The ORCATECH Council is an group of researchers who began meeting quarterly in 2004 with 20 members. It's now grown to over 60. During these meetings, members share their ideas and learn from each other, with the goal of advancing research about healthcare and technology. 

The Council represents a variety of experts, institutional representation and stakeholder input. Members come from diverse backgrounds, including healthcare and community advocacy, intellectual property law, biotechnology development, architecture, social gerontology and primatology.

Featured past council presenters

Charles Consel, Inria / Bordeaux Institute of Technology

Presentation Title: HomeAssist: An Assisted Living Platform for Aging in Place Based on An Interdisciplinary Approach

Presentation Topic: to address the many challenges of aging in place, we have been conducting an interdisciplinary research project aimed to design, develop, deploy, and assess an assisted living platform for frail older adults, named HomeAssist. This platform leverages expertise in psychology and aging, human factors, and computer science. HomeAssist offers an online catalog of assistive applications, covering daily activities, safety, and social participation. HomeAssist was used in a field study; participants found it highly usable and had a highly positive user experience.

Noshad Rahimi, M.B.A., Ph.D., Project Program Management - Kaiser Permanente

Presentation Title: Developing a Mixed-Methods Method to Model Elderly Health Technology Adoption with Fuzzy Cognitive Map, and its Application in Adoption of Remote Health Monitoring Technologies by Elderly Women

Presentation Topic: low adoption of health technologies, particularly among elderly women, who represent the majority of the elderly population keeps them from benefiting from technology advances. There is a call to arms for novel approaches that facilitate the creation of models that expand technology adoption theories to the specifics of elderly health technology adoption. In response, this research applies qualitative and quantitative techniques including fuzzy cognitive mapping and network analysis to design a novel mixed-methods modeling approach and apply the method to the adoption of wearables by elderly women as a case-in-point. 

Martina Mancini, Ph.D., Balance Disorders Laboratory, Assistant Professor of Neurology, OHSU

Presentation Title: Technology for aging and neurodegeneration: where we are and where to go

Presentation Topic:  Dr. Mancini's research focus is on using wearable technologies to characterize movement and brain activity in aging and neurodegeneration. Particular interests is on integration of sensory information while walking in people with cognitive or movements impairments. Objective metrics of movements are here combined with neurophysiological information to determine optimal variable(s) to integrate with biofeedback, resulting in more effective rehabilitation intervention.

Antoine Piau M.D., Ph.D.

Presentation Title: Frailty monitoring, an overview of ongoing projects in Toulouse University Hospital

Presentation Topic: Toulouse University Hospital is responsible for the development of a national frailty network. Frailty screening is primarily based on the general practitioner’s detection via a short survey. Therefore, they can address their patients to a ‘geriatric day hospital for assessment of frailty and prevention of disability’ (GDHF) for a comprehensive assessment and a personalized intervention plan. A major weakness of this network is the lack of seamless follow-up over time. We are developing several tools to monitor frailty parameters over time at home: a smart insole to monitor gait speed and activity (RESPECT), several connected devices to follow grip strength and balance over time (FRAGIL-IT) but also smart home solutions for isolated frail person’s tele-assistance (3PEGASE).

Melinda Davis, Ph.D., Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network at OHSU

Presentation Title: Clinician Perceptions of Aging Services Technologies (CPAST)

Presentation Topic: Dr. Davis presented a summary (and its subsequent publication) of her ORCATECH pilot project to determine the monitoring needs of, optimal communication formats for, and infrastructure required to enable primary care clinicians to incorporate data from in-home monitoring technologies into routine care for older adult patients. This project sought to address a key gap in the research literature by investigating primary care clinician views toward monitoring technologies. Because clinicians and patients in remote and rural areas may be the most likely to benefit from monitoring technologies, this study was conducted with rural primary care clinician members of a practice-based research network in Oregon.

Sharon and Howard Johnson, Age Friendly Innovation Associates

Presentation Title: Age-Friendly Innovation in Southern Oregon: You Had Me At Hello!

Presentation Topic: Age Friendly Innovation Associates is dedicated to advancing creative solutions for older adults interested in healthier and more independent living in a home of their own. Sharon and Howard Johnson, recent retirees, with a vast amount of innovative energy and a story to tell, discussed designing and building age-friendly homes using a “nested” neighborhood concept. Their homes have received the first-in-Oregon “Lifelong Housing Certification.” Their story goes beyond home-building as they have also designed and are beta testing a “In-Home Risk Assessment Tool” and host a monthly television program, Age-Friendly Rogue Valley.”

Don Young, TI Works

Presentation Title: Collaborative Medicine Adherence

Presentation Topic:  this SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) project focuses on a technology to confirm whether medications have actually been taken out of the pillbox. The key components of the system are MediCam devices that apply existing low-cost video conferencing technology in a novel and highly constrained manner to address privacy and ease-of-use concerns. The associated software captures an image history and presents reports that encourage the collaborators to discuss how to improve adherence. TI Works, Inc., will collaborate with ORCATECH to accelerate the work. This will build upon their expertise, processes, Health Coaching Platform infrastructure, and patient population. To verify feasibility, experiments will be conducted with a small number of home- resident senior citizens that are already participants in ORCATECH’s health coaching project. This new dimension of intervention is likely to have both adherence and socialization benefits.

Jerry Wiant, Perpetua Designs

Presentation Title: Power Technologies in a Home Environment

Presentation Topic: Perpetua designs, manufactures, and markets renewable energy solutions for wireless sensors. They are focused on offering cost effective and easy-to-integrate power products that last as long as the sensor electronics. By extending battery life, or replacing batteries altogether, their products enable sensors to collect more data over a given time period and offer opportunities to effectively operate in a wider range of environments. Supporting these goals, Perpetua has developed the most advanced Flexible Thermoelectric Film™ technology available. Perpetua’s product lines incorporate this advanced technology into both stand-alone and integrated power solutions. This presentation will discuss some of the technologies they are developing and how they might integrate/impact aging in place.

Upcoming meetings

The next ORCATECH Council Meeting will be held virtually on February 26, 2021.

Interested in receiving slides of previous presentations? Please email orcatech@ohsu.edu

Join a council meeting

If you are interested in attending or presenting at an ORCATECH Council Meeting, contact Nora Mattek at mattekn@ohsu.edu