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Digital considerations while planning for an uncertain future

Renee Patton *Sponsored Content By Renee Patton Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers were focused on improving patient experiences, streamlining clinical communications and supporting collaboration, while also maintaining safety and security of all involved. How could healthcare providers provide quality experiences to patients, while also ensuring clinicians were able to deliver a high level of care and remain efficient? These priorities still remain; however, the COVID-19 pandemic has also led to the emergence of new needs for patients, clinicians and administrators. With a surge in demand for virtual care, evaluation and testing, as well as shift to remote work for administrative staff, the pandemic has accelerated the disruption of healthcare, creating new challenges an...

Cisco: A conversation about telemental health with CAMH

Willa Black, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and CSR for Cisco Canada *Sponsored Content By Willa Black In July 2018, leaders from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and Cisco Canada gathered together to begin drawing a roadmap for pioneering telemental health delivery. Little did they realize that in two short years a pandemic would have clinicians and physicians delivering nearly 3,000 virtual visits a month. What inspired this vision of care and how was CAMH able to scale up so successfully and rapidly? While CAMH has been delivering some form of virtual care for a number of years, there was slow growth in this area until a few years ago, when a number of big changes took place in provincial policies. Changes such as an increase in the platforms available to deliver c...

A gamified approach to exercise for older adults

By Arielle Townsend Stuart Embleton knows the value of a consistent exercise routine. It was the first thing his doctors prescribed when they found a blocked artery in his heart. “I haven’t had major heart surgery,” Embleton notes gratefully, but adds that this incident with his health motivated him to lead a more active lifestyle. His quest led him to the Cardiac Athletic Society of Edmonton (CASE), where he was offered the opportunity to join a trial for a gamified exercise platform called Virtual Gym. Thanks to Virtual Gym, Embleton and older adults like him will soon have access to personalized exercise routines that they can do at home, while being supervised by their physiotherapists. “The original question we had when developing Virtual Gym, was how we could use technology to create...

2020/09/28 DARPA’s PALS Program Enters Second Phase

Because marine organisms observe changes in their environment using a combination of senses, they offer unique insights into the underwater world that are difficult to replicate using traditional engineering techniques. DARPA’s Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors (PALS) program aims to leverage this phenomenon to augment the Department of Defense’s existing, hardware-based maritime monitoring capabilities. The program, launched in November 2018, is now entering its second phase. In the first phase, teams demonstrated that marine organisms could sense the presence of an underwater vehicle (or confounder) in their environment and respond with an output signal or other observable behavior. This required performers to not only identify organisms with an appropriate, unique, and measurable signal...

2020/09/28 Subterranean Challenge Identifies Qualified Teams for Cave Circuit Virtual Competition

DARPA’s Subterranean (SubT) Challenge will host its Cave Circuit Virtual Competition, which focuses on innovative solutions to map, navigate, and search complex, simulated cave environments November 17. Previously, DARPA held Tunnel Circuit and Urban Circuit events featuring both Virtual and Systems (physical) Competitions in which teams demonstrated their autonomy, networking, perception, and mobility capabilities in human-made tunnel and urban underground environments. Qualified teams have until Oct. 15 to develop and submit software-based solutions for the Cave Circuit via the SubT Virtual Portal, where their technologies will face unknown cave environments in the cloud-based SubT Simulator. Until then, teams can refine their roster of selected virtual robot models, choose sensor payloa...

2020/09/24 Victoria Coleman Sworn In as 22nd DARPA Director

The Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Mr. Michael Kratsios, today administered the oath of office to Dr. Victoria Coleman, who was recently appointed as the 22nd director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Coleman succeeds Dr. Steven Walker who left the agency in January 2019. Dr. Peter Highnam, who has been DARPA deputy director since January 2018, had been serving as acting director since Walker’s departure. Most recently, Coleman was a senior advisor on microelectronics technology policy to the director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) at the University of California, Berkeley. Before her time at Berkeley, Coleman was the CEO of Atlas AI P.B.C, a Silicon Valley startup that sought t...

2020/09/18 Creating Cross-Domain Kill Webs in Real Time

Two DARPA-developed technologies – a novel decision aid for mission commanders and a rapid software integration tool – played a critical role in the recent Air Force demonstration of the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS). The Adapting Cross-domain Kill-webs (ACK) program and the System-of-systems Technology Integration Tool Chain for Heterogeneous Electronic Systems (STITCHES) were among a number of technologies employed in the Aug. 31 – Sep. 4 ABMS on-ramp demonstration, which involved attacks using live aircraft, ships, air defense batteries, and other assets. ACK is developing a decision aid for mission commanders to assist them with rapidly identifying and selecting options for tasking – and re-tasking – assets within and across organizational boundaries. Specifically, ACK assis...

2020/09/18 Teams Demonstrate Swarm Tactics in Fourth Major OFFSET Field Experiment

DARPA OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) researchers recently tested swarms of autonomous air and ground vehicles at the Leschi Town Combined Arms Collective Training Facility (CACTF), located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington. The Leschi Town field experiment is the fourth of six planned experiments for the OFFSET program, which seeks to develop large-scale teams of collaborative autonomous systems capable of supporting ground forces operating in urban environments. [embedded content] Two Swarm Systems Integrators – Northrop Grumman Mission Systems and Raytheon BBN Technologies – are creating swarm systems architectures, advanced interfaces, and virtual and physical swarm testbeds for OFFSET. The Swarm Systems Integrators tested their autonomous platforms – comprising...

Lessons on virtual care from the COVID-19 pandemic

On August 24, the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) hosted its first “virtual” Education Session titled Virtual Care in Canada: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic. The session focused on providing Canadian physicians with essential information on virtual care. “The COVID-19 pandemic abruptly changed the healthcare landscape, and unexpectedly drove physicians and patients to widely adopt virtual care to a much greater degree than ever before,” says Dr. Lisa Calder, incoming CEO at the CMPA. “We know physicians are looking for guidance on how to manage this new practice landscape.” In fact, since March of this year, the CMPA has received an unprecedented number of calls relating to virtual care. As use of virtual care continues to surge, it is crucial that physicians know how to...