CareLab consists of a simulated patient care environment for research purposes based on a typical hospital single patient room.

CareLab enables the testing of technology in a real hospital environment. CareLab is a typical institutional care room with an ensuite bathroom, located in a research area to allow for experimentation and refinement of technology without disruption to patient care. Research teams use CareLab as part of development and testing of products to reduce caregiver and patient injuries, improve patient outcomes and to reduce the transmission of infections.

Prolonged bed rest without repositioning can lead to pressure injuries. Preventive measures focus on education and the need for frequent repositioning. Many caregivers do not understand the detrimental effects of pressure injuries until it is too late and find it difficult to adhere to repositioning schedules to prevent pressure injuries. Research in CareLab to develop the Pressure Injury Management and Education System (PrIME) will help provide education and prompting to those at risk of developing pressure injuries and their caregivers who look after them. Research also includes novel in-bed monitoring of the patient’s position to identify when repositioning is needed.

Caregiver injury prevention due to patient lifting includes development of products that make it easier to insert a sling under patients who require the use of a mechanical lifting device to move into and out of bed. An overhead fall detection system has been tested in CareLab for use in hospital and nursing home environments including a specialized dementia unit at Toronto Rehab. CareLab was also used for the development and testing of the Buddy Badge System (Hygienic Echo) to remind frontline staff to wash their hands when entering or exiting patient areas.

Recent Research

CareLab has been the site of the development and testing of the Pressure Injury Management and Education System (PrIME). The system is comprised of four sensors that are placed under the legs of the bed. Using artificial intelligence, this system is able to detect an individual’s position in bed with 94% accuracy. The accompanying App offers information to caregivers and individuals at risk of pressure injuries, covering key topics raised by end users. Topic areas include what pressure injuries are, how they develop, how to prevent them, and how to engage in offloading behaviour. Ongoing research is focused on determining the position of the person in the bed more precisely and providing prompts when the individual has remained in one position for too long.

The Easy Range (ER) StandEasy Pole System is installed at the bedside. The ER StandEasy system is a support pole developed at Kite that is attached to the wall, making it suitable for hospitals and facilities that have false ceilings ( The ER StandEasy is designed to allow patients to get in and out of bed independently.

CareLab was used as part of the development and testing of products used to reduce the transmission of hospital-acquired infections – about half of these infections result from inadequate hand hygiene. The Buddy Badge System is made up of a small wearable wireless receiver, the Buddy Badge, instrumented alcohol gel and soap dispensers and ceiling-mounted beacons which together discreetly remind busy users to perform hand hygiene.

Equipment Highlights

CareLab is a fully equipped institutional care room. The lab includes an ensuite bathroom, an overhead lift system and hospital bed. CareLab is designed for the easy installation and removal of ceiling-, wall- and floor-mounted devices, resulting in fully customized instrumentation of the space.

Recent Publications

  • Stern, L., Fernie, G., Roshan Fekr, A. (2024). A novel in-bed body posture monitoring system for decubitus ulcer prevention using body pressure distribution mapping. Biomed Eng Online. 23(1)34. doi: 10.1186/s12938-024-01227-x
  • Stern, L., Roshan Fekr, A. (2023). In-Bed Posture Classification Using Deep Neural Network. Sensors (Basel). 23(5):2430. doi: 10.3390/s23052430
  • Hadian, K., Fernie, G., Roshan Fekr, A. (2023). Development and Evaluation of BLE-Based Room-Level Localization to Improve Hand Hygiene Performance Estimation. J Heatlhc Eng. 2023:4258362.
  • Gabison, S., Pupic, N., Evans, G., Dolatabadi, E., Dutta, T. (2022). Measuring Repositioning in Home Care for Pressure Injury Prevention and Management. Sensors. 22(18):7013.
  • Kamachi, M., Owlia, M., Dutta, T. (2021). Evaluating a wearable biofeedback device for reducing end-range sagittal lumbar spine flexion among home caregivers. Applied Ergonomics. 97: 103547
  • Owlia, M., Kamachi, M., Dutta, T. (2020). Reducing lumbar spine flexion using real-time biofeedback during patient handling tasks. Work. 66(1): 41–51.
  • Wong, G., Gabison, S., Dolatabadi, E., Evans, G., Kajaks, T., Holliday, P., Alshaer, H., Fernie, G., Dutta, T. (2020). Toward Mitigating Pressure Injuries: Detecting Patient Orientation from Vertical Bed Reaction Forces. Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering. 7; 1-12. DOI: 10.1177/2055668320912168.
  • Takami, S., Bulandres, P., Choi, J., D'Ortenzio, D., Moon, N., Musselman, K., Gabison, S. (2020). The use of a mobile educational tool on pressure injury education for individuals living with spinal cord injury/disease: A qualitative research study. Disability and Rehabilitation. 44(3): 1-10. doi:
  • Pong, S., Holliday, P., Fernie, G. (2019). Secondary measures of hand hygiene performance in health care available with continuous electronic monitoring of individuals. Am J Infect Control. 47(1):38-44.
  • Pong, S., Holliday, P., Fernie, G. (2019). Effect of intermittent deployment of an electronic monitoring system on hand hygiene behaviors in healthcare workers. Am J Infect Control. 47:376-380

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