Ryerson puts some heart into PDA project

A research project at Ryerson University will try to pump information about the human cardiovascular system into personal digital assistants.

Communications and Information

Technology Ontario (CITO) said the Ryerson project was among the recipients of $9 million in research funding it is providing to eight provincial universities in partnership with industry sponsors. Other schools to receive money include Carleton, McMaster, Queen’s, University of Toronto, University of Ottawa, Waterloo and York.

CITO doles out money twice a year in research areas like wireless networks, the Internet, human-computer interface issues and the management or storage retrieval of health information.

Sri Krishnan, an assistant professor within Ryerson’s electrical engineering and computer science department, said his project team will incorporate an infra-red sensor that will measure cardiovascular parameters like aortic stiffness (a heart problem) using signal analysis techniques.

“”Basically it could be used for monitoring your blood pressure and all those things, at your convenience,”” he said.

Krishnan and his team will be working with a doctor in Mississauga on a prototype as well as a biomedical company called Vital Sines, which may be able to commercialize the product.

Darin Graham, CITO’s president, said the group received 94 proposals for the funding when the call for submissions was issued late last year. The ideas are evaluated based on the technology required to complete them as well as their applicability to the market.

Six technology panels and 11 application panels totalling 120 reviewers looked at the proposals. Graham said the reviewers assessed the quality of the team, the challenges of the research involved, and the historical background of the researchers.

The application panels looked to see if researchers have lined up industry partners, how strong they are, and whether they would provide cash or in-kind contributions like access to labs or data.

“”The industry was very engaged,”” he said. “”They know they can’t do it all themselves now.””

CITO has invested more than $50 million in provincial IT research over the past five years, Graham said. The next call for proposals will be issued in a few months.

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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