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May 16, 2018

A mobile platform to keep patients safely in one place — home

When something goes wrong and patients have to return to hospital for the same problem in the month after they’ve been discharged, it takes a toll both on the individual and the health system. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, hospital readmissions cost the healthcare system as much as $1.8 billion per year. It’s estimated, however, that almost 60 per cent of those readmissions could be avoided if those who were most likely to have to return to hospital could be identified and given better care before and after discharge. Older people, those with multiple health problems, those... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Helping a physician innovate with smart IV infusion

Every year millions of patients around the world need intravenous (IV) therapy. IV lines are used for delivering everything from medication to blood, saline and nourishment. But this essential medical tool has an inherent risk. Caregivers must diligently monitor the IV fluid level and promptly replace it or switch off the infusion line when it gets low. Failing to do so can result in reverse blood flow and a high risk of developing a blood clot in the needle, which in turn may damage the blood vessel and require using another blood vessel to keep the IV going. But changing... Read more
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April 19, 2018

Making Canada’s Summer sport safer for kids

After 10 years playing for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League, Jeff Pilon knows about contact sports. So, when he witnessed some of the hits being taken by his son and his teammates on the community lacrosse team, he felt he had to do something. Kids playing lacrosse are at risk of neck injury because most have not developed the coordination to cross check safely. Jeff decided to make a neck guard that would protect young players and allow them to participate more safely in this fast-growing contact sport. Armed with a home-made model, Jeff approached Red Deer... Read more
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April 19, 2018

Making power wheelchairs smarter

Many people who use power wheelchairs have poor manual dexterity because of spinal cord, stroke or head injuries, or because of degenerative diseases. Even getting in and out of an accessible vehicle can be time-consuming, and sometimes dangerous, for them. Other tasks — such as taking a shower — require an attendant to drive the wheelchair away. SmartChair gives people who use wheelchairs more freedom and self-reliance while significantly improving their safety and mobility. SmartChair is a control system which can easily be integrated with any existing power wheelchair. The goal of the project is to give users added independence... Read more
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April 19, 2018

Building a wall to keep memories in their place

Hospital stays are hard on people struggling with impaired memory. Disoriented by unfamiliar surroundings and stripped of their usual activities, elderly patients may see their mental abilities decline even as their physical problems are being treated. To prevent deterioration in patients with memory problems, Woodstock General Hospital partnered with Fanshawe College to design and install a “cognition wall” in its complex continuing care unit. The CogWall, as it’s called, is divided into four sections, each featuring familiar objects against a background photo. The idea is that in each section the background photo and the familiar items displayed in front of... Read more
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April 19, 2018

Technology better suited to assessing Parkinson’s disease

Precisely measuring the severity of tremors suffered by people with Parkinson’s Disease is difficult but vital when it comes to determining the correct dosage of Levodopa, a drug therapy for patients with Parkinson's. Fanshawe College was proud to partner with Movement Disorder Diagnostic Technologies Inc. (MDDT) to create a prototype of a motion-capture suit and tremor arm sleeve to help with diagnosing and monitoring Parkinson's patients. Movement Disorder Diagnostic Technologies is a London-based medical device company using technology to advance care for people whose lives are being limited by tremors. It collaborated with Fanshawe's School of Design to create a... Read more
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April 19, 2018

Low-radiation X-rays offer powerful insights

Liz Lorusso, a professor at Fanshawe College School of Health Sciences, is being hailed internationally for her research on reducing radiation dose levels in X-rays. Lorusso worked with London area hospitals, capturing images using varying levels of X-ray radiation on mannequins with human bone anatomy. The results were astounding, showing today's advanced digital imaging technology does not require the same quantity of radiation as film-based X-rays do. "People are exposed to radiation through general X-ray imaging all the time, but using digital imaging we proved we could save patient dose by 50 to 75 per cent — without compromising diagnostic... Read more
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April 19, 2018

Deep down safety for miners

Ultra-deep mines are those that reach 2.5 kilometres below the earth’s surface. They are not an easy place to work; as the depth increases, so does the temperature. In an ultra-deep mine, ambient heat from rocks and humidity meets heat from machinery and human activity to create a hazardous mix. Miners in ultra-deep mines follow a reduced work-rest cycle to prevent heat stress. Modified hours are only part of what it takes to keep miners safe and Jannatec Technologies, which has been developing safety products for the mining industry for over 25 years, undertook to design a new kind of... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Leaving Trauma Behind for a Brighter Future

In recent years, Canada has welcomed thousands of people seeking asylum, many of them survivors of war and torture. They come for the chance of a new life — but the shadows of the old one can block them from the best paths to a new one, education. The after-effects of living through war and violence are a daily reality for refugees and asylum seekers. Their schooling may have been interrupted by war, or date from makeshift schools in refugee camps. Survivors may also experience after effects that diminish their ability to study, including memory and concentration problems, anxiety, insomnia... Read more
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June 22, 2016

L’École Nationale de Cirque Tests the Effects of Teaching Circus Arts in Schools

A child who’s happy and confident hanging upside down without a helmet is going to be more active and perhaps more creative than one who’s not allowed to play outside when there’s ice in the schoolyard, Patrice Aubertin thinks. Aubertin, director of research and teacher training at the École Nationale de Cirque in Montréal, is the principal investigator on a national research project to examine the effects of teaching circus arts in primary school. One of 27 studies supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council through its Community and College Social Innovation Fund, the project is looking at... Read more
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