Yesterday the Dubai Health Authority announced that doctors had saved the life of a sixty-year-old Omani woman who suffered from a cerebral aneurysm, with assistance from a state-of-the-art custom 3D-printed model of the patient’s brain dilated arteries to help plan the complex surgery.
The patient was admitted to the hospital after suffering from severe bleeding in the brain. Due to the complexity and rarity of the patient’s case the doctors needed a 3D model that would allow them to understand exactly how to reach the arteries in a safe manner. Without the 3D model the surgery would have taken longer and the risk would have been higher.
This is not the first time that the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) had conducted a complex surgery with the aid of 3D printing. Last December, DHA’s doctors successfully removed a tumour from a patient’s kidney with the help of a custom 3D-printed organ to help plan the surgery. A Dubai resident recently received the region’s first-ever fully 3D-printed prosthetic leg, an innovation that could reduce the prices of prosthetics by 50%.
The DHA is planning to further utilise 3D printing in medical care in Dubai as it is in line with the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy.
Healthcare is among the fields which could see significant impact from the emerging area of 3D printing or additive manufacturing (AM), ‘additive’ because the technology involves the sequential addition of material in layers, as directed by a 3D model. The 3D model could be designed in a software or created from the 3D scan of an object or from a series of photographs using photogrammetry.
The use of 3D printing techniques is being extensively explored for fabricating tissues and organs.
Biomedical research and drug development is reliant on animal testing and conventional cell culture. Organs-on-chip could be used for testing drugs. They could enable researchers to eliminate ineffective drugs at an early stage of development, avoid the loss of animal lives and maybe provide more accurate results in the bargain, as animal physiologies offer only a rough approximation of human bodies.
They could even provide personalised drug screening platforms, as the organ-specific cells are usually created from pluripotent or multipotent stem cells, which are patient-specific ( Pluripotent cells can give rise to all of the cell types that make up the body; embryonic stem cells are considered pluripotent. Multipotent cells can develop into more than one cell type, but are more limited than pluripotent cells; adult stem cells and cord blood stem cells are considered multipotent.)
Models of liver, heart, lungs, kidneys on a chip have been engineered to mimic multiple complex physiological conditions or evaluate cell-to-cell interactions. They can be used for modeling reactions of the body to diseases.
These ‘organs’ are created using a combination of microchips and living human cells. The cells are introduced in the form in bioinks which are hydrogel (a gel composed usually of one or more polymers suspended in water, usually consisting of over 90% water) biomaterial that can be printed accurately onto a chip through a printing nozzle or needle. They need to maintain shape after deposition. They also have to maintain the viability of the cells blended within the bioinks during and after the printing process, otherwise the entire purpose is lost. Bioinks provide support to cells while they produce their own extracellular matrix. Ultimately cells reorganise themselves in a self-sufficient manner, there is no further need for supporting materials and a functional tissue is generated.
A common of concern with organs-on-chips lies is the isolation of organs during testing, which might lead to inaccurate results. To address this, efforts are ongoing to to develop human-on-a chip. For instance, researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed an automated instrument to link multiple organs-on-chips together by their common vascular channels. This instrument, designed to mimic whole-body physiology, controls fluid flow and cell viability while permitting real-time observation of the cultured tissues. It offers the ability to analyse complex interconnected biochemical and physiological responses across ten different organs. The “human body-on-a-chip” approach can be used to quickly assess systemic responses to new drug candidates.
Body parts and organs for implantation
Organ printing could provide a potential solution for the global shortage of donor organs. However, organs or body parts that have been successfully printed and implemented in a clinical setting are either flat, such as skin, vascular, such as blood vessels, or hollow, such as the bladder.
More complex organs suitable to implant in human body cannot be printed yet.
Most of the organs described above lack crucial elements such as working blood vessels, tubules for collecting urine, and the growth of billions of cells required for these organs. We are some way off from creating a heart or liver which could replace a human organ. These 3D printed organs are ‘too unstable, too simple, or too small’ to implant in humans. (This report from Scientific American talks about how a team of scientists from the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology printed a dissolvable sugar mould of the vessels and then build up the appropriate cells around the mold, instead of printing an organ and its inner vessels all at once. Later, the mold is washed away, leaving behind structurally sound passageways that are able to stand up to the varying blood pressure levels found in the body.)
