DOST drums up 6 tech solutions in fight against Covid-19

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Harnessing the power of technology to combat the spread of Covid-19, the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) has unveiled six technologies that are currently being developed by Filipino scientists and researchers.

Ranging from nano-enhanced sanitizers to mobile AI-powered thermal scanners, the technologies are DOST’s quick response to the ongoing pandemic that has endangered the lives of many.

DOST undersecretary for research and development Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara cited the Filipino researchers who came up with the timely innovations.

“We thank our Filipino researchers for making change happen through these technologies that we are working on.  We hope to see them soonest in the hands of our frontliners and the general public who is greatly affected by Covid19,” she said.

The six technologies that are now being developed are:

1. Mobile AI-enabled Thermal Scanners — In partnership with DWARM Technologies, FEU Institute of Technology Innovation Center, UPSCALE Innovation Hub, Orbital Exploration (OrbitX) Technologies, and PLDT Innohub, the six artificial-intelligence-powered thermal scanners mounted on drones will be produced initially to easily scan and pinpoint people with high body temperature. These drones provide real-time data transmission, are equipped with GPS, and has a 2-km range for communication. This technology will shorten the queuing of people and minimize contact between individuals in checkpoints. Initially, six units will be produced for testing and deployment in selected local government units (LGUs). 

 2. Nanotechnology-enhanced Sanitizers – The Central Luzon State University (CLSU) Nanotech Laboratory produced a nanotechnology-enhanced ethyl alcohol and hand sanitizer that contains zinc oxide nanoparticles infused with turmeric extract, a mixture proven that is effective against H1N1 influenza and SARS viruses—which are both coronaviruses. Thus, applying such to surfaces could be effective in deterring the spread of Covid-19. The laboratory is also developing washable mask using nanofiber as a ‘filter.’

3. 3D-printed face shields – The Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCEN) and the Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory (AMREL) of the Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU) are currently producing 3D-printed face shields for health workers.

4. Reusable face masks – The Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI) is working on the production of 500,000 reusable and washable (RW) face masks for up to 50 times.

5. Big Data Analytics for Quarantine Policies – The De La Salle University (DLSU) is currently pursuing big data analytics and transportation network analysis to support traffic management during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period. The simulation results showed relative intensities of incoming traffic to Metro Manila at various entry points. This will be of use for those managing the checkpoints (PNP and AFP) in the periphery of Metro Manila.

6.  Pinoy Animation Laban sa Covid19 – In coordination with the Toon City Academy (TCA) six infomercials on several Covid-19 infographics for public health awareness will be produced. Four now are already being aired in mainstream and social media and two more will be aired soon.  Topics covered include proper hygiene, community quarantine, social distancing, and proper verification of information. TCA has ongoing Project on Original Content Development and will tap the graduates of the animation training from Dagupan City to produce the material.

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