Sunday, 23 November 2014

Tyndall and ASSERT present the future of technology enhanced learning for health professionals

Tyndall National Institute and the ASSERT for Health Centre at UCC (Application of Science to Simulation Education Research & Training) have unveiled the future of ‘technology enhanced learning’ for healthcare professionals. Virtual reality, silicon and human simulators will save lives by limiting the adverse effects of invasive procedures and increase practitioners’ competence.

Simulators will enable all healthcare professionals to perfect their clinical techniques and prove their competence in life-like scenarios before carrying out the live procedures on patients. Increasingly, clinicians have less access to patients and opportunities to experience real-life learning scenarios due to the EU Working Time Directive legislation and an explicit patient covenant. This technology will enable clinicians to move from a time-based to competency-based approach to healthcare and combat the current deficits is training.

The ASSERT for Health research group have demonstrated the collaborative technology at the Tyndall Technology Days, being held in Cork from the 18-20th November. They have reported on the largest clinical trial of simulation based training. Along with the Arthroscopic Association of North America (keyhole orthopaedic surgeons), they have evaluated simulation-based training in 21 separate clinical sites (including Tutfs University, Yale University, North-western University and University of California-San Francisco etc). The results showed that trainees trained to proficiency on the simulator performed 60% better (i.e., made fewer intra-operative errors) than traditionally trained surgeons.

Tyndall Technology Days: The transformative ASSERT for Health use of simulators is one of medical technologies on display at this year’s Tyndall Technology Days, held in the Kinglsey Hotel, Cork. Ireland is now a leading player in the medical technology sector, employing 25,000 people and valued at €8bn in exports to the country. Today’s health-themed technology day displays how ICT in health can produce a smarter future and better outcomes for patients.

ASSERT for Health: Building is underway at the Brookfield site for a new bespoke ASSERT facility, paid for by the UCC College of Medicine and Health and other strategic partners. The €8M unit will provide an education and training facility; a research centre for technology enhanced learning; an innovation hub to develop commercially viable products. The first-of-its-kind facility will provide a world-class platform for technology enhanced learning.

Speaking at the Tyndall Technology Days, Tyndall CEO, Dr Kieran Drain said, ‘the project with ASSERT is one of the many exciting and potentially lifesaving innovations that Tyndall is collaborating on and displaying at this year’s gathering. Not only do these technologies have tremendous health benefits to the patient but they can also deliver economic impact to the national economy’.

Director of Research, Professor Tony Gallagher of ASSERT commented: ‘We are very excited to demonstrate to industry, and our research and clinical peers, that this invaluable technology significantly impacts on doctors’ performance and as a result patient safety. The human simulator and technology enhanced learning represents the future of clinical procedures and lifelong learning for healthcare professionals. Proof of clinical competency through life-like simulation will be an essential aspect of surgical and clinical training, this movement will save lives and increase patient safety, which is the most important thing for all healthcare practitioners. Our data provides unambiguous evidence that simulation training will impact on better, safer healthcare’.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

CODE_n15 CONTEST: the countdown has begun

The international startup competition CODE_n CONTEST is going into its fourth round in 2015. Young companies still have until the end of November to submit their digital business models relating to the areas of DIGITAL LIFE, INDUSTRY 4.0, FUTURE MOBILITY and SMART CITY. Those making the top 50 will have the opportunity to present their companies in the CODE_n Hall 16 at CeBIT free of charge. In addition, they get the chance to win the main prize of EUR 30,000.

"Startups and pioneers need exposure for their business models. CODE_n gives them this," says Ulrich Dietz, CEO of the GFT Group and initiator of CODE_n. Investors, clients and the media - this is the audience mix that the finalists can look forward to at CeBIT from March 16 to 20, 2015. In 2014, the CODE_n Hall 16 was visited by over 17,000 industry experts. "The five trade show days are a real opportunity for our startups. They'll hold many, many discussions, receive feedback on their business models, gain new clients and speak with potential investors. Many of our previous finalists have used this experience to take their idea and young company to the next level."

Following on from Big Data in 2014, CODE_n will be focusing on all aspects of digitization in the coming year. The motto of the CODE_n15 Contest is "Into the Internet of Things". "The Internet of Things is a megatrend for the years ahead," says Dietz. "For us, however, it's just the starting point for an even bigger development: the digitization of the economy and, yes, even society. If we Europeans want to play in the same league as the major economic powers of the future, we have to 'step on the gas now'. Tomorrow is too late. With their innovations, startups show us the way forward. CODE_n gives both them and established companies a platform to develop more quickly together and launch new ideas."

The CODE_n15 CONTEST is divided into four areas: DIGITAL LIFE, INDUSTRY 4.0, FUTURE MOBILITY and SMART CITY. "It's an attempt to structure a development which now affects our entire lives. But we're clearly targeting all young companies who want to make our existing situation better and faster with their digital solutions," says Dietz. "Industry, services and banks, mobility and homes, life and health and much more - digital ideas for all these areas have a place in the CODE_n15 CONTEST."


The CODE_n exhibition space is divided into four main areas:

The area of DIGITAL LIFE includes things like wearable items (clothing or accessories) that measure the wearer's movements or biometric data and intelligently processes this information - be it for lifestyle purposes or medical applications. Smart home solutions give users remote control of household items. These types of innovations allow people who need special care or attention to live at home for longer. Solutions of this kind generally use sensors to assess situations, for example, detecting if someone has fallen and triggering an emergency response. This area also includes novel ideas for retailers. Thanks to state-of-the-art technologies, they can enhance shopper experience with tailored solutions that make shopping more comfortable for customers - for example, through mobile purchases.

INDUSTRY 4.0 relates to all applications along the value chain in industrial manufacturing. This includes smart logistics solutions that can be used to monitor the location and condition of various items at any time, as well as optimized resource planning with early detection of potential warehousing problems or the prevention of delivery bottlenecks due to low stock levels. In factories, the Internet of Things ensures optimal production processes at peak plant times thanks to machine-to-machine communications. Add to this intelligent services that enhance the work quality in factories - things like air quality control and temperature monitoring or the detection of hazardous gases or radiation.

FUTURE MOBILITY is an area for autonomous driving solutions based on groundbreaking car-to-car communications technologies, including automatic direct emergency calls in case of traffic accidents. The Internet of Things is particularly interesting for businesses when it comes to fleet management. Real-time route management - which not only includes cars but all available modes of transportation - serves to actively prevent traffic jams and make traveling more enjoyable.

The SMART CITY area includes solutions related to urban infrastructure, which improve quality of life in our cities and foster the resourceful use of energy. The intelligent control of street lamps or automated systems to check air and water quality are just some of the potential application areas. Thanks to the Internet of Things, the construction progress for streets and buildings can be continually monitored. Yet the SMART CITY area also extends to include security concepts for large-scale events or buildings like public shopping centers.

Friday, 21 November 2014

World Celebrates Women's Entrepreneurship Day

Since Global Entrepreneurship Week began in 2008, numerous hosts and partners have organized events and competitions to celebrate the contributions of female entrepreneurs – and perhaps more importantly, to explore the unique challenges they face in starting and scaling new firms. This year, GEW partnered with Women’s Entrepreneurship Day to help pull everything together and empower female entrepreneurs in 150 countries.