Using Technology to Help Seniors Thrive in Kingston

Smart City

A key part of the smart city vision for Kingston is to position our community as a leader in how we use new technology to improve the quality of life for our residents. In a recent survey on smart city activities, Kingstonians overwhelmingly identified a caring, equitable and connected community as their most important priority for a smart city. Imagine, for example, how we could use technology to help seniors live better at home, and help seniors get around the city easily, safely and more efficiently. Imagine how technology could be used to combat isolation, help seniors stay engaged in the community and facilitate new connections with younger generations of Kingstonians.

All of these ideas are part of Kingston’s Smart City Challenge proposal, a pitch that we have made to the federal government showing how Kingston is positioned to be a national leader in social innovation with a focus on developing technologies that will foster a healthy, resilient and engaged community. More details about Kingston’s Smart City proposal will be available in the coming weeks but here are three pilot projects that are part of our city’s plan:

– Partner with the Canadian Frailty Network, Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College to develop and test health-focused sensor technologies and analytics in Rideaucrest Home;

– Work with IBM to use state of the art cognitive computing and predictive analytics to match retired residents with young people to provide mentorship for employment and career development;

– Use sensors and wearables to develop the best possible transportation options for seniors and their families based on their individual mobility condition and where they need to travel to in the community.

Kingston has long been one of the most attractive retirement destinations in the country. Now, as the country grapples with the implications of an aging population, I believe our city has a tremendous opportunity to pioneer innovations that will advance the quality of life for all senior citizens in Canada.