The AgeTech Review Keynote
Dr. Allison SekulerPhD
Dr. Allison Sekuler (FSEP, FPsyS, FAPS) is President and Chief Scientist at the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI). A graduate of Pomona College (BA, Mathematics and Psychology) and the University of California, Berkeley (PhD, Psychology), Dr. Sekuler is also President and Chief Scientist and the Sandra A. Rotman Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Baycrest Academy for Research and Education, and Professor at the University of Toronto and McMaster University.
Dr. Sekuler has a notable record of scientific achievements in aging, vision science, cognitive neuroscience, and neurotechnology; and her translational research aims to develop methods to prevent, detect, and treat age-related sensory and cognitive decline. She has won numerous research and innovation leadership awards, including being the first Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience (2001-2011) and one of WXN’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada (2019). Dr. Sekuler has a long record of executive leadership, and currently chairs the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council’s Public Impact Value Proposition committee; serves on the Board of Governors for Hamilton Health Sciences and BrainsCAN and on VISTA’s External Advisory Board; is a founding Steering Committee member of the Canadian Brain Research Strategy and a Scientific Mentor for the CDL’s Neuro stream. In her spare time, she is proving that you’re never too old to learn: Dr. Sekuler picked up her first drumsticks a few years ago, and recently earned her Professional Drums Certificate from the Berklee College of Music.
Sarah Thomas is an accomplished leader of innovation. She serves as a global aging expert advising startups, large corporations and investors, with nearly 20 years dedicated to transforming the aging experience. Sarah is CEO of multinational staff-hosting company, MezTal in Guadalajara & CEO of the consulting firm Delight by Design, creating age-inclusive products, brands, spaces and experiences that delight the consumer at every age. Sarah has held key leadership positions across the US and Asia, developing and implementing strategic corporate innovation initiatives, including change management. She serves as Executive-in-Residence at Aging2.0,Principal Fellow in the Nexus Insights firm for aging transformation, and co- founder of AgeTech News. She formerly led all commercial activity for Seismic Holdings - a Silicon Valley-based company shaping human potential through integration of apparel and robotics to augment human strength and performance. Sarah’s commercial expertise helped position the organization for esteemed recognition by the World Economic Forum, Fast Company, The Economist and CES. Prior to Seismic, Sarah led all global innovation for the largest post-acute care provider in the US, Genesis, serving more than 55,000 individuals a day. She combines her Occupational Therapy expertise with her operational, clinical and entrepreneurial experience to inspire global improvements in design and systems innovation worldwide. She designed an innovation center in China as a part of a vitality initiative to improve the health and well-being of global communities. A published author, she serves in multiple advisory positions, sits on numerous boards and is an accomplished keynote speaker on topics like healthy longevity and aging innovations.
MA Gerontology, BSc
Keren EtkinMA Gerontology, BSc
Keren is the best-selling author of The AgeTech Revolution - a book about the intersection of technology and aging, founder of TheGerontechnologist.com, a media platform that covers the global agetech ecosystem and offers online courses through the AgeTech Academy, and the founder/director of AgeLabIL at Shenkar college in Israel, an interdisciplinary R&D center focusing on agetech. Named one of the most influential people in aging, Etkin is a sought-after public speaker and advisor for agetech startups, investors in the longevity economy, care providers and organizations who work on innovation in aging. Previously, Etkin was the first employee at Intuition Robotics, maker of ElliQ, a pioneering social robot designed with and for older adults, and co-founder & VP of Product at Sensi.ai, a startup that developed the first artificial intelligence solution for remote care monitoring. She holds an M.A. in Gerontology and a B.Sc. in Life Sciences from Ben-Gurion University.
The AgeTech Review Speakers
BSc. OT, MSc., Executive Director, CABHI
Bianca SternBSc. OT, MSc., Executive Director, CABHI
Bianca’s career spans over 40 years in health care within private and public sectors; including community, post-acute and long-term care. She has also been involved at university and college levels in curriculum design, research, teaching and student mentorship. Bianca has built on her bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from McGill University and master’s degree in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Toronto, creatively intersecting the art and science of healthcare with innovation, technology, and industry.
In the last 26 years at Baycrest Health Sciences, Bianca has acted in leadership roles including the Director and Professional Practice Chief for the Occupational Therapy Department, Co-Director of the Brain Health Center, Executive Director of the Culture, Arts & Innovation Department and Executive Director, Health Innovations, Center for Aging & Brain Health Innovation (CABHI).
