May 17, 2023

Glimpse into the Future of Rehab: Highlights from the Inaugural ICAIR Conference

ICAIR_Camila Benmessaoud
Camila Benmessaoud delivering her award-winning pitch

The International Conference on Aging, Innovation, and Rehabilitation (ICAIR) took center stage on May 8, 2023 at the Metro Convention Centre in downtown Toronto. Hosted by the KITE Research Institute and the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute (RSI) at the University of Toronto, this ground-breaking event brought together global leaders, researchers, trainees, clinicians, innovators, and other experts to explore the latest advancements in the multidisciplinary field that is rehabilitation.

The day kicked off with an opening ceremony lead by Drs. Milos Popovic and Angela Colantonio, Director’s of KITE-UHN and RSI respectively, delivering a warm welcome address to over 600 guests in attendance. Dr. Colantonio emphasized the significance of such a conference in accelerating the translation of research into practice, setting the tone for an enlightening and collaborative day ahead.


The conference program was carefully crafted to provide a comprehensive platform for knowledge exchange and networking. Attendees had the opportunity to engage in a wide range of activities, including riveting keynote remarks, TED-talk style programs, poster viewing and judging, elevator pitch and power play sessions and so much more.

One of the highlights of the event was the thought-provoking keynote address by Dr. Ruha Benjamin, a professor of African American studies at Princeton University, published author and founding Director of the Ida B. Wells JUST Data Lab. Dr. Benjamin's talk delved into the consideration of the social dimensions of innovation in order to prevent future forms of inequity and injustice in our science and healthcare platforms and systems. Her insights inspired timely discussions among the attendees, highlighting the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and person-centered care.

Keynote Speaker, Dr. Ruha Benjamin

The poster presentations showcased cutting-edge research projects and initiatives from academic institutions and healthcare organizations across North America and Asia. Attendees had the opportunity to explore a diverse range of topics, including study of neural and physical decline, falls and injury prevention, robotics therapy, artificial intelligence, telerehabilitation and improvements in pediatric, geriatric, musculoskeletal and cardiac care.

The conference also featured an exhibition hall where companies and organizations presented their latest products, services, and innovations in the tech and rehabilitation sectors. Attendees had the chance to interact with exhibitors, learn about cutting-edge technologies, and witness firsthand how these advancements are transforming the lives of patients and their caregivers.

As the conference drew to a close, Dr. Popovic expressed his gratitude to the attendees, sponsors, and organizers for their contributions to the success of the inaugural event.

“Together we aim to significantly change the lives of patients and society as a whole in a positive and meaningful ways through advances in rehabilitation science, technology and clinical practice.” – Dr. Milos Popovic
Keynote Speaker, Zen Koh & Dr. Milos Popovic

For more on this and the full list of winners of the Poster, Power Play and Three Minute Talk competitions, visit the KITE-UHN website.

ICAIR_Poster 2023