When the coronavirus accelerates innovation in Morocco

09Jan, 2021

In recent times, we have seen imagination and inventiveness unfold, including a multitude of new prototypes demonstrating human ingenuity in the face of adversity from the Coronavirus. In terms of protection, a group of eight Moroccan scientists informed, last April, that it was developing a smart mask that not only protects its wearer, but also allows the detection of Covid-19 symptoms and to follow up on infected people. .

And like every smart object, interoperability is essential to make it work like clockwork. “The Midad mask is connected via Bluetooth to the Trackorona application, which offers” tracking “of the user’s movements in order to detect their level of compliance with confinement and social distancing”, explains the coordinator of the Tech4covid team. , Dr Mouhsine Lakhdissi.

Justifying the choice of this application for the protection of private data and access to health organizations, Moukhsine Lakhdissi recalls that the CNDP will have its say “the official launch cannot be done without the authorization of the National Control Commission of the protection of personal data (CNDP), since we use medical data, and it is important to protect them. It is therefore not yet available for download ”. So, not only do these masks make the virus inert, but they can be washed off and reused. The latter has a huge advantage, as does its potential as an effective way to monitor the spread of the virus.

Doctors are mobilizing

If we have been able to see young makers shaping smart masks, a similar approach has emerged by health professionals. Sircos is a 100% Moroccan artificial intelligent respirator, developed in collaboration with a committee of doctors, made up of a team from the Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS) and a doctor from the military health service of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR).

As for the specifics of this prototype, “This respirator can be controlled remotely, has several strengths, including autonomy, mobility and prediction. It meets the standards in force in terms of performance and safety requirements with particularities in terms of innovations ”, underlines the director of the center of medical and biomedical expertise of UM6SS, Adil Bellaoui. It must be said that this system will make it possible to mitigate the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and help the medical profession to succeed in its rescue mission.

Innovative Moroccans abroad

In the United States, Moroccan professor Anasse Bari has developed a smart tool to report the clinical severity of Covid-19 patients to help doctors determine which patients really need hospital beds and which ones can go home. “We hope that this AI tool, when fully operational, will be useful to physicians as they predict patient outcomes at an early stage and assess the severity of cases among them,” says Anasse Bari. The latter was recruited, moreover, as adviser to the United Nations for the development of a global strategy of AI for the international organization and advice on how AI can be applied for the good. social.

Similarly, his counterpart, Tariq Daouda, post-doctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School, launched an interactive platform powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) with the aim of facilitating and accelerating the development of an anti -coronavirus. “Our goal is to help accelerate the discovery of a Covid-19 vaccine by making our results accessible to the public. We publish prediction scores for each possible target in the SARS-CoV-2 genome, and make all the information available to the research community through an interactive web portal, ”explains the specialist.

All in all, there is no shortage of ideas and neither are the skills. In these uncertain times of health crisis where conventional science seems to be lagging behind, technological innovation, of which Morocco has shown agility and responsiveness, has made itself felt strongly in all sectors.

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