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Citizen Science forms to produce medical equipment for COVID-19 frontliners and patients



May 6, 2020, 6:46 am

A group of 20 researchers, scientists and engineers have assembled to form a COVID-19 response team to work together over the coming weeks and months to produce new and more vital medical equipment for healthcare workers battling the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the frontlines, to support the UAE’s nationwide drive to mitigate, contain and prevent the spread of the 21st century’s first truly global threat.

The group has already successfully assembled their first ventilator prototype, which is now undergoing internal tests before being sent for external testing and verification.

An initiative by the Technology Innovation Institute (TII), an Abu Dhabi-based cutting-edge research organisation comprising eight specialized research centres, Citizen Science is focused on meeting the demands that have emerged from the global response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As the number of global COVID-19 cases exceeds two million since the outbreak began in January, there is an urgent need for more specialized equipment, data-driven insights and scalable technologies has emerged, which Citizen Science is directly addressing.
From TII’s research centres in Abu Dhabi, Citizen Science is harnessing cutting-edge technologies to produce new ventilator prototypes for mass production, use artificial intelligence (AI)- powered chest x-ray machines, 3D print medical equipment parts, innovate new sterilisation procedures for personal protective equipment (PPE) and for large-scale public spaces, and optimise existing ventilators to support more than three patients at a time.

The team of experienced international research science professionals is being led by Emirati doctors, Dr. Mohamed Al Teneiji, Chief Research Officer at the Advanced Materials Research Centre at the Technology Innovation Institute (TII) and Dr. Chaouki Kasmi, Executive Director of the Directed Energy Research Centre at the Technology Innovation Institute (TII).

Dr. Mohamed Al Teneiji said: “This disease does not discriminate, know boundaries or care about humanity. We cannot fight it with rhetoric or resolve. We must act. Simply, innovating new ways of producing and supplying our frontliners and patients with more efficient medical equipment could be the difference between life and death for many thousands of people.

“Citizen Science has banded together to bring new solutions to the operating table. At this unprecedented time, we are here to act and provide collectively for those who are giving everything for us. We must all be able to look back at this phase of human history and say without doubt that we did everything we could.”

To expedite their work, Citizen Science has called on all UAE-based businesses, manufacturers, distributors, engineers and the wider scientific community to contribute to the initiative’s mass production ambitions. The donation of equipment, resources, raw materials, knowledge transfer, and vital parts can be the difference that turns the on-going battle against an invisible enemy in our favour.

The full list of required critical equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, valves, UV-Type C bulbs, fans, pet sheets, UV light sensors can be found on the Citizen Science website, here.

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