Bianca is a thought leader in the area of innovation, blending an occupational therapy lens, design thinking and arts-based tools with an inclusive, participatory user focus; capitalizing on emerging technologies and theoretical knowledge to stimulate innovative solutions for the journey of aging. Bianca currently oversees the Innovation Office, Knowledge Mobilization team and Leap virtual end user community. She is also actively involved in helping to foster a culture of innovation and knowledge mobilization at Baycrest and across the CABHI network partner sites.
MSc. OT Reg. (Ont.), BSc. Bio/Psych
Simonne CumberbatchMSc. OT Reg. (Ont.), BSc. Bio/Psych
Simonne Cumberbatch is an OT graduate from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. who found a special passion in geriatrics. She is now a Clinician Leader on the Community-Behaviour Support Outreach Team at Baycrest in Toronto. She has spent 10 years specializing in behavioural management, dementia and geriatric mental health in Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Vaughn, Brampton and Toronto. She has worked in senior care as an educator, team lead, care coordinator, clinician consultant and behaviour support specialist across acute care, LTCHs, and now works supporting clients and caregivers within the community.
OTR/L, CAPS, ECHM, CHAMP
Carol ChiangOTR/L, CAPS, ECHM, CHAMP
Carol Chiang is an Occupational Therapist with over 20 years of clinical experience in inpatient rehab, outpatient, home health and private practice.
She is a realtor and the owner of Evolving Homes, a comprehensive Aging-in-Place practice, that creates beautiful spaces to improve resale value, sets up home automation to decrease falls, and teaches healthy lifestyle choices that keep people healthy, happy and living independently in their own homes.
She holds multiple advanced level certifications including Executive Home Modification from USC, Certified-Aging-In-Place Specialist, Certified Home Assessment and Modification Professional and Certified Parkinsons Wellness Recovery therapist.
Her private practice specializes in treating complex neurological and orthopedics cases that have not responded to traditional therapies.
Carol is former international-level elite swimmer, placing 5th at 1996 Canadian Olympic Trials in 100 free, missing the cut by 1/10th of a second.
She was inducted into the McGill University Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
She is passionate about exercise as medicine and believes that it’s never too late to develop healthy habits and routines that can improve quality of life.
Mark Gray, the Founder and CEO for Constant Companion, launched the company in 2016. Having worked in cyber and physical security since 2013, Mr. Gray has been responsible for developing, managing, and securing our nation's critical infrastructure to solve problems of vital importance to the U.S. federal government. He now applies his knowledge of technology and security to serve several of our most vulnerable populations. His expertise in voice technology encompasses the use and impact in personal security, home care, healthcare, assisted living and long-term care. Mr. Gray is driven to lead transformational change – bringing together amazing people, technologies, and opportunities. Over the past 20 years, he served on multiple Boards of Directors for technology and security companies. Mr. Gray has managed successful entrepreneurial ventures since his senior year in college. He is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.
David Frerichs is principal engineer for aging and accessibility at Amazon Alexa. With decades of smart agent, music, virtual reality, and connected device experience under his belt, David's successes include conversational AI for Toyota cars, the first high-volume mobile music download service with KDDI, the first Internet radio with Philips, 3D Web experiences for NASA, and the first consumer VR head-mounted display.
Sheila D. CollinsMBA
Sheila D. Collins is a groundbreaking strategic advisor in the innovation space. She has over 15 years of experience in marketing, eCommerce and innovation. Her big-picture views coupled with her forward-thinking planning, and skilled execution has fueled her success.
Sheila serves as the Senior Advisor for Startup Programming at AARP Innovation Labs, this accelerator works with start-ups, investors, and industry leaders to bring forth disruptive technology to fulfill the organization’s mission of empowering people to choose how they live as they age. She has also spun up several entrepreneurial ventures and programs. Earlier in her career, Sheila spun up a program called Piggy Bank, teaching youth about financial literacy. She is an angel investor and advocate for FemTech solutions and wealth building opportunities for BIPOC founders. Her accolades include – Money 20/20 Amplify “Ones to Watch,”, The Network Journal 40 Under 40 and the Ben and Jerry’s” Citizen Cool” Award.
Sheila is a native of Brooklyn, NY and now resides in Washington, DC with her husband and daughter. Sheila earned her MBA from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business and achieved her BA from Long Island University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
As a citizen of the world and avid traveler, acquiring passport stamps is one of her favorite pastimes. Sheila has lived, studied, and worked overseas and traveled to over 40 countries. Sheila is a Broadway musical, live concert and hot Pilates enthusiast.
