Postdoctoral Fellowship in Active Assisted Living (AAL) Technologies and Smart Communities

Opportunity

The Ubiquitous Health Technology Lab invites applications for a funded two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship position. We are looking for highly motivated, self-driven, and engaged candidates with experience and interest in user-centred design, development of standards, the internet of things (IoT), wearables, technology for ageing in place (AAL technologies), and smart communities. This project is a partnership between the University of Waterloo and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group).

Project summary

The Canadian healthcare system is not yet prepared to access and leverage IoT (Internet of Things) data to support clinical decision making outside of hospital settings. With advancements in low-cost IoT technology, it is now possible to meaningfully incorporate a variety of sensors into our homes and communities, leading to the implementation of Smart Homes and Smart Communities to support healthy living. Through this project, our research team will propose and develop new guidelines and checklists, and identify the need for new standards to support current and future smart communities seeking to implement AAL technologies, at the individual household and the community level. This partnership between the UbiLab and CSA Group will provide a framework to guide: (1) new AAL technology manufacturers, (2) developers of new smart communities seeking to ensure that the new developments are compatible and prepared to receive AAL and IoT sensors, (3) communities seeking to leverage data generated by AAL and IoT sensors into fully integrated community health services (e.g., pharmacies, allied health professionals, community clinics, etc.).

This project has a long-term vision of developing guidelines and assessment frameworks, to support current and future smart communities worldwide, in the integration of data generated by AAL technologies into community health delivery.

To achieve this long-term vision, the successful candidates will:

  • explore the continuum of care identifying agents and services;
  • understand and describe data governance in the use of AAL technologies;

  • develop a framework to guide the implementation of AAL technologies in a smart-home setting; and

  • develop a smart-community assessment framework for AAL technologies.

The successful candidate will join a multidisciplinary research team led by Professor Plinio Morita, including members with expertise in health data analytics, data science, wearables, remote patient monitoring, population-level surveillance, computer science, human factors, and health informatics. In addition to the University of Waterloo, Professor Plinio Morita is also affiliated with the Research Institute for Aging, the University Health Network, and the University of Toronto.

Funding

This fellowship is supported by MITACS and the CSA Group as part of a three-year project. The selected candidate will receive CAD $45,000.00/year, plus benefits on a two-year contract.

Requirements - the ideal applicants for this position will have:

  • a PhD degree in computer science, health sciences, public health, or other related fields;
  • experince with active assisted living (AAL technologies), technology governance, and qualitative methods;
  • strong interest in standards development, smart communities, health technology, and health systems;
  • excellent writing and communication skills.

Application process

Interested applicants should email Professor Morita with a recent CV, a one-page research statement, earliest starting date, and contact information of three references.

 

Position is now closed.

The institutions

The Ubiquitous Health Technology Lab (UbiLab) focuses on the use of big data and Al to improve current public health surveillance mechanisms, and support countries in the monitoring of health indicators (e.g., physical activity, sleep, sedentary behaviour), as well as environmental factors (e.g., heat waves, extreme air pollution). Professor Morita's research team has developed large-scale data collection ecosystems for supporting local initiatives in Canada, and low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), in their efforts to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health behaviours, the impact of extreme air pollution on child and maternal health in LMICs (in partnership with UNICEF Mongolia), as well as the impact of heatwaves on seniors around the globe. Through the development of data ecosystems and Al solutions, the UbiLab has been pushing the envelope in the development of predictive models that can help public health officials around the world to better understand their data, as well as creating real-time indicators to support risk mitigation initiatives aimed at minimizing the impact of uncontrolled urbanization and climate change on health.

The School of Public Health Sciences (formerly School of Public Health and Health Systems) at the University of Waterloo is training a new generation of leaders, researchers, and change agents, adept at thinking and responding to the complex adaptive systems that affect health and health care. Together, we are seeking innovative solutions to some of the major health challenges of our time: chronic disease prevention and management; health and ageing; health care system integration, management and informatics; food and water safety, security and governance; health inequityincluding poverty and Aboriginal health issues; and health and the environment.