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Research & Development

Ontario hospitals to develop health portal

Ottawa-based Precarn Inc., a not-for-profit national consortium, has announced funding of $1.8 million for three Canadian IS projects. One of the projects includes Ontario hospitals, computer companies, and researchers who will produce an "intelligent" healthcare portal.

The funding will be augmented by $3.3 million levered through participant funds. Each of the teams will explore new, leading-edge developments in robotics and IS (technologies that perceive, reason, and essentially act like humans), which may one day lead to major breakthroughs for Canada on an international scale. Projects of the three teams are:

Health Portal: Intelligent eHealth Portal. This project team will develop a prototype system using clinical Points of View (i.e., x-rays, reports, CT-scans) and combining a patient's medical information and history with existing clinical knowledge.

The outcome will be a comprehensive patient profile that will aid in mapping the best course of treatment. Communications and Information Technology Ontario (CITO) will be administering a portion of this project under the Precarn Alliance Program – a program that links Precarn with regional organizations to fund research projects.

Project participants include the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation (at the University Health Network, Toronto); CITO (Toronto); Compugen of Richmond Hill, Ont., DataGlider of Richmond Hill, Ont., Lakeridge Health Corp. (Whitby, Ont.), Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto,) The Credit Valley Hospital (Mississauga, Ont.), University of Toronto, and the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ont.)

Scheduling the Use of Imaging Satellites: Mixed-Initiative Constraint Reasoner with Satellite Tasking (MICROS). This project will design and develop technologies for satellite task scheduling capable of accommodating rapid change and unforeseen events, such as rush tasks and changes in cloud cover. Satellites are expensive investments, and improvements in utilizations have very high value. Project participants include Actenum (Vancouver, B.C.), MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (Richmond, B.C.), and Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, B.C.).

AMT -- Acoustic Monitoring for Transportation. This project team will develop an intelligent system for using sound waves to monitor and assess the structural integrity of major transportation systems, such as bridges, that are part of the backbone of our transportation infrastructure to improve their safety and reliability through early detection and characterization of cracks and flaws. Project participants include TISEC Inc., CN, and the University of Québec at Trois-Rivières.

"As enabling technologies, intelligent systems are pervasive in all sectors of our economy, and these three new projects demonstrate that fact," said Anthony T. Eyton, president and CEO of Precarn Incorporated. "Canada is at the forefront of innovation in robotics and intelligent systems and the results of such research investments will be realized by Canadians in years to come, both economically and socially."

About Precarn
With support from Industry Canada, other federal departments and provincial government agencies, Precarn Inc. funds, co-ordinates and promotes collaborative robotics and IS research projects among students, researchers and business, in order to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Canadian business. In addition to fostering greater development of the intelligent system sector, the network also aims to help develop and retain top-notch experts in the field.