TechCrunch reported that scientists from Sweden’s Sahlgrenska Academy and Chalmers University of Technology have managed to succe
ssfully implant human cartilage cells in six-week-old baby mice. Though the process is some way off from becoming a viable alternative for reconstructive surgery, the potential is amazing.
Meanwhile, the use of 3D printing for producing dental crowns and bridges, instead of traditional wax modeling is well underway. A 3D scan is taken, instead of uncomfortable impressions, which is later transformed into a 3D model and sent to be 3D printed.
3D-printed skin has been developed for burn victims. 3D-printed prosthetics could bring down the time and costs of developing a customised limb and replacing it over the person’s lifetime. A group called e-NABLE is doing interesting work in the area of 3D printable, open source prosthetics. It is a network of volunteers from all over the world who are using their 3D printers to create free 3D printed hands and arms for those in need of an upper limb assistive device.
The U.S. hearing aid industry converted to 100% additive manufacturing in less than 500 days according to the Harvard Business Review. Way back in 2013, there were more than 10,000,000 3D printed hearing aids in circulation worldwide.
3D-printing is on the verge of transforming most of the areas mentioned above.
3D-printed drugs could enable personalised medicine delivery, such as non-standard doses for children or the elderly. In April 2016, an epilepsy medication became the first drug to receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In 2016, researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) came up with a new method of tablet fabrication, that can make customisable pills that release drugs with any desired release profiles. For instance, you could take the medication once a day and the drug will be slowly released throughout the day at different rates to treat your illness.
Using the system designed by the NUS team, a doctor only needs to draw the desired release profile in a computer software to generate a template for making tablets specific to a patient’s treatment, which can then be used to easily produce the desired pills using a 3D printer. The system is easy to use and does not involve any complex mathematical computation whenever a new release profile is needed.
However, in this area, the possibility of drug abuse and the legal implications have to be addressed.
3D printing is being used for manufacturing medical devices also. It could enable the production of medical equipment in places where there is a shortage, at a fraction of the usual cost and manufacturing time. This is what the Glia project in Gaza is doing, offering open source, low-cost, locally 3D-printed medical supplies.
Through a recent agreement with the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, a company called think3D is setting up an additive manufacturing center which will offer prototyping and low volume manufacturing to medical device companies in Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone (AMTZ), looking to tap into the US$5.5 billion Indian medical devices market.
3D models for surgery assistance and training
In addition to the use case from DHA described at the beginning of the article, there are many other instances, where surgeons are relying on 3D printed organs for pre-planning complex surgical procedures. In March 2016, Chinese doctors successfully performed open heart surgery on a nine-month-old baby suffering from a severe heart defect using a 3D printed heart model.
In another type of use for 3D-printed models, physicians at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) developed a way to fabricate artificial organs and human anatomy to create highly realistic simulations for training.
Based on MRI, CT, or ultrasound scans, they created moulds using 3D printing and injected them with a hydrogel. The water consistency of the hydrogel is identical to that found in our bodies giving the artificial organs the same feeling as the real thing.
The designs were tweaked. For example, the concentration of the hydrogel would be altered to add a denser tumor mass to a liver, or a blockage in a kidney, or plaque in an artery. The team can also create bone to simulate procedures involving the spine and skull, creating more rigid structures using the 3D printer. Then the team started assembling entire segments of the body, complete with artificial muscle tissue, skin and fat, and, depending upon the area of interest, the liver, intestines, spleen, kidney, and other adjacent organs and structures. The assembled unit could then be hooked up to a robotic surgical system, and the entire procedure simulated from the first insertion of instruments to completion.
The cost of printers, the ease of using the software, development in materials used for printing, these will all determine the pace and direction of progress in this area. In some areas, the applications are in varying stages of experimentation, while in others, they have already gone mainstream or are on the verge of doing so. However, one thing appears certain. 3D-printing is going to revolutionise medicine in more ways than one.
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) is recently unveiled the Experience Centre as an immersive sensory journey to showcase Hong Kong’s world-class innovation and ambition in Biomedical Technology, AI & Robotics, FinTech and Data & Smart City.
