Evolving a system for effective communication with non-speaking patients in emergencies

Individuals with cerebral palsy generally use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices to help them interact socially. The vocabularies provided in these systems are not specifically helpful in communicating during medical emergency or hospital intensive care. This project involves user-centered design and development of a software module for use in such situations, based on a vocabulary set for medical situations derived through earlier research with MC users, caregivers, speech language pathologists and medical care professionals.

Technologies for Living Independently: A Technology Case Study on Remote Patient Monitoring

The population age distribution is undergoing an “inversion” and the dependency ratio, i.e., the proportion of older adults who are not working over the number of adults who are working, is increasing. This has an effect on a society’s ability to deliver community-care services and the underlying national economic capacity to pay for their needs. Advances in ICT (information and communications technologies) promise to provide support for affordable systems of care that enable human resources to be used more effectively.

Techna Guided Therapeutics Cluster

The Guided Therapeutics (GTx) Core of the Techna Institute is developing innovative imaging technology and therapeutic approaches, and translating those advances to commercial and clinical applications. Working with our industrial partners Precision X-Ray and Elekta, the Mitacs-supported interns will develop new capabilities and tools for preclinical image-guided radiation therapy devices and radiosurgical techniques. With Precision X-Ray, the interns will work on developing the ability to use optical imaging to undertake unique preclinical studies in radiation therapy.

Diagnostic screening for conscious awareness in brain injury and disease: Visual component

Since the mid 1970s, medical personnel have used the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) as an important tool to rate and describe levels of consciousness. This scale is rudimentary and subjective, often resulting in misdiagnoses in cases where people lack the capacity to communicate. In some unfortunate situations, severe neurological damage can render people unable to move. Inevitably, these people are deemed vegetative when in actuality; many are simply ‘locked in’. Family members and professionals alike are left wondering…are they in there?

Synchrotron imaging of ovaries ex Sstu

Conventional ultrasonography is limited in its ability to image small structures within the ovaries (eg. the eggs and surrounding cells, small fluid filled sacs that contain the eggs known as 'early antral follicles', the structure of the ovulation glands). Preliminary data obtained from our research team at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) have indicated that phase-contrast Computed Tomography (CT) synchrotron methods are effective for imaging bovine and human ovaries.

In-vitro simulation of fracture, wear, corrosion and distraction in total hip replacements

Reports of in vivo total hip replacement failures have raised concerns over their load bearing capacity, safety, reliability and service life particularly as hip arthroplasty is being extended to even younger patients. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure continual patient monitoring and develop proper testing standards. This study focuses on investigating retrievals and in vitro test samples with the objective of ensuring accurate simulation of in vivo conditions in a lab setting. Both currently used neck materials, Ti6Al4V and CoCrMo will be investigated.

Development of a low cost ultrasonic imaging system

This project will develop a low cost, high-frequency ultrasonic scanner that will provide two dimensional images of small animals. The system is targeted at the academic researchers and small biotechnology firms that use small animals for basic science research or testing of therapeutics. A novel scanning mechanism, currently at prototype stage will be developed and integrated into a full imaging system by the applicant.

Techna Nanotechnology cluster

The first successful clinical application of nanotechnology was the use of a nanoparticle container to deliver a drug to a tumour. That basic strategy of using a nanoparticle to carry a treatment or indicator molecule has a lot of potential, but requires continued research to determine the therapeutic effectiveness and potential toxicity of each container and payload combination. DLVR Therapeutics and Merrimack Pharmaceuticals focus on the development of nanotechnology-based chemotherapeutic and imaging agents.

Neurological structures extraction and analysis for spinal disease diagnosis and intervention

31 pairs of spinal nerves, containing both sensory and motor nerve fibers, serves two important functions: pathway for sensory, motor impulses and are essential for spinal reflexes. Damage of spinal nerves has been one of the major concerns in diagnosis, treatment and spinal intervention. This project proposes to promptly and accurately extract neurological structures from MRI images. Once achieved, the partner organizations can use this for surgical planning and treatment. It will greatly improve their efficiency and reduce complications during surgical interventions.

Segmentation of SCG Signals

Research has shown that by monitoring the vibration of the heart using a simple sensor mounting on the human chest, the mechanical characteristics of heart can be measured. The purpose of this research is to design software that can automatically find some important points on the SCG signal. The software will be used to find hemodynamic parameters of the heart that will be used for diagnosis of ischemic heart patients. The outcome of this project is anticipated be extremely beneficial for both academia and the company.