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Preparing early career researchers in digital health solutions for older adults

A new federally-funded national training platform will equip graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and early career researchers to accelerate the delivery of digital health solutions for older Canadians with complex health needs and their caregivers.

The new EPIC-AT platform will increase the number of Canadian researchers and professionals dedicated to improving quality of life for older adults with complex health needs and their caregivers through digital health solutions.

The platform is one of 13 unique new training programs, funding for which was announced today by the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada’s Minister of Health, and the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. The training programs are an initiative of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The Early Professionals, Inspired Careers in AgeTech (EPIC-AT) Health Research Training Platform, powered by AGE-WELL, Canada’s technology and aging network, is led by researchers from 11 universities and research hospitals across 6 Canadian provinces. EPIC-AT is hosted at the University of Toronto (U of T).

The competency-based, experiential learning platform is an extension of AGE-WELL’s globally-leading EPIC training program and will provide one-year fellowships to at least 127 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and early career researchers at Canadian institutions from 2022-2027. The focus is on digital health solutions for seniors with complex health needs.

Participants will be equipped to develop, implement and evaluate digital technology solutions across areas such as information and communication technologies (ICT), telemedicine, artificial intelligence, sensors, smart environments and wearables. These solutions will help older Canadians age safely, independently and with dignity in the setting of their choice.



Quick facts about EPIC-AT:

The call for fellowship applications will open in Spring 2022; it will include focused calls for BIPOC awards.
• Successful graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will receive a minimum $8,000 of salary support, and early career researchers will receive a minimum of $10,000.
• Exceptional internships, mentorship and experiential education opportunities will abound, thanks to wide-ranging partnerships.
• Stakeholder engagement is core; platform participants will co-create solutions with older adults, caregivers, health professionals and others.

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