New CIHR-funded network to promote brain and joint health in older adults through digital media
Led by UBC’s Dr. Linda Li (GRAND CNI), the national network has goal to modernize the effort of improving the lives of older people for the 21st century.
Posted by GRAND NCE, April 24, 2014

A new health research network in Canada engaging the power of digital media to help make the lives of older adults healthier and more mobile.

Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to the tune of $199,000 per year for three years, the Improving Cognitive & jOint health Network (ICON) will develop new digital technologies for promoting cognitive and joint health in Canada's growing elderly population. The national network is first of its kind to link top programs in health research, digital media, and 'knowledge translation,' as well as the receptor community, to optimize mobility in older adults.

Brain and joint health is recognized as essential for maintaining the best quality of life – especially for older adults who are more susceptible to cognitive impairment and chronic joint diseases. These conditions are furthermore expensive and potentially deadly if not treated appropriately. Digital media, such as social networking tools, mobile applications, and health tracking devices, offer new and effective ways for healthcare providers to improve brain and joint health.

Led by University of British Columbia Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair, Dr. Linda Li, the network spans nine leading research programs and four consumer and health organizations across the country.

In GRAND, Dr. Li co-leads CHRONIC, a new project that aims to help patients and their caregivers to better manage their conditions and quality of life, and potentially reduce the cost of chronic diseases on Canada. Other leading researchers in ICON include GRAND’s Director of Health Research Dr. Diane Gromala (Simon Fraser University), and CHRONIC’s project lead Dr. Chris Shaw (SFU). 

Collaborators include Arthritis Consumer Experts, Alzheimer’s Society of BC, CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons), and the Arthritis Health Professions Association.


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