Office of Research and Innovation
George Brown College
Toronto is home to headquarters of many major industries in Canada and one of the most important economic hubs in North America. As such, George Brown College makes the city a living lab for our students and for research. We have two main campuses and several other locations that place students in the heart of downtown Toronto, with a third campus on the Toronto Waterfront scheduled to open in September 2012.
The Inter-Professional Online Research and Technology Assessment Laboratory (I-PORTAL) under development at GBC is a network of research labs focused on clinical device prototyping and assessment of the health technology products, processes and clinical protocols produced by Canadian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and clinical partners. I-PORTAL consists of interconnected research labs, all with their hub at the new campus. Within the Simulated Practice Centre – an I-PORTAL lab for testing products, processes, and protocols in high fidelity clinical and home simulation environments – is the Health eHome, an innovative simulation environment specifically designed to allow for in-depth usability, feasibility and accessibility research for products and processes to be used in the home.
GBC’s I-PORTAL will consist of four research labs, all with their hub at the new campus:
- The Simulated Practice Centre for testing products, processes, and protocols in a high fidelity clinical and home simulation environment.
- The Advanced Prototyping Lab will be used to fabricate health technology hardware and software.
- The Prosthetics and Orthotics Lab will be outfitted with a Gait lab and motion capture technology for work on advanced prosthetics and orthotics products and services.
- The Simulation & Visualization Design Studio will include advanced visualization and design computational facilities for the research, exploration, design and prototyping of new medical devices, housing designs, industrial designs, graphic/user interfaces, and health informatics software development.
The Simulated Practice Centre (SPC) at the new Waterfront Campus is a 25,000 sq ft usability and interaction facility for testing products, processes, and protocols in a high fidelity clinical and home simulation environment. The SPC contains 66 hospital beds, a pediatric care facility, and the Health eHome – a simulated home environment specifically designed to allow for in-depth usability, feasibility and accessibility research for new and innovative products and processes to be used in the home. As such, the SPC will be able to simulate health care interactions and identify accessibility issues within the continuum of care from the clinic, to the hospital, to the home. The observation labs within this space will allow the researchers to run formal usability and usage studies and trials, on almost any scale, encompassing complete inter-professional healthcare teams. Cameras connect the SPC to any location in our research environment, including to our partner sites.