Ginna Baik has had over a decade in senior care and technology with a mission to provide scalable technology and services to underserved populations. She has worked with a social platform startup to leading innovation and resident technology with a national senior care provider, and most recently building the senior care business practice at a national technology solution provider. With her new role at Amazon, she is leading Alexa smart properties business focused on senior living. Her experience includes the deployment of internet cafes at Atlanta Housing Authority properties, leading national resident tech strategy at Emeritus Senior Living (now Brookdale) and advising hundreds of leading senior care providers from life path communities to all levels of care. Ginna is an executive board member at America’s Society on Aging and the Chairman of the board at OATS (Older Adults Tech Services), an affiliate of AARP. Ginna lives in sunny San Diego with her husband, her Cockalier dog and two teenage children.
Dr. Richard Caro
Dr. Richard CaroD.Phil
Dr. Richard G. Caro is co-founder of Tech-enhanced Life, a Public Benefit corporation with the mission of improving the quality of life of older adults and their families, and is also an “occasional” angel investor, with a particular focus on the intersection of healthcare, aging, and technology. Richard started his career as a researcher at Stanford University, and then spent a number of years developing novel medical products (including medical lasers for minimally invasive surgery, and ophthalmology (e.g. LASIK)). He has a D.Phil in Physics from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and has 24 patents.
Rachel ProffittOTD, OTR/L
Dr. Rachel Proffitt is Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Missouri. Her research focuses on developing, testing, and implementing virtual reality-based interventions for adults and older adults post-stroke. Dr. Proffitt has extensive experience working in an interdisciplinary setting with computer scientists and engineers and was previously the Director of the Game Based Rehab Lab at the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California (USC). She has completed a T32 postdoctoral fellowship with an emphasis in rehabilitation clinical trials as well as a KL2 Career Development Award. She is currently translating effective interventions, such as LSVT®BIG, for use with the stroke population and pairing telehealth applications for remote delivery in rural areas. Dr. Proffitt is PI of an NIH R21 to develop a new algorithm for activity recognition and assessment in the natural home environment for individuals post-stroke and the PI of an NIH R01 to evaluate a sensor system in the homes of rural community-dwelling older adults.
Dr. Noelannah Neubauer
PhD, OT Reg. (AB)
Dr. Noelannah NeubauerPhD, OT Reg. (AB)
Noelannah Neubauer is a postdoctoral fellow in the Faculty of Health at the University Waterloo and is a rural occupational therapist at Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre in Alberta. Neubauer completed her Bachelor of Human Kinetics (BHK) and MSc in Human Kinetics from University of British Columbia Okanagan in 2012 and 2014, and her PhD in Rehabilitation Science and MSc in Occupational Therapy at the University of Alberta in 2019 and 2021. Her doctoral thesis focused on developing the Canadian Guideline for Safe Wandering which is presently being used across the country among Alzheimer Societies, health professionals, first responders, care partners and persons living with dementia. Neubauer’s developing research program focuses on the creation and implementation of policies and strategies to enable older adults to age in place. More recently, her research has focused on devising and advocating for solutions that balance risk and autonomy for persons with dementia that are at risk of getting lost and going missing. She is the co-founder of the International Consortium on Dementia and Wayfinding, co-founder of OTech Canada, and is a co-author of the recently published book “Autonomy and Independence: Aging in an Era of Technology”.
Amanda Rees is the CEO and cofounder of Bold. Bold's digital platform uses personalized, science-backed programs to address the most fundamental health and wellbeing challenges faced by older adults. Bold leverages research and clinical interventions to prevent falls, reduce arthritis related disability, and increase activity levels for older adults. Bold partners with health plans and providers to improve outcomes and reduce care costs. Prior to co-founding Bold, Amanda managed strategic grantmaking for the renewable energy and transportation portfolio at The 11th Hour Project, a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation. She previously held roles as a researcher at Stanford, Princeton, and UCLA. Amanda has also been a fitness instructor for over a decade, teaching dance, yoga, indoor cycling, and tai chi. She holds a BSE in chemical & biological engineering from Princeton University.
Brandee VanVuuren is the Senior National Account Manager at Lifeline Senior Living, a leading provider of cloud-based resident safety and community management systems. She works closely with product development at Lifeline to continually improve the company’s senior living solutions as the industry evolves from push-button technologies to location-enabled solutions to voice activated digital assistants. She spent over 15 years as a nurse and in management at a long-term senior care facility before coming to Philips Lifeline. Brandee’s on-the-ground caregiver perspective and insights help her customers make better technology decisions.