Visitors to Science Park today can explore and be inspired by HKSTP’s thriving I&T ecosystem of over 1000 partner companies, who are fuelling Hong Kong’s rise as a leading global I&T hub within the Greater Bay Area.
The Experience Centre will be the new premier touchpoint at Science Park for local and global visitors to get a full sense of Hong Kong’s largest and most advanced I&T ecosystem, while also opening new I&T career possibilities to young talent in Hong Kong. The standout innovations on show are a testament to HKSTP’s impactful support across the entire I&T value chain – from R&D to commercialisation and re-industrialisation.
The 370 square-meter immersive experience features an inspirational and interactive journey of seven zones, 300+ tech components powering 30+ multimedia exhibits to present Hong Kong’s innovation stories in truly original and stimulating ways. The state-of-the-art thematic space uses innovative technological tools such as facial recognition, panoramic video, hololens, real-time data dashboards, spherical projections and transparent touch-screen technology to create an immersive visitor experience.
The CEO of HKSTP stated that the Experience Centre is the ideal multi-dimensional showcase of the Park’s thriving world-class I&T ecosystem that sits at the heart of the huge GBA innovation and technology opportunity. The tech-inspired experience is a reminder of the remarkable achievements and the powerful co-creation potential of HKSTP’s partner companies, but is also a taste of the transformative innovation yet to come from the city’s brightest talent and proof that HKSTP is where innovation starts and Hong Kong’s future is being forged”.
Art-Tech crossover explores human-tech relationship
Beyond acting as a showcase of inspiration, the Experience Centre provides a practical shared space for HKSTP partner companies and the larger I&T community to co-create. The centre will act as a “digital den” to take this innovation spirit into new areas of potential growth. One area is Design and Art Tech which is a prominent theme throughout the Experience Centre and highlights technology’s potential to drive cross-sector collaboration opportunities that transform culture and industry.
Each exhibit zone in the centre features thoughtfully curated art pieces that tell timeless stories of the human experience through modern, tech-enabled media platforms. Inspired by technology but made by man, the Art-Tech exhibition “Man-Made”, features a selection of art pieces from six Chinese artists, represent the convergence of culture and technology and the vision of technology as a dynamic man-made tool that drives the world forward.
HKDI is partnering with HKSTP to nurture new ways to fuse design and technology in new expressions while also nurturing new talent.
It was noted that the launch of the Experience Centre and this partnership with HKSTP is a prime example of how design, art and technology create a powerful synergy that fuses two distinct communities and sectors, the Principal of Hong Kong Design Institute Vocational Training Council said.
Initiatives arising from the HKDI partnership include The “Master x Students” Talent Nurture Programme within the HKSTP Ecosystem; The Co-creation Charrette–Hackathon to promote academic-industry knowledge exchange; Design Competitions to bring to life design concepts stemming from HKDI talents; and Student Attachment and Internship to match qualified students nominated by HKDI with HKSTP partner companies.
The Seven Zones of the Experience Centre include:
- The “Reception” greets visitors via the virtual personal assistant in an automated welcome experience
- The “Immersive Room” highlights via immersive visuals HKSTP’s mission to spearhead Hong Kong’s I&T development by supporting the entire I&T value chain – from R&D to re-industrialisation.
- The “Hall of Fame” showcases standout achievements and ecosystem highlights from the 1000+ partner companies and 2 unicorns within the HKSTP ecosystem
- The “Discovery Area” is where visitors take a deep dive into our four strategic focus areas where Hong Kong is leading the way: Biomedical Technology, AI & Robotics, FinTech and Data & Smart City, and
- The Visionary Table is a showcase of the innovation culture at HKSTP told through innovators and industry pioneers
- Flexible Space is a place for co-creation and networking in groups of up to 30 people
- The Infinity Room is an interactive close to the experience where we celebrate Hong Kong’s incredible I&T journey to date and future potential
U.S. Gasoline Pipeline learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack on May 7 and has since determined that the incident involved ransomware, code that holds computer systems hostage. In response, the pipeline company proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat. These actions temporarily halted all pipeline operations and affected some of their IT systems, which they are actively in the process of restoring.
According to another article, The US government has declared a state of emergency after the ransomware attack. The emergency status enables fuel to be transported by road. Experts say fuel prices are likely to rise 2-3% on May 10, but the impact will be far worse if it goes on for much longer.
