Three researchers have received $50,000 for their innovations related to aging at the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation’s R3 Research Innovation Awards.
Dr. Carole Goodine, a visiting research fellow at UNB’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, was awarded $50,000 in NBIF research funding as one of three top winners of the competition. Her research addresses the issue of polypharmacy – the simultaneous use of multiple medication, a major issue among the aging population.
“When clinicians are reviewing medications, they have to identify those that pose higher risks. Automating this process will quickly trigger which medications should be used carefully in older adults,” said Dr. Goodine.
Goodine’s app optimizes medication use in older adults with the help of a program developed at McGill University Health Centre called MedSafer. Patients’ medications and medical conditions are cross-referenced and potential concerns are flagged for review.
Goodine also received the CBC Viewers Choice Award for receiving the most likes on social media. This prize included $15,000 in research funding from NBIF.
“We’re hoping this app will lead to the de-prescribing of medications in seniors,” said Dr. Goodine, a pharmacist. “Statistics show that over 60 per cent of nursing home residents are on more than 10 medications. We know that beyond five medications, there is an increased risk of side effects and drug interactions. We want to reduce that risk.”
Other $50,000 prize winners include Dr.Suzanne Dupuis-Blanchard of the Université de Moncton for her research into innovations in home care, and St. Thomas University’s Dr. Clive Baldwin for his work on developing narrative care. According to Huddle, Baldwin’s research includes using a person’s life experience to address feelings of loneliness, meaninglessness, anxiety, and depression that older adults face.