Join multi-institution research as part of the FIBRE project to develop smart fabric-based wearables.
Bengaluru and Toronto, March 5, 2021 - Technology services firm Vee Technologies and Sona Group have joined Toronto-based University Health Network (UHN) to collaborate on a multi-institution research and commercialization effort to develop smart fabric-based wearables. The objective of this project is to improve the lives of people living with health-related challenges, while pushing to advance the benefits of technology in the healthcare industry.
The collaboration seeks to contribute to FIBRE, a research initiative by UHN, which includes Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and the Michener Institute of Education. In addition, three universities, four colleges, and a number of industry partners are actively working to contribute towards FIBRE’s goal.
The UNH is a public research and teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto. The scope of its research and the complexity of the cases it deals with has made it a national and international source for discovery, education, and patient care.
As part of this agreement, Bengaluru and New York-headquartered Vee Technologies will make significant contributions to research projects undertaken by the collaborating institutions, universities, and hospitals in Canada. Vee Technologies and Sona Group will be the only partners outside North America.
The Salem-based Sona Group of Education Institutions, including NIRF-ranked Sona College of Technology, 63-year-old Thiagarajar Polytechnic College, and Sona College of Arts and Science will contribute to the FIBRE project by offering access to their faculty, laboratories, and facilities.
The FIBRE project will be headed in Canada by Dr. Bradly G. Wouters, Executive Vice President, Science and Research, and University Health Network, Dr. Milos R. Popovic, Director, The KITE Research Institute. The India side of the partnership will be led by C. Valliappa, Chairman of Sona College of Technology, Chocko Valliappa, CEO of Vee Technologies, and Counsel General of India at Toronto, Apoorva Srivastava.
Speaking at the inking ceremony, C. Valliappa announced, “The Sona Group of Institutions proudly commits the best scientific minds to the FIBRE project and hope that the application of this long-term research will bring much-needed relief to millions facing health challenges. When some of these products get to the market, those of us in India will be big beneficiaries.”
Dr. Wouters added that the UHN was excited about this new partnership as it will help the hospital network move closer to achieving its vision of creating a healthier world. He noted, "This initiative will help bring together multidisciplinary expertise in order to develop textiles and garments that can support the growing needs of the healthcare sector for people in Canada, India and beyond — a scientific approach to solving today’s greatest health issues and a key element of UHN’s research strategy. The health benefits are far-reaching and will serve to help individuals experiencing chronic illness, aging as well as those living with disabilities.”
Srivastava shared that she hoped the coming together of the best scientific minds from India and Canada would lead to new breakthroughs to meet the healthcare needs of people in India, Canada, and around the world. She added that the arrival of “Made in India” COVID-19 vaccines in Canada earlier this week marked a new milestone in the healthcare partnership between the two countries.
Dr. Popovic, who leads the FIBRE research team at The KITE Research Institute, said today’s announcement represents a major milestone. “FIBRE will help us create an altogether new medical-science ecosystem that is completely interconnected, allowing clinicians to monitor patient health remotely and deliver the best quality care immediately to anyone – almost anywhere in the world.”
“Looking at the path-breaking research to be carried out by FIBRE network that ranges from nano-technology embedded fiber and fabric, to smart wearables that will help healthcare professionals to deliver a better life for patients and elderly. Vee Technologies and Sona Group of institutions is committing a multi-million-dollar investment and the best minds to the initiative,” says Chocko Valliappa.
This investment will be used to fund several Research & Development projects in the wearable technology space. The goal is to create products that will find commercial application.
UHN’s collaborative research initiative partners include Centennial College, George Brown College, Humber College, OCAD University, Ryerson University, Sheridan College, and the University of Toronto.
About Vee Technologies
The Bangalore and New York co-headquartered Vee Technologies provides technology-enabled services to over 150 hospitals in the US, including six of the top 10, delivering consulting services, clinical coding and revenue cycle management solutions. Healthcare is the firm's largest offering, with 3,000 of its 5,000 employees engaged in healthcare analytics.
About The Sona Group of Education Institutions
The Sona Group of Education Institutions include the NIRF ranked Sona College of Technology, known for its cutting-edge research through its 35 R&D laboratories, the 63-year-old Thiagarajar Polytechnic College that enjoys the AICTE-CII status to mentor over 3,500 polytechnics in India and the Sona College of Arts and Science.
About University Health Network
University Health Network consists of Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education, and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in arthritis, cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine, and rehabilitation medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.
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