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CMU Portugal Session at Ciência 2020 Summit

On November 4th, the CMU Portugal Program held the Session “CMU Portugal – Defining New Frontiers in Technology Within the Health Sector” at Ciência 2020 Summit, the central Science Conference in Portugal promoted by the Ministry of Science Technology and Higher Education (MCTES) along with Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT). This year the annual event was mostly remote due to the current pandemic situation and limited seats were available.

However, the Program was able to host a very fruitful discussion that included presentations from 3 (three) representatives of our new Large-Scale Collaborative Research projects related to the Health Sector.

The session started with a brief presentation from Rodrigo Rodrigues, CMU Portugal National Director, who introduced first-hand the CMU Portugal new Institutional Video for a quick overview of the Program and all its initiatives.

Rodrigo Rodrigues continued with a brief introduction of the 19 new projects developed under the Program and the Education Initiatives’ scope, reminding that a Call for Dual-Degree PhDs is currently open.

Next, it was time for the project presentations, starting with:

Carmel Majidi, CMU Professor in Mechanical Engineering and a long-time CMU Portugal collaborator, PI at the Stretchtonics Entrepreneurial Research Initiative (ERI) and now at the flagship project, WoW – Wireless biOmonitoring stickers and smart bed architecture: toWards Untethered Patients. He is also a supervisor of several CMU Portugal Dual-Degree Ph.D. students. Carmel Majidi spoke about the CMU Portugal projects. Majidi’s involvement focuses mostly on hardware architectures and fabrication methods that allow robots and machines to behave like soft biological organisms and be safe for contact with humans. His research work is currently dedicated to developing unique combinations of mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties that can function as “artificial” skin, nervous tissue, and muscle for soft robotics and wearables.

Francisca Leite, from Hospital da Luz Learning Health, an Industrial Co-Promoter of the CMU Portugal Flagship project IntelligentCare – Intelligent Multimorbidity Management System – followed next with a presentation of the project strategy and goals for the next three years. According to her, “Artificial Intelligence puts us more in control of our health,” and the IntelligentCare project aims at doing exactly that. The main goal is to develop a patient-centric and personalized tool to manage multimorbidity using analytical methods to explore data from electronic health records and measures reported remotely by patients, such as life events, quality of life, and physical activity, amongst others, using smart sensors and mobile solutions. The IntelligentCare tool will aid clinicians and other health care professionals to better manage their patients’ health.

GLSMED Learning Health promotes the project in partnership with Hospital da Luz, Priberam, INESC-ID/Técnico, and the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.

Luís Rosado, Senior Scientist at Fraunhofer Portugal, an academic Co-Promoter of CMU Portugal Flagship, introduced “TAMI: Transparent Artificial Medical Intelligence” via Zoom from Porto. The project is focused on developing artificial intelligence algorithms to make the medical diagnosis of cervical cancer, lung diseases, and glaucoma more “clear and reliable.” First Global promotes the project in partnership with Fraunhofer Portugal, INESC TEC, Administração Regional De Saúde Do Norte, and Engineering Research Accelerator at Carnegie Mellon University.

Margarida Nery is the WoW Manager at Glintt, the Industrial Promoter of this Flagship project. WoW – Wireless biOmonitoring stickers and smart bed architecture: toWards Untethered Patients – is being supported at Carnegie Mellon by Carmel Majidi, who started the presentations. The project will focus on applying electronic skin (e-skin) patches for patient care with the goal of hassle-free wireless patient monitoring, as a step towards untethering the patients from the hospital bed and from the hospital itself to foster domiciliary hospitalization.

The project is promoted in partnership with Instituto de Sistemas e Robótica (ISR Coimbra), Universidade de Coimbra, FCT UC, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra and the Mechanical Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University.

To close the session, Rodrigo Rodrigues moderated a brief discussion about the expectations for the future of these projects and how the partnership and support of CMU impact the success of their research.

The video of this session is now available:

Ciência 2020 also counted with Pedro Ferreira, Carnegie Mellon University and CMU Portugal faculty member, and Susana Sargento, Universidade de Aveiro, and CMU Portugal Scientific Director, at the session “Science in Portugal for a more SOCIAL AND DIGITAL Europe”.

Susana Sargento also commented on the digital transformation promoted by science during the current pandemic.

CMU Portugal’s participation also started before the meeting itself with Rodrigo Rodrigues’s participation at the 1st Warmup event leading up to the meeting: “Rebuilding Portugal Through Knowledge, Jobs and Digital Transformation”.

In 2020, 12 new ICT Flagship projects started under the scope of the CMU Portugal Program. For the first time, these research projects are led by Portuguese companies and carried out in partnership between companies and non-corporate entities of the R&D system and research groups at Carnegie Mellon, also representing a very significant public and private financial commitment. Research topics span from Data Science and Engineering, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Design and Engineering applied to social problems, Forest Fire-Prevention, Data Management, Mobility, and Language Technologies.