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Webinar | How are Engineering and Computational Methods Being Used to Address the Problems Created by Covid-19? by Prof Javier Martín-Torres and Dr Dheeraj Rathee

Part 1 – Adapting space research skills to societal challenges: ATMO-Vent and PROPER by Prof Javier Martín-Torres

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

This talk will explain how we, at the Group of Planetary Sciences of the University of Aberdeen, decided to apply our skills in space hardware development to develop devices that could be helpful to fight against the COVID-19 pandemics. As a multidisciplinary research group, we have experience working on a diversity of projects from building, calibrating and qualifying space instruments. One of the key expertise of our group is exploiting the use of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components to provide a reliable, robust and a cost-effective solution to build scientific instruments. We have also experience in the use of filters and microbiology sampling for planetary protection and on the development of controlled environments.

During our home quarantine period, we were greatly impacted by the news of the increasing spread of the pandemics, and we felt that we contribute in the design of rapid solutions to cater the increasing global demand for ventilators and proper masks for sanitary people. After a couple of quick discussions and brainstorming within our team, we embarked on the development of two devices ATMO-Vent (a ventilator with a cost about £1,000) and an innovative mask (about £100).

The development of both devices has now been published and will be used soon in several countries in Africa.

About the Speaker

Javier Martín-Torres is Chair Professor in Planetary Sciences at the University of Aberdeen. He is also Visiting Professor at the School of Physics and Astronomy, at the University of Edinburgh, in the United Kingdom, at the Luleå University of Technology in Sweden, at the Spanish Research Council, and Specially Appointed Professor at the University of Okayama in Japan.

Javier is the principal investigator of the HABIT instrument that will fly to Mars aboard the ExoMars mission of the European Space Agency. He is a member of the Science Advisory Team of the European Space Agency for Moon Exploration. He has been the scientific responsible for the REMS instrument in NASA’s Curiosity, which since 2012 investigates the habitability of Mars, and co-investigator of 7 space missions of NASA and ESA. He has worked for ESA, the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and ten years for NASA, from which he has received seven awards, one for “Outstanding contributions to the Investigations to the Columbia Challenger accident” and another one “for the success of the operations and scientific exploitation of REMS/Curiosity “. Recently his team has won several European space innovation awards, including the OHB Innospace Challenge, and in November a team consisting of two of his students will fly in the Fly Your Thesis! Campaign of the European Space Agency, after being one of the 2 European teams selected in a European competitive process. In addition, for three years he was director of the Planetary Atmosphere Group of the Center of Astrobiology in Madrid, Spain, and Chair Professor in Atmospheric Sciences at the Luleå University of Technology in Sweden.

Part 2 – COVID-19 and Healthcare: Role of AI and Data Analytics by Dr Dheeraj Rathee

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Analytics (DA) are two core engines of the 4th industrial revolution and are at the heart of the digital transformation currently reshaping health and care sector. A broad range of techniques including natural language processing, computer vision, robotic process automation, and neural networks have been used to create Artificially Intelligent Systems (AIS) to carry out or augment health and care tasks. These technologies present significant opportunities for keeping people healthy, improving care, saving lives and saving money that can be used for a better purpose. However, their adoption within healthcare still holds enormous challenges around patient safety, business, accountability and Information governance. Surprisingly, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have observed accelerated adoption of AI and DA based applications within healthcare. Due to the challenges of this novel disease, healthcare providers, patients, and their families have been required to rapidly make crucial and difficult decisions with limited information. During a short span of six months, we have developed and deployed three digital platforms involving AI and Data Analytics for effective handling of various healthcare services within Provide CIC. These solutions not only solved the immediate issue of effective service delivery to the healthcare providers and patients but accumulated crucial data points that can be used to further enhance the clinical pathways.

About the Speaker:

Dr Dheeraj Rathee has Eight years of research experience in the field of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. He received his PhD degree (Computer Science) from Ulster University, UK in 2018. He received his B.E. degree in Biomedical Engineering and M.Tech. degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Maharshi Dayanand University, India, in 2007 and 2011. Dr Rathee is currently working as AI Data Scientist on a highly prestigious Innovate UK sponsored collaborative research project with University of Essex, UK and Provide CIC, a community interest company serving more than 40 different clinical services for NHS.

Dr Rathee has experience in developing and deploying AI and Data Science solutions involving innovative technologies such as Natural Language Processing, Time-series Analytics, Supervised and Unsupervised ML, Predictive Analytics, and data-driven decision making in the application domains of healthcare, finance, and social science. He has published more than 20 research papers in internationally renowned journals and conference proceedings.

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