- CTA participates in the project together with the ETSI of the University of Seville, the Virgen del Rocío University Hospital, IBIS, the Andalusian Network of Advanced Therapies, the TEDAX of the National Police, the Calar Alto Astronomical Observatory and the JRC of the European Comission.
The Institute of Health Carlos III, a body dependant of the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain, has agreed to finance, under the Extraordinary Call for Research Projects on SARS-CoV-2 and the disease COVID-19, the proposal presented by a group of researchers belonging to different institutions based in Andalusia.
The funding would allow them to design of a prototype capable of detecting the SARS-CoV-2 virus deposited on surfaces of different materials by using existing optical technologies combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI). This advance would make a great contribution to efforts to contain the pandemic and prevent new infections, since it would allow the precise detection of surfaces contaminated by the coronavirus.
Researchers from the Higher Technical School of Engineering of the University of Seville, the Virgen del Rocío University Hospital, the Institute of Biomedicine of Seville, the Andalusian Network for the design and translation of Advanced Therapies, the TEDAX of the National Police, the Calar Alto Astronomical Observatory, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission and the Technological Corporation of Andalusia (CTA) participate in the project. This new project is being presented these days in various international platforms and forums on the applications of AI in relation to the virus and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since there are currently no detection and visualization methods for the presence of the virus on surfaces, the objective of the project is to develop a portable prototype that would combine multispectral image reading systems, both in the optical range (from ultraviolet to thermal infrared) as in the terahertz range, methods of analysis using computational optics and Artificial Intelligence (machine learning).
This would allow quick and non-contact analysis of contaminated areas by generating spatial distribution maps of these images in the field of view captured by the device. This would be a great advance in terms of having methods that help cleaning and decontaminating medical devices and facilities and reducing contact contagion.