Automated detection and monitoring of health risks, such as COVID-19

Dubay, Rickey | $50,000

New Brunswick University of New Brunswick 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

An emerging trend during the global COVID‑19 pandemic is the adoption of new technologies by governments and businesses in order to track and mitigate the spread of the virus and future health risks. Industries throughout the world are being advised to implement active screening protocols to help protect their employees. New technologies must focus on automating and standardizing these screening procedures to help protect front-line workers and improve overall screening reliability. This project partners with Eigen Innovations, a Canadian company that specializes in integrating digitized thermographic data solutions into advanced industrial and commercial applications, to use an array of state-of-the-art imaging technologies to develop a connected tool for the automated detection and monitoring of health risks. The team comprises of a solutions engineer (PhD), a software architect and a product development leader from Eigen , and Dr. Dubay (PI) and Dr. Pickard (PDF) from UNB. Artificial intelligence research will be leveraged to analyze the collected image data to predict certain traits of an individual (e.g., age and gender), identify unique individuals by assigning virtual identification tags, and to detect and handle occluding objects in the images (e.g., a face mask or glasses). The availability of labelled data from various types of sensors, combined with trained learning models, will be utilized to improving screening reliability by checking multiple visible criteria, such as elevated body temperature, skin rash, and difficulty breathing. These trained models, as well as other considerations (e.g., sensor calibration, active black bodies, and external data sources), will be used to continuously improve the screening reliability by allowing adaptation of the unique flagging criteria associated with an individual. Furthermore, the proposed health monitoring tool will result in the creation of a Canada-based health database, and by utilizing Eigen’s existing data collection and analytics platform, collaborating researchers and governments will be able to more easily track and study the spread of health risks.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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