Dr. Flavio Oliveira
Dr. Flavio OliveiraMD, PhD
Flavio Oliveira, MD, PhD (he/him) is a resident physician and surgeon in the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at Stanford. He received his MD degree from the University of California - San Francisco, and PhD in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California - Berkeley. Prior to becoming a physician, he worked within engineering and product development at Google and Facebook in their early days. He now combines his experience as a technologist and surgeon to help develop medical and health technologies that improve the lives of patients. He is an advisor to multiple companies and the main author and a co-investigator on a research and development project that partners Stanford and Starkey Hearing Technologies to develop and test hearing aids capable of detecting falls and estimating fall risk.
Goldie NejatPh.D., P.Eng.
Dr. Goldie Nejat, PhD, P.Eng., is the Canada Research Chair in Robots for Society and a Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. She is also the Founder and Director of the Autonomous Systems and Biomechatronics Laboratory (asblab.mie.utoronto.ca) Professor Nejat is an Adjunct Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest, and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). She is also the former Director of the Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics at UofT.
Prof. Nejat’s research focuses on developing intelligent service robots and robot cooperative teams for applications in health, eldercare, emergency response, search and rescue, security, retail and manufacturing. Dr. Nejat’s research is constantly pushing the envelope of the capabilities of current robots. Her team’s socially assistive robots, including Brian, Casper, Tangy, Blueberry, Salt and Pepper, and Luke and Leia, are being designed to provide cognitive and social interventions, help with activities of daily living, and lead group recreational activities to improve the quality of life of adults and their caregivers including older adults living with dementia. Her and her team collaborate with healthcare experts and a number of healthcare facilities in order to develop these unique social robots so that they can be effectively integrated into people’s everyday lives. She has been invited to speak about her research to scientists, healthcare professionals, policymakers, governments and the general public at many events, conferences and institutions around the world. She has served on the organizing, program and editorial committees of numerous international conferences and journals on robotics, automation, human-robot interaction and medical devices. She is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Social Robotics and is also a past Associate Editor for IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), and IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE). Her team's work has been presented in over 100 media stories including in Popular Science, National Geographic Magazine, Time Magazine, Bloomberg, NBC News, the Telegraph, Reader's Digest, and the Discovery Channel. In 2020, she received the Engineering Excellence Medal from the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (PEO) and the Professional Engineers Ontario. Her other recognitions include the Engineers Canada Young Engineer Achievement Award, and the Young Engineer Medal from PEO.
Dr. Vicki KomisarPhD
Dr. Vicki Komisar is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering with the School of Engineering at the University of British Columbia - Okanagan Campus. She completed her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Toronto and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology at SFU. Vicki uses the tools of biomechanics to understand how people interact with their environment to maintain balance and avoid falls and fall-related injuries, and uses this evidence to inform recommendations for safer built environment and wearable technology design, especially for older adults. Her research findings have informed building codes, product design standards, new assistive technologies, and occupational safety guidelines related to preventing fall-related injuries in an aging workforce.
K. Jason Crandall, Ph.D (he, his) is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Applied Science in Health & Aging at Western Kentucky University. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, the United States Center for Medicare and Medicaid, and the Retirement Research Foundation, his research focuses on public health and health promotion programs for older adults and other special populations. He is the creator of the evidence-based program, Bingocize®, a health promotion program that increases functional performance, health knowledge, cognition, and social engagement in older adults with various physical and cognitive abilities. Bingocize® is approved by the National Council on Aging and the United States Department of Agriculture as an evidence-based falls prevention program and obesity prevention program, respectively. Communities in over 40 U.S. states, and four other countries currently use the Bingocize® program.
Dr. Deborah Bolding
PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Dr. Deborah BoldingPhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Deborah Bolding, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at San José State University (SJSU). She also works in the Farewell to Falls Program, part of the community-based Injury Prevention Program at Stanford Healthcare. Dr. Bolding has co-authored an article about falls in the geriatric patient, and research interests include aging on the go (inclusive of safety and mobility in the home and local and global communities. She is a member of the Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (SJSU), and previously served on San José’s Age-Friendly Cities Advisory Council.
