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Drones for the Delivery of Medical Supplies, Equipment, Treatments, and Diagnostic Testing to Remote First Nations Communities
Remote and rural Indigenous communities often have difficulty accessing health care and medical supplies, and these challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. A collaboration between Calgary area academic, technical, and health institutions and First Nations communities is looking at improving access by using drones to deliver COVID-19 test kits, personal protective equipment, and vaccines. Drones have the potential to remove geographic barriers between remote and rural Indigenous communities and major health centres, to reduce human-to-human contact and prevent disease transmission. The project is key to developing future drone-based medical delivery systems in Canada, and beyond.
TEKTELIC eDoctor is an End-to-End respiratory health monitoring IoT solution designed to monitor individuals who require constant respiratory monitoring or are at a high risk of adverse effects from respiratory illness. With a sleek, wearable chest band device, eDoctor provides constant monitoring of key respiratory vital signs including Heart Rate, Respiration Rate, Body Temperature, Chest Expansion, Activity Level and Body Position and displays the data in a comprehensive, user friendly application. The eDoctor device can provide continuous monitoring for 3 to 4 months with an easy-to-replace coin cell battery, providing a highly reliable, low-maintenance and simple-to-deploy monitoring solution.
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A new cell-based assay for the detection of neutralizing antibodies in COVID-19 patients
The quantification of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by serological methods is indicative of a previous exposition to the virus, but does not predict protection against re-infection. Indeed, just an unpredictable fraction of total antibodies is considered to neutralize SARS-CoV-2. The best current available methods to quantify neutralizing antibodies are expensive and heavy procedures with low standardization for large scale studies. By using genetically modified cell lines, we developed a robust and sensitive method for the quantification of neutralizing antibodies in serum. This new assay is not expensive, highly sensitive, specific and show a very high level of standardization for large scale studies.
Acute and chronic respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are a major burden on the global healthcare system, affecting millions of people each year, emphasized in 2020 by the COVID pandemic. Pneumoscope is an autonomous multi-parameter stethoscope using artificial intelligence (AI) for autonomous lung sound classification, severity grading and clinical outcome prediction, trained on >100K lung sounds and clinical database from adults and children with COVID, pneumonia, asthma..etc.
By decentralizing care, Pneumoscope has the potential to democratize access to standardized respiratory evaluation as well as reduce the burden on centralized health systems. Improved access also encourages early detection and regular follow-up whilst reducing community transmission.
AI-Empowered Chest X-Ray Quantitative Analysis for COVID-19 Patient Management
Chest X-ray (CXR) imaging is a main radiological investigation performed on patients who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. However, its effectiveness has been hampered by its relatively low sensitivity for early detection and diagnosis. We develop novel AI-empowered imaging and analysis techniques tailored for COVID-19 applications. Specially, we develop an AI-based CXR enhancement technique using a deep learning model based on a multi-scale attention generative adversarial network, and a multi-view data analytical method for quantitative analysis of COVID-19 pneumonia. The developed AI techniques are potential tools in the fight against COVID-19 and similar pandemics in the future.
Speaker not pictured : Ge Ren
Function and Fashion: Eco-Friendly Antiviral Resusable mask
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to the continued demand for respiratory face masks to reduce the risk of transmission. Many opt for affordable and effective disposable medical masks which contribute to large volumes of waste. This innovation (PU30TM) is a reusable mask with a high filtration efficiency (i.e., BFE, PFE, VFE>99%), water repellent, antibacterial and antiviral properties that can withstand multiple washes. A special middle wire is added to increase 3D volume and improve mask’s breathability and comfortability. Colours are added for a fashionable touch. A good quality reusable mask is one of sustainable solutions in current pandemic situation.
Personalised Reusable COVID Mask with Disposable Filter
Frontline healthcare workers risk contracting COVID-19 when using poorly fitting N95 masks or inferior alternatives during supply shortages. In response, we are developing novel scanning, modeling and 3D printing technologies to produce personalised reusable masks that can be manufactured in hospitals. These masks accurately fit each healthcare worker to improve comfort and reduce infection risk. The face is 3D scanned to produce a personalised flexible skin-mask interface which is 3D printed and paired with a reusable mask body and disposable N95 filter. These masks can be rapidly and locally printed at low-cost, offering superior protection against COVID-19 for healthcare workers.
The Lolli-Strategy combines a simple and non-invasive self-sampling method “Lolli-sampling” consisting of playing 30s with a swab in the mouth and testing the samples in pools twice a week by RT-qPCR. Due to its characteristics, the Lolli-strategy is an adaptable, cost-effective, and easy to establish strategy to detect SARS-CoV-2 cases. Originally designed for children testing in schools, we validated the strategy including patients from 2 months to 93 years old. Thus, the Lolli-Strategy is ideal to test and prevent SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks at any place where the same people reunite on regular basis, from daycare to offices.
Lung Life after COVID-19
120 million people have been infected with COVID-19, some of whom develop chronic lung scarring. This scarring is likely caused by inflammation from the infection. If true, millions of people could be faced with month or even years of difficulty of breathing. Unfortunately, doctors have very few safe and effective anti-scarring drugs.
We want to define the rate and severity of chronic COVID-19 induced lung damage with point of care ultrasound to provide immediate diagnosis, and to test a promising new drug we recently developed as a new way to prevent and/or treat lung scarring.
Smart Garments for ICU-Acquired Weakness
COVID-19 patients treated in the ICU are at risk of developing Intensive Care Unit-Acquired Weakness (ICUAW) - a phenomenon of muscle wasting and weakness that can result in life-long physical disability. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) therapy can treat ICUAW, but it is unfeasible practically and economically because current devices only permit short-term treatment of one muscle group at a time and require constant monitoring. We are creating smart textile garments (leg stocking and arm sleeve) that enable automated NMES therapy driven by machine learning techniques. Custom hardware and software will permit simultaneous management of NMES therapy in multiple ICU patients.