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  • Title: A Platform for Mitigating the Impacts of COVID-19 on the Healthcare System
  • Principal Investigator: Shahin Vassigh
  • Funding Amount: $159,300
  • Funding Source: National Science Foundation
  • Timeline: 06/01/20–05/31/21

This COVID-19 RAPID research program focuses on addressing the shortage of essential medical supplies, Personal Protective Equipment, and crucial medical technologies. A surge in demand for specialized healthcare has also created a shortage of skilled medical professionals capable of operating highly technical machines while protecting themselves and others against this dangerous virus. 

Providing rapid training for caregivers and increasing the supply of Personal Protective Equipment and medical technology is an immediate priority for combating this unprecedented pandemic.

This project will leverage the research and technology currently under development in a National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator project to provide an easy to use and access training application for caregivers, as well as networking capacity for problem-solving among stakeholders. This project will also build and foster partnerships among the healthcare community, medical equipment manufacturers and distributors, and grassroots efforts to rapidly deploy prototypes as it strives to create awareness of the project and its novel features.

The specific goals of this project are to provide training support, problem-solving resources, and professional networking for idea exchanges for healthcare professionals, caregivers, and technologists that are on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19. Artificial Intelligence techniques such as deep learning and self-adaptive autonomous systems will be used to develop an intelligent knowledge network to support virtual communities, as well as, create Augmented Reality technologies for delivering efficient and engaging virtual training. Thus, the research objectives of this project include:

  1. Development of an Augmented Reality training mobile application for caregivers and technologists responding to the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Deployment of an online repository for equipment problem-solving resources
  3. Development of a professional networking application to disseminate research and best practices in the fight against COVID-19 for all stakeholders engaged in addressing the pandemic.

The project's overarching focus is to create a web application with mobile Augmented Reality capability for training healthcare professionals at any location and time, in order to improve access to training with the medical equipment and increase the efficiency and reach of safety training. The project team will advance the knowledge base in computer science and spatial computing as it creates its Artificial Intelligence-powered Augmented Reality training. The team will disseminate its findings and technology through relevant scholarly conferences and journals.

This RAPID award is made by the Convergence Accelerator program in the Office of Integrative Activities using funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and is associated with the Convergence Accelerator Track B: Artificial Intelligence and Future Jobs and National Talent Ecosystem.

Learn more about this project in FIU News or CASE News.