Future Safe: Designing Efficient Face Masks in the Era of COVID 19

With the surreal times we are living in the context of Covid-19, wearing face masks has become a global public necessity. While many people are wearing face masks, not all masks are created equal. From very expensive high-tech respirators with multiple layers of filtration, to homemade face masks using less than ideal fabrics, the general public has become aware that covering their faces is a big factor that can reduce contagion. For the general public, effective face masks are difficult to breathe in, and those that let too much air flow are not effective.

Development of online rapid cognitive-motor assessment tool to monitor COVID-19-related dysfunction post-discharge

There is recent evidence that surviving COVID-19 (particularly following ventilator use) could result in changes to how well your brain controls functions important for daily living. Currently, however, there are few choices for clinicians to test these functions prior to hospital discharge and at follow-up. This project will develop a web-based cognitive-motor integration assessment tool (e.g., thinking and moving at the same time, important for daily function) that can be used to monitor the integrity of brain networks for higher neurological function.

Building the Evaluation Capacity of the Alberta Mentoring Partnership

This Mitacs project will support the Alberta Mentoring Partnership in building evaluation capacity across the province of Alberta for their affiliated organizations. The Mitacs intern will engage AMP decision makers in the development of the project, the creation and delivery of two online evaluation capacity workshops for mentoring organizations, the development and delivery of a 6-month learning opportunity for organizations, and knowledge mobilization about the project.

Open innovation in Ontario healthcare facilities: an analysis of two different approaches

This project will use mixed research methods to investigate the models used to support innovation in Ontario’s healthcare facilities. The research will improve our understanding of how, and why healthcare organizations can participate in more open innovation processes. Such approaches have been shown to improve the breadth and quality of new products and service development, but knowledge around how best to approach open innovation in healthcare remains low.

Modeling and predicting the thermophysiological comfort of clothing using an advanced multi-sector sweating torso

Thermophysiological comfort corresponds to the satisfaction of a person with their immediate thermal environment. It is largely influenced by the heat and moisture transport properties of the clothing. Thermophysiological comfort affects people’s well-being and performance: it is a critical aspect in the design of technical athletic garments. This project aims at developing the tools and protocols that will enable a new multi-sector sweating torso to better predict clothing thermophysiological comfort.

Farms of the Future – Evaluating the impacts of regenerative farming practices on soil biodiversity

Complex communities of bacteria, fungi, and invertebrates are known to be involved in the preservation and enhancement of soil fertility, nutrient cycling, crop productivity, and carbon sequestration, but the details have been lacking. This knowledge gap can now be addressed through new methods, such as DNA metabarcoding, which make it possible to monitor the diversity and dynamics of entire soil communities.

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic challenges for families with children impacted by Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Citizen Advocacy Ottawa (CAO) is a non-profit organization supporting families with children impacted by Neurodevelopmental Disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to families already strained by the complexity of caregiving for these children. Many issues have been identified such as caregiver burnout, social isolation, mental health issues of all family members, and even increased violence in the home.

Understanding and reducing the impacts of COVID-19 on personal support workers in an Ontario long-term care home

The impact of COVID-19 on long-term care, a sector previously struggling with critical challenges of recruitment and retention, has been devastating. The core working group, personal support workers, has been particularly impacted. Studies with other providers such as nurses have demonstrated stress and burnout during past pandemics as well as the negative influences on staff turnover. However, how personal support workers have experienced this pandemic and how this will impact existing human resource challenges is unknown.

COVID-19 and Bridging the Social and Physical Gap: Dynamic Digital Resources to Meet the Mental Health Support Needs of Children, Youth, and Families

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us with social isolation, financial uncertainty, and daily life disruptions. Parents and children may be uniquely impacted as parents attempt to navigate the stressors of working from home, caring for children, and, potentially, caring for their elderly parents and other family members. Children and youth, in turn, are influenced by parental anxieties that may exacerbate the child’s/youth’s own mental health concerns.

AI-enhanced lung ultrasound to detect lung involvement in COVID-19

The COVID-19 virus causing the current pandemic leads to severe illness and death when it involves the lungs. This occurs in a way that conventional X-Rays often cannot show. Experience in other countries and with a similar condition known as ARDS suggests that lung ultrasound can accurately detect COVID-19 lung involvement. Lung ultrasound is harmless and can be done with small handheld, easily cleaned portable probes, but the images are difficult for non-experts to interpret.

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