Multiple sources have confirmed that the ransomware attack was caused by a cyber-criminal gang, who infiltrated Colonial’s network on Thursday and took almost 100GB of data hostage. After seizing the data, the hackers locked the data on some computers and servers, demanding a ransom.
The co-founder of a London-based cyber-security firm says that that the pipeline company’s cyberattack has come about due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is because of the rise of engineers remotely accessing control systems for the pipeline from home. He believes that the cybercriminal gang bought account login details relating to remote desktop. Third-party cybersecurity experts were also immediately engaged after discovering the issue and launched an investigation into the nature and scope of this incident.
The pipeline company remained in contact with law enforcement and other federal agencies, including the Department of Energy who is leading the Federal Government response. The company’s highest priority is to maintain the operational security of its pipeline. Their personnel have taken additional precautionary measures to help further monitor and protect the safety and security of its pipeline.
The pipeline company’s operations team is developing a system restart plan. While their mainlines remain offline, some smaller lateral lines between terminals and delivery points are now operational. They are in the process of restoring service to other laterals and will bring our full system back online only when they believe it is safe to do and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations.
This incident highlights the increasing risk ransomware is posing to critical national industrial infrastructure, not just businesses. It also marks the rise of an insidious criminal IT ecosystem worth tens of millions of pounds. It is unlike anything the cyber-security industry has ever seen before.
According to an article, cybersecurity experts say that the consequences of an infection spreading to the pipeline’s deeper layer are dire for any energy company. Many machines that control pipelines, refineries and power plants are well past their prime. The machines have few protections against sophisticated attacks and could be manipulated to muck with equipment or cause damage.
Security experts say that the energy industry is a big target. The U.S. has roughly 2.5 million miles of pipelines. Across that vast network are hundreds of thousands of devices, sensors that take myriad readings, valves that help control flow and pressure within a pipeline and leak detection system. They are vulnerable to attack.
U.S. Commerce Secretary says that the type of attack that occurred against the pipeline company is becoming more frequent and is something that businesses need to be concerned with. She adds that the attacks are here to stay and they have to work in partnership with businesses to secure networks, to defend themselves against these attacks.
The transaction value in Vietnam’s science-technology market posted an average annual growth of 22% during the 2011-2020 period, according to data from a recent conference reviewing the ten-year development of the market.
The conference focused on assessing the achievements and shortcomings in the development of the science and technology market over the last decade and set orientations for the next ten years. Vietnam currently has over 800 market intermediaries and the number of transaction platforms rose from eight before 2015 to 20 in 2020.
Along with traditional intermediaries, new-style organisations have developed strongly, with 69 business incubators and 28 business promotion programmes. In the 2020 Global Innovation Index (GII), Vietnam ranked 42nd among 131 economies. Among those making the most significant progress in their GII innovation ranking over time, Vietnam led 29 lower-middle-income countries and was third in Southeast Asia. Last year, it moved up 13 places from the previous year to 59th in the rankings of 100 economies with the best start-up ecosystems.
According to a news report, Tran Van Tung, the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, said that during the 2021-2030 period the Ministry will focus on completing the legal environment and promoting scientific and practical research for the development of the science and technology market. It will also work to remove barriers facing development, improve human resources training, and develop national infrastructure for the market.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) plans to accelerate the implementation of the national e-commerce development master plan of 2021-2025 to keep up with the growth of digital trading activities. Recently, the Head of the MoIT’s E-Commerce and Digital Economy Department said that by 2020, 53% of the population participated in online shopping. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, local e-commerce revenue grew 18%, reaching US$11.8 billion, accounting for 5.5% of total retail sales, consumer goods, and services nationwide.
With the support of electronic payments, the Ministry will focus on developing e-commerce infrastructure, building, and perfecting institutions and legal frameworks for e-commerce, creating a transparent and favourable legal environment for businesses and consumers in the country.
Vietnam is considered one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia. Industry insiders say that e-commerce will continue to strongly grow this year. It will create a new impetus for economic growth, creating an opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to build new business strategies, and approach modern distribution channels to expand markets to recover from the pandemic.
