Can mHealth technology save lives in remote villages?
J. Mark Ansermino, MBBCh, MSc (info), FFA, FRCPC - Chief Medical Officer
“We are building predictive algorithms that can save lives. Take the case of children suffering from pneumonia in a low-resource region. They die primarily because the risk of life-threatening complications are not recognized. So if we build a device that can be the objective judge in the hands of community health workers, they can screen children, to provide an early warning of the risk of complications.”
Mark Ansermino is an Associate Professor in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and a pediatric anesthesiologist at BC Children’s Hospital. He has a Master’s Degree in Health Informatics from City University, London, UK. His specific interests are in technology to support personalized healthcare. He has over 100 peer-reviewed publications and in 2010 was awarded the prestigious NSERC Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering along with Professor Guy Dumont in recognition of their innovative interdisciplinary research since 2001 in the fields of intelligent physiological monitoring, enhanced clinician performance, and improved patient safety. He holds a Scholar Award from the Michael Smith Research Foundation.
Guy A. Dumont, PhD - Advisor
“Through innovative engineering, we have been able to tap into the computing power of mobile devices to produce medical-grade, low-cost vital signs monitoring systems amenable to widespread usage in low- and medium-resource countries. The impact is exponential: one low-cost sensor could be used by one local health worker to screen everyone in their community.”
Dr. Guy Dumont is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UBC where he is an Associate Member of the Department of Anesthesia, Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Since 2003, he has been a Distinguished University Scholar and is currently a Peter Wall Distinguished University Scholar. A control and signal processing expert by training, Dr. Dumont co‐founded and co‐directs with Mark Ansermino the Electrical and Computer Engineering in Medicine (ECEM) research group. For the last 10 years, he has collaborated with clinicians, health care researchers and life scientists in the area of physiological monitoring in the operating room, the intensive care unit, and more recently in mobile health. Together with Mark Ansermino, he received the 2010 NSERC Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering.
Chris Petersen, MSc, PhD - Research Lead
“We developed our diagnostic kits to address some of the largest causes of mortality in low-income countries. The diagnostic platform provides a means of delivering training within the predictive app with multimedia content localized to the region’s languages and escalation protocols. This provides a community health worker with sophisticated tools to diagnose, treat locally, or escalate to a higher level of care.”
Dr. Petersen received his Master’s Degree (Physics) from the University of Copenhagen, and his PhD (Electrical Engineering) from the Technical University of Denmark. He is a multi-talented scientist, inventor and entrepreneur with a proven record of inventing and commercializing sensor technology. As part of his doctorate work, Dr. Petersen invented a world’s first in nano-scale semiconductor sensing and demonstrated the technology through close collaboration with the University of Tokyo. He went on to commercialize his invention and grew it to a profitable multi-million dollar venture as Director of R&D and later, Director of Technical Marketing. In his current position as Director of Technology Development of the UBC Pediatric Anesthesia Research Team at BC Children’s Hospital he has spearheaded new efforts that have led to his invention of a host of new ultra-low cost technologies for medical sensing in mHealth applications. Dr. Petersen holds international patents in the field of electrical sensing and interfacing, and has authored a multitude of technical papers in accredited journals.