A pioneering research facility is applying aerospace simulation technology to medical research.
The Challenging Environment Assessment Laboratory, run by Toronto Rehab, includes a motion simulator four stories below ground that can recreate different environments, like winter blizzards and bustling streets.
The multimillion-dollar facility was created to test how humans interact with different environments year-round, safely and in a controlled way.
It includes a winter lab, stair lab to understand how and why people fall — a leading cause of injury and hospitalization among seniors. So far, researchers have found that as a person’s hearing starts to decline, their risk of falling increases substantially. They plan to use the lab’s visual and audio inputs to study more about how hearing loss affects balance and fall risk.