The stories patients and caregivers tell of the difficulties managing day-to-day tasks stay top of mind for Dr. Alex Mihailidis, an award-winning scientist developing smart home systems to care for and promote the wellbeing of older adults. From robots who support common household activities, floor tiles that monitor blood pressure and sensors that can send a reminder to turn off the stove, Dr. Mihailidis is alleviating the responsibility of care from the patient and caregiver and putting it into the home.
On this episode of Behind the Breakthrough, Dr. Mihailidis journeys through his years of research into smart home technology, with early innovations such as ‘Ed the Robot’ and his current role as Scientific Director of the AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence. Dr. Mihailidis also tells the story of how he became a patient at the Toronto Rehab Institute, the hospital where he works, after surviving a 30 foot fall down a cliff. Having to regain his ability to walk and perform daily functions, the tragic event taught him the importance of integrating his research with clinical practice.
“If we can come up with a solution through technology that can help ease the issues older people face, even just a little bit, and make it better not just for the person but the family that supports them...then that’s why I continue to do this.”