MoIT’s E-Commerce and Digital Economy Department plans to implement the GoOnline programme this year to accompany local businesses. The programme will include telecommunications, technology, and e-commerce systems, manufacturers, traders, and individuals nationwide.
The Ministry will strengthen the coordination, inspection, examination, and violation handling in e-commerce. It will step up training for State management officials and owners of e-commerce exchanges on protected trademarks to solve disputes. This will also help detect counterfeit products, goods of unknown origin, and goods infringing intellectual property rights.
Last year, the MoIT applied blockchain technology to trace the origin of goods for some agricultural products to improve the brand and promote exports of agricultural products to developed countries as the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was ratified.
The Ministry also built a total solution for logistics service exchanges between logistics businesses and shippers to facilitate e-commerce delivery services. It supported businesses to apply technology in digital transformation. Along with the national master plan, the MoIT will submit to the government an amended decree on e-commerce to enhance the integration, connection, and sharing of data between it and cities through the National Public Service Portal.
Spyfish Aotearoa, a collaboration between a charitable organisation applying artificial intelligence (AI) to conservation and the Department of Conservation (DoC), allows ocean enthusiasts to get directly involved in scientific research.
By analysing 10-second video clips on the Spyfish website, all taken from monitoring surveys DoC undertakes each year in New Zealand’s marine reserves, volunteers can identify and count the species of fish they see. If the user is not over-familiar with native fauna, there is a chat function available to connect with the experts who are.
The surveys let the DoC estimate how abundant some types of fish are in the country’s reserves, such as blue cod, snapper, some species of sharks, and many more. It is a way to tell how well the marine reserves are doing at protecting these species.
However, identifying and counting species in the videos is time-consuming, especially for a single person. The Spyfish Aotearoa is being used to train AI software so in the future videos can be automatically analysed to identify and count the species. Using machine learning will save a huge amount of time and resources and produce data that can be used almost immediately.
According to the DoC, making the most of the opportunities provided by AI will greatly improve marine conservation outcomes for the future and bring the country further down in the path towards thriving oceans. Along the way, people in Aotearoa and overseas will be able to see and learn more about the species in New Zealand’s marine reserves, while contributing directly to marine conservation.
According to reports, anchored by the Resource Management Act, New Zealand’s government has declared its desire to follow sustainable development principles in its economic, social and environmental policies. In 2009, the Act was revised to simplify regulations and reduce costly delays for developers and investors while sustaining necessary ecological protections, resulting in quicker processing and better compliance. But according to research, restoring New Zealand’s waterways could take “hundreds of years” at the current rate of progress.
New Zealand is also socially and politically at the forefront of international climate issues, as illustrated by its adoption of a progressive carbon-trading scheme. The country is also making signs it wants to boost its start-up ecosystem – particularly when it comes to clean technology. Environment and climate-related technologies are improving. New Zealand is a world leader in research on reducing the environmental impact of agriculture. It has a well-developed and skilled eco-innovation system.
Another report said that New Zealand is ripe for a cleantech revolution and noted countries that put significant resources into supporting cleantech innovation are rewarded with more emerging and commercialised cleantech companies.
In 2016, the government has taken measures aimed to help New Zealand green its economy and improve its environmental governance and management, with particular emphasis on water resources management and sustainable urban development. New Zealand is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. The 2017 OECD Environmental Performance Reviews state that New Zealand is among the most energy-intensive economies.
New Zealand’s reputation as a ‘green’ country, both as a tourist destination and as a producer of natural and safe foods, needs to be upheld. Therefore, the government of New Zealand has taken numerous steps to conserve the country’s indigenous biodiversity. New Zealand’s Biodiversity Strategy has called for greater education and involvement at the local level, strengthening of partnerships with people regarding conservation of genetic diversity, and maintaining and enhancing natural habitats.
National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) is collaborating with the U.S.- based Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution provider to develop the first-ever AI-powered tumour auto-contouring solution. To treat brain cancer, doctors must first precisely map out where the tumours are in the brain, in a process called contouring.
Using traditional manual contouring takes several hours, while the AI device can shorten the process to just a few minutes. It ensures precision mapping of brain tumours with closer cuts and the ability to identify additional lesions that may be missed by the human eye.
NTUH has been used the AI device for the past 18 months as part of clinical trials and helped doctors treat more than 100 patients with brain tumours, including a terminally ill woman whose lung cancer metastasised to her brain.
