October 24, 2020

The ULPGC creates technology to prevent Covid infections at school



The researcher at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), Elsa María Macías López, works on the development of a telematic system for the early prevention of the contagion of Covid-19 in the educational context using multimedia technologies and processing in the Cloud . The project is carried out together with members of the Architecture and Concurrency research groups (GAC) of the University Institute of Cybernetic Sciences and Technologies (Iuctc) and the Motivation, Education and Health group (MES).

“It is a system that non-invasively monitors the body temperature of subjects who are in a closed environment, be it a classroom, auditorium, dining room … And in case there are one or more people in that In the context of fever, those responsible for the center are notified to start up the Covid protocols from there, ”said Professor Macías about the project, which has obtained funding of 11,250 euros in the call of the Vice-Rector’s Office for Research, Innovation and Transfer of the ULPGC for the development of studies on Covid-19.

Professor at the University of Telematic Engineering and researcher at the University Institute of Cybernetic Sciences and Technologies, Elsa Macías part in this initiative from the hypothesis that one of the main symptoms that warn about coronavirus infection is fever, in fact one of the measures that are carried out in large areas of influx of people -airports, fairs, supermarkets, hotels …-, is the taking of temperatures, and through this work it is intended to facilitate this measurement, in a constant way, throughout the academic day, and non-invasive.

“We believe that it is not enough for you to enter a room and have your temperature measured at that moment and that’s it. In the educational context, both students and teachers and non-teaching staff are present for many hours, and throughout all that time it is possible that some people get a fever and they themselves do not perceive it ”, said the researcher of the ULPGC.

In this sense, one of the most important aspects of this technology is its ability to measure the body temperature of those present throughout the educational day. “The normal thing is not that they are continuously monitoring the temperature in the school, institute or university. We believe that in contexts where people stay for a long period of time, due to their working hours, whether they are a teacher or a student, they may have a fever and it is not being detected ”.

The system to be implemented, with thermographic cameras, also has the advantage that it is not intrusive, so that it does not require one or more people who must go every so often to measure each student’s fever, “because it is not the job from the teacher to see who has and who does not have a fever ”, clarified the specialist in Telematic Engineering.

It is a non-invasive technology, which does not come close to the person, and through a thermal imaging camera it can detect if there is someone in the environment that exceeds a certain temperature. “Once someone is located, without creating an alarm, there is an automated system that immediately informs the Covid coordinator of the center or its management, so that the coronavirus prevention protocol can be implemented.”

Said protocol involves placing the affected person in a separate and well-ventilated space, a previously determined isolation room, for individual use, which will have surgical masks for the affected students, as well as a surgical mask and facial screen for the person take care of it. The person responsible for Covid-19 of the center will contact the telephone number 900112061 and coordinate the actions indicated.

The project led by Professor Macías López has a seven-month execution period, between September and March 2021, and the researchers’ forecasts are to have a prototype in January 2021. “We want to have the equipment installed and installed in five months. running to test the possible technical problems, emulate the temperature increase by inserting a heat source, as if there were someone with a temperature and that the notifications arrive. And then we would go on to the next phase with students in the classroom ”.

Among the lines of research in which Elsa Macías works is the integration of telematic services in mobile, fixed and wireless networks (ISR). It studies the quality of service of videostreaming (television) and telephony (VoIP and IP telephony) in heterogeneous networks in which access is through wireless (WiFi) and mobile (4G) technology; new models of digital treatment of the radio power signal, traffic models in heterogeneous networks and analysis of energy consumption. Twelve projects from different research groups have obtained funding in the call of the Vice-Rectorate for Research, Innovation and Transfer of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, to finance research on Covid-19, which had the participation of 27 groups and which will run from September 1 to March 31, 2021. This initiative was launched in mid- last June and has a financing of 90,000 euros, co-financed by the CajaCanarias Foundation and the La Caixa Foundation. The maximum amount of endowment granted to a project is 11,250.00 euros. Projects have been selected in the fields of tourism, economy, education, epidemiology, health, development of protective equipment and components for sanitary use, and technology. “The call has had a very adequate response from our research staff, because in addition, they are directed from various research areas, which is what we were looking for, to help solve problems derived from the pandemic from a variety of research areas,” he said. the vice-rector for Research, Innovation and Transfer of the ULPGC, José Pablo Suárez. |

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