Dr. Jessica RobinPhD
As the Director of Clinical Research at Winterlight Labs, Jessica leads the clinical research program, aimed at developing and validating novel speech-based biomarkers for health research. Winterlight's mission is to develop speech processing technology and natural language processing tools to give insight into patient health in a more accessible and less intrusive way. Jessica oversees study design, data collection, designs analysis plans and helps to communicate the results of Winterlight's studies relating to how speech and language are affected in neurodegenerative disease and psychiatric disorders. Jessica has training in cognitive neuroscience, psychology and linguistics and over ten years experience conducting neuroscientific research. She completed a Bachelor’s of Arts & Science with an interdisciplinary major in Cognitive Science at McGill University. She then completed a Master’s and PhD in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Toronto, with a focus on the cognitive neuroscience of memory and spatial cognition and funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Following her PhD, Jessica completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Hospital, and was funded by the Alzheimer Society of Canada to study early signs of cognitive impairment using methods including structural and functional neuroimaging, eye-tracking and cognitive testing.
Andrea Case-Rogers is the Chief Experience Officer at ZIBRIO, the balance company. She brings decades of experience from technical companies impacting day to day human behavior across various industries, from deep sea shipping to healthcare.
Initially designed for astronauts on the moon, ZIBRIO has developed technology that measures physical balance and fall risk in a simple 60 second test that identifies 2-4 times more high-risk patients than currently used clinical practices.
Effective fall prevention programs begin with accurate identification, lead through personalization and ultimately empower the patient. ZIBRIO has developed the tools for all stages of this journey to support therapists, physicians, care-givers and older adults themselves in changing their balance and fall risk profile.
Balance is highly receptive to our daily activities, though most people don’t realize it changes every day. ZIBRIO offers a measurement that is sensitive enough to register small changes, yet simple enough to be used by people in their own homes, to better inform their balance health, motivate better choices, and act as an outcome measure for clinical programs. The company’s mission is ultimately to stop the world from falling down.
Mike Dooley is a leading pioneer in consumer robotics, successfully shipping millions of robots into homes for over the past 20 years. He launched the original LEGO MindStorms product line, introducing millions of kids to robotics as well as the best-selling product in the history of LEGO. He later co-invented and launched what is now the Braava series of smart robotic mops (acquired by iRobot) and helped develop the systematic mapping behaviors used in Roomba today.
In 2017, Mike co-founded Labrador Systems to introduce a new generation of assistive robots to help people live more independently. The company closed its first round of venture financing in 2019 led by SOSV/HAX, with iRobot and the Amazon Alexa Fund participating.
Mike has an MBA from Stanford University and BA in Psychology from Tufts University.
Sasha Spellman is the Startup Collaboration Director at AARP Innovation Labs. In this role, Sasha is leading the efforts for the AgeTech Collaborative™ - a B2B community platform designed to support the AgeTech Ecosystem to connect innovative, early-stage AgeTech startups with investors, testbeds, corporations and more.
Prior to AARP, Sasha was at Consumer Technology Association where she fostered entrepreneurship and growth of small business by managing the startup program at CES called Eureka Park. She helped grow investment of early-stage startups from 100 startups at CES 2012 to over 1200 startups at CES 2020.
Assaf is heading the strategy and partnerships at Intuition Robotics. Assaf has vast experience to solve consumer needs by combining creative thinking, technology and commercial understanding in the real-world challenges. Through the use of compelling storytelling, Assaf connects the dots between technology and users, showing how user experience, innovative technologies, and consumer brands are all part of the same ecosystem and can rise to new heights when provided the means to draw on each other's strengths.
Lianna Genovese is the CEO & Founder of ImaginAble Solutions and inventor of the company’s international award-winning product Guided Hands, an assistive device that enables anyone experiencing limited hand mobility to write, paint, draw and access technology. Lianna holds a bachelor’s degree in biomedical and mechanical engineering from McMaster University where at only 19 years old, Lianna created the first prototype of Guided Hands for a colleague living with Cerebral Palsy. She is also the National Canadian Winner of the James Dyson Award and top 20 worldwide! Lianna is a passionate woman in engineering, solo female founder, engineering ambassador, and public speaker for women in STEM and entrepreneurship.
Dorina Simeonov is the Policy and Knowledge Mobilization Manager at AGE-WELL, Canada’s technology and aging network. She is a visual communicator, knowledge mobilizer and policy enthusiast. Dorina enjoys working with diverse teams to dream up innovative ways of putting research into practice. She has a formal education in the health sciences with a focus on methods and policy. Dorina enjoys speaking to broad audiences, brainstorming new ideas, and working collaboratively to implement solutions. She is part of the ROSE project – reusable open source equipment – developing a reusable face mask that meets medical standards for safety. She is a fierce mental health advocate and also the Operations Officer for Art the Science, a Canadian not-for-profit organization committed to celebrating the connections between art and science.