A doctor and researcher from NTUH said that he had successfully identified nine tumours in the female patient based on her imaging testing, but the AI device later detected two more. As a result, the patient received radiation therapy targeting the 11 tumours, saving her both time and money spent on a second treatment in the event the two tumours were not initially identified.
An oncologist and researcher from NTUH said that 10% of tiny brain tumours, mostly malicious brain metastases, can be missed with manual contouring. He also estimated that using the AI device cuts the time spent on tumour contouring by 50%, which enables patients to receive the treatment they need as soon as possible.
The director of the NTUH Department of Oncology said with the AI device, even tiny tumours can be treated precisely thereby ensuring patients experience fewer side effects. In addition, it also means doctors have time to help additional patients or engage in more discussions with existing patients
According to a page, The AI device has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is the first time the FDA has cleared an AI device for tumour auto-contouring in radiation therapy. Devices to receive FDA clearance before are specific to normal organ auto-contouring.
The research on this AI device has been published in the world’s leading medical journal. The researchers conducted a randomised, cross-modal, multi-reader, multi-speciality, multi-case study to evaluate the impact of AI device on brain tumour (Stereotactic Radiosurgery) SRS.
A state-of-the-art auto-contouring algorithm, built on multi-modality imaging and ensemble neural networks, was integrated into the clinical workflow. Nine medical professionals contoured the same case series in two reader modes (assisted or unassisted) with a memory washout period of 6 weeks between each section.
The case series consisted of ten algorithm-unseen cases, including five cases of brain metastases, three of meningiomas and two of acoustic neuromas. Among the nine readers, three experienced experts determined the ground truths of tumour contours.
The clinical findings indicated clinicians assisted by VBrain demonstrated 12.2% higher sensitivity for lesion detection, and less experienced clinicians improved contouring accuracy with the added help. The efficiency in AI device also decreased treatment planning time at a median of 30.8%.
Less-experienced clinicians gained prominent improvement on contouring accuracy but less benefit in reduction of working hours. By contrast, SRS specialists had a relatively minor advantage in DSC, but greater timesaving with the aid of AI.
CEO of the U.S. AI solution provider said that he was thrilled to bring the AI device to their partners across the U.S. and Taiwan. Receiving unique FDA clearance for this solution allows the company to further its commitment to transforming radiotherapy workflows through developing full-body auto-contouring solutions. The future of AI is near, bringing a second set of eyes and hands to assist clinicians in analysing and segmenting medical scans and further improving patient cancer care.
The Philippines’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) launched the national artificial intelligence (AI) roadmap which made the Philippines one of the first 50 countries in the world to have a national strategy and policy on AI.
The DTI said that AI adoption can increase Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) by 12% by 2030, or equivalent to US$92 billion based on research estimates. The agency added that the AI roadmap aims to accelerate the adoption and utilisation of AI in the country to advance industrial development, generate better quality entrepreneurship, and higher-paying opportunities for Filipinos. Through the AI roadmap, they hope to establish the Philippines as an AI Centre for Excellence in the region that is backed by a local talent pool and vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
As the country aims to be an AI powerhouse in the region, the roadmap will establish the private sector-led National Centre for AI Research (NCAIR) which will serve as a shared hub for AI research. Also, the agency stated that the AI roadmap would help the country to be a hub for data processing providing high-value data analytics and AI services to the world given the country’s strong business process management sector.
Among the applications of AI are in real estate, banking and financial services, surveillance, retail and e-commerce, education, space exploration, agribusiness, urban planning, manufacturing, healthcare, and logistics and transportation.AI would also help government services become more efficient, said the agency.
With the launching of the AI roadmap, the DTI targets to guide the use of AI to maintain the regional and global competitiveness of local industries; and identify key areas, in both research and development and technology application, for investing time and resources of government, industry, and broader society. It also aims to recommend ways for effectively fostering a triple-helix of research and development (R&D) collaboration among government, industry, and academe, which would be essential to national development; put forward approaches for preparing the future workforce for the jobs of the future; and attract the biggest industries to set shop in the country, which would generate more jobs for Filipinos.
