Prof. Pecchia discusses ‘Biomedical Engineering in low-resource settings’ in the next African Conversations Series 30.09.21
The African Conversations Series is a regular monthly talk series held by the Africa Institute, Western University, Canada, to keep conversations going on key and pertinent African topics. A talk is held each month, presenting contemporary African and African Diaspora topics. The next webinar will feature Prof. Pecchia from the ABSPIE Lab discussing ‘Biomedical Engineering in low-resource settings’.
Transforming PPE in healthcare! Here the report by ‘Rethinking PPE’, a collaborative effort of over 50 individuals from different global organisations active in the health sector.
Since 2020, our lab has been supporting the work that the Global Community of biomedical and clinical engineers is doing with United Nations in order to face this pandemic. In the framework of his collaboration as Innovation Manager for the PPE Pillar of the WHO Blueprint and COVID-19 initiative, our lab Director, Prof Leandro Pecchia, contributed to the writing of the ‘Rethinking PPE’ report. This was a collaborative effort of over 50 individuals from different global organisations active in the health sector, including the WHO, UNICEF, The World Bank, The Global Fund, US CDC, and top universities including the MIT, Johns Hopkins, UCL, University of Colorado, University of Warwick. The effort was coordinated by McKinsey & Company .
The main conclusion of the report is that transforming the PPE ecosystem will require five coordinated shifts:
- Catalysing PPE innovation:
- Improving standards and quality
- Expanding and diversifying manufacturing capacity:
- Strengthening procurement practices;
- Improving usage and disposal.
"Until the arrival of the pandemic, the importance of PPE seemed to be unknown to most, and above all absent from the research and innovation priorities of all the main research councils.", Prof Pecchia says. "The only ones who have stubbornly worked on PPE since the recent Ebola outbreaks have been the stubborn members of the WHO, in particular Adriana Velazquez Berumen, and the Emergency and Infection Control and Prevention Units, headed by Benedetta Allegranzi and April Baller. Perhaps it is no coincidence that this vision came from three extraordinary women".
Warwick main contribution to this report was probably in the analysis of the inadequacy of PPE regulatory frameworks in time of crisis and in resource-limited setting scenarios (Pecchia et al, 2020).
Here the report: TRANSFORMING THE MEDICAL PPE ECOSYSTEM
Artificial Intelligence for non-invasive hypoglycaemia detection: our article among the top 50 papers downloaded in Scientific Reports!
In January 2020, Dr Pecchia and his team published their first work demonstrating that it is possible to automatically detect hypoglycaemic event using deep-learning, ECG wearable sensors, and with no finger-pricks. This study, was very well received in the relevant community, and resulted in two new research projects piloting this technology in clinical settings with adult and paediatric patients. Today, we have been also notified by Nature Editor that this paper was one of the top 50 downloaded papers for Scientific Reports in 2020.
We are particularly proud, considering that Scientific Reports published more than 21,000 papers in 2020, which is positioning our paper among top 99.8% for number of downloads!
During the 2020, the pandemic affected the non-COVID related studies, but with numbers getting better in the UK, our team is now re-starting these studies, which we prioritise considering the positive impact this may have on diabetic patients, especially in paediatric age.
Declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020, after the first infections in China at the end of 2019, the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become a global emergency and continued to spread across the world. No country, including Republic of Benin in Africa and Italy in Europe, has been able to escape this disease. Its impact on human health, is disrupting an interconnected world economy through global value chains, given the impact on the entire world population and the economy.
In Benin, from 14th March 2020, the evolution of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is epidemiologically recorded at 3363 cases confirmed, 95 cases recovered, 46 case dead (January 2021).
Even if the social contexts seem very different, the pandemic creates in healthcare systems of all around the world, a generalized condition of low-resource settings (LRSs), i.e., environments lacking means, specific knowledge, specialized personnel, medical devices, and drugs, and with inappropriate medical locations. In fact, while this condition was already familiar to low- and middle-income countries, COVID-19 has overwhelmingly reported LRS conditions in high-income countries, such as Europe. In addition, the social and ethical impact of the pandemic calls sociology and bioethics to reflect on the perception that the population has of this situation, i.e. the possibility to respect the measures of isolation, the availability of personal protection equipment, the criteria for access to the scarce health resources available.
Warwick Interdisciplinary Research Centre For International Development
Applied Biomedical Signal Processing and Intelligent e-Health Lab
15 March 2021 • 10-11am (UK time)
Alessia Maccaro - University of Warwick
Leandro Pecchia - University of Warwick
Davide Piaggio - University of Warwick
Marius Vignigbé - University of Abomey-Calavi
Roch A. Houngnihin - University of Abomey-Calavi
5G will be leveraged to realise new opportunities for regional businesses, academic researchers, University staff and students. Warwick is the first University campus that has proactively been given 5G activation by BT.
Learn how this can change our lives.
Hear from expert speakers:
Wendy Coy – Director of Operations, Innovation Group, and Facilitator
David Plumb – Chief Innovation Officer, Innovation Group, University of Warwick
Lucy Baker – Service Technology Director, CTIO, BT Enterprise
Darren Farmer – Business Development Director, BT
Professor Theodoros N. Arvanitis holds the Chair of Digital Health Innovation and he is the Director of The Institute of Digital Healthcare, WMG, at University of Warwick.
Dr Leandro Pecchia – Associate Professor (reader) of Biomedical Engineering. Director of the Applied Biomedical Signal Processing and Intelligent eHealth Lab
Robert Franks – Managing Director of West Midlands 5G Limited