This historic commitment by the federal government positions Canada to take a leading international role in tackling health challenges and addressing the market demand related to aging and brain health. In Canada alone:
- The number of seniors is expected to double to more than 10 million in the next two decades
- Dementia is the leading cause of disability among Canadian seniors
- Dementia costs the national economy $33 billion per year
- The number of people living with dementia will grow to 1.4 million by 2031
Worldwide, there are clear opportunities and demand for products and services related to aging and brain health:
- The global market for brain health applications, software and biometrics will grow from $1 billion to $10 billion by 2020
- 75% of healthcare consumers are comfortable communicating with their doctor virtually
- The annual market for remote/mobile monitoring devices in the United States is up to $43 billion
- 92% of ‘worried well’ consumers over 50 rated ‘staying mentally sharp’ as their top interest
“The world’s population is aging rapidly, and incidences of dementias such as Alzheimer’s present significant societal challenges on a global scale,” says Dr. William Reichman, president and CEO of Baycrest. “At the same time, the demand for new senior’s care technologies and practices is growing. We applaud the Government of Canada for their historic investment. This will lay the foundation to further brain health and aging innovation and commercialization, for we believe addressing these challenges presents an excellent opportunity to enhance older adults’ quality of life and for Canada’s economy to prosper as global demand increases.”
The focus of CC-ABHI will be on catalyzing and accelerating the innovation cycle from idea generation to bench testing to bedside evaluation to broad market penetration. The Centre will also tackle issues such as barriers to access for end users, the need for solution validation in real-world care settings, adoption among healthcare providers and consumers, and a lack of innovation in the long-term care sector.
Some of the tangible benefits anticipated from the CC-ABHI partnership, in addition to the introduction of innovative aging and brain health products and services that improve the quality of life for older adults, include stimulating job growth and investment in Canadian companies connected to the Centre.