The agency emphasised that AI is a vital innovation amid the COVID-19 pandemic where human-to-human interaction should be limited. AI can also be used in contact tracing, health assessment and monitoring, knowledge management, and addressing supply chain issues. While there is this fear that AI will automate so many jobs that millions of Filipinos might find themselves unemployed, this fear should instead be viewed as opportunities for new possibilities. The structure of the workforce will change. Newer, better, and higher-income jobs will emerge. AI will also allow the country to create a knowledge-based economy, which we can leverage to create a more inclusive and prosperous society.
The rapid adoption of digital technologies can help the Philippines overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, recover from the crisis, and achieve its vision of becoming a middle-class society free of poverty, according to a report released by the World Bank and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
However, the use of digital technologies in the Philippines is still below its potential, with the country’s digital adoption generally trailing behind many regional neighbours. The “digital divide” between those with and without the internet leads to unequal access to social services and life-changing economic opportunities.
In this society-wide digital transformation, the government can take the lead by speeding up e-governance projects, such as the foundational identification system and the digitisation of its processes and procedures, which will help promote greater inclusion, improve efficiency, and enhance security. The government can take an active role in fostering policies that reduce the digital divide and create a more conducive business environment for the digital economy to flourish, said the report.
The Earthquake early-warning system called ShakeAlert is now available to residents of California, Oregon and Washington after 15 years of planning and development. It reaches 50 million people in the most earthquake-prone region in the U.S. People in these three states can now receive alerts from a wireless emergency alert system, third-party phone apps, and other technologies. Hence, the system will give them precious seconds of warning before an earthquake hits.
The ShakeAlert system aims to facilitate the delivery of public alerts of potentially damaging earthquakes and provide warning parameter data to government agencies and private users on a region-by-region basis.
The ShakeAlert system relies on sensor data from the USGS Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS). ANSS is a United States Geological Survey (USGS)-facilitated collection of regional earthquake monitoring networks operated by partner universities and state geological surveys on the West Coast and throughout the nation.
The mechanisms of the ShakeAlert system include during an earthquake, a rupturing fault sends out different types of waves. The fast-moving Primary (P)-wave is first to arrive, followed by the slower Secondary (S)-wave and later-arriving surface waves. Sensors then detect the P-wave and immediately transmit data to a ShakeAlert processing centre where the location, size, and estimated shaking of the quake are determined.
If the earthquake fits the right profile a ShakeAlert message is issued by the USGS. A shake alert message is then picked up by delivery partners (such as a transportation agency) that could be used to produce an alert to notify people to take protective action such as Drop, Cover, and Hold On and/or trigger an automated action such as slowing a train.
In addition to supporting public alerts to mobile phones, ShakeAlert system data has, since late 2018, been used to develop applications that trigger automated actions. Automatic actions can be used to prevent derailments, open firehouse doors so they do not jam shut and close valves to protect water and gas systems.
USGS works closely with ANSS partners and state emergency management agencies on the system’s development as well as public communication, education and outreach. ShakeAlert is a new ANSS tool in the USGS risk reduction toolbox.
Associate Director of the USGS said that the science of USGS is the backbone of hazard assessment, notification, and response capabilities for communities nationwide so they can plan for, and bounce back from, natural disasters.
Systems powered by ShakeAlert can turn mere seconds into opportunities for people to take life-saving protective actions or for applications to trigger automated actions that protect critical infrastructure. An effort like this takes the dedication, ingenuity and hard work of dozens of partners with the same vision. USGS is proud to have been part of a collaborative team that made this robust public safety system available for millions of citizens on the West Coast.
Studies in Washington, Oregon, and California have shown that the warning time would range from seconds to tens of seconds. ShakeAlert can give enough time to slow trains and taxiing planes, to prevent cars from entering bridges and tunnels, to move away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments and to take cover under a desk, or to automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems.
In addition to these Phase 1 implementations, technical improvements to the ShakeAlert system are also part of the story. The sensor network has reached target density in the Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay and Seattle metro regions and version 2.0 of the ShakeAlert production system has been deployed.
This version of the ShakeAlert system produces both point source and line source earthquake solutions. It has added ground motion estimation products, and the number of false and missed events has been reduced. ShakeAlert system version 2.0 has also satisfied government cybersecurity requirements and includes improved operational procedures.