In the news / Technology Enabled Health

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Statistics show relatively high usage rates for UArizona's exposure notification app, which helped curb the spread of the virus on campus. Public health experts say the digital strategy worked well because it was used in conjunction with traditional contact tracing, in addition to testing and isolation efforts.
 
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College of Nursing faculty is comprised of both nurses and scientists from other fields, creating a rich environment for team science, bringing their expertise to enrich research and education. Dr. Judith Gordon the college’s associate dean for research and BIO5 member, uses her health care background in behavioral psychology, and backgrounds in IT and theater, to work with Nursing students. They studyed computer science, working together to create the See Me Serene mobile phone app to study guided meditation for stress reduction and smoking cessation.
 
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Six UArizona College of Engineering researchers, including Biomedical Engineering assistant professor and BIO5 member Dr. Philipp Gutruf, were named as the first Craig M. Berge fellowship awardees to advance their research. Dr. Gutruf will continue his work to create devices that integrate with human biological systems for health diagnostics and neuroscience.
 
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Dr. Michael Worobey, head of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and BIO5 associate director, is hoping to add another tool to the university's testing arsenal – one that relies instead on a simple saltwater rinse and gargle. A new diagnostic test for coronavirus relies on gargling with saltwater instead of using a nasal swab.
 
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UArizona officials said that the campus’s wastewater COVID-19 detection technique — developed, in part, by UArizona WEST center director and BIO5 member Dr. Ian Pepper — possibly prevented a sizable outbreak on campus. Wastewater samples from the dorms have been regularly tested for signs of COVID-19 since students returned to campus in August.
 
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Since the University of Arizona opened its doors, more than 9,000 students, faculty and staff had been tested for COVID-19 and everyone on campus was wearing a mask. The school had even begun sampling its wastewater to quickly detect a potential hot spot. But the centerpiece in the school's preemptive battle against COVID-19 was the "Covid Watch" smartphone app, which uses Bluetooth technology to send an alert to someone's phone if they are exposed to the virus.
 
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Innovative minds spanning several disciplines created partnerships to advance research and impact the lives of Arizonans at the second annual BIO5/BIOSA Faculty Industry Networking Event.
 
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In the case of colorectal cancer, the detection of early metastases to the liver is crucial for patient survival. A University of Arizona Health Sciences research team featuring Dr. Ali Bilgin is developing a novel imaging technique to detect the spread of colorectal cancer. The group aims to provide better outcomes for patients through the use of novel MRI methods to diagnose early tumor spread, providing patients and physicians greater treatment options, including non-surgical alternatives.
 
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Harnessing the power of technology, the BIO5 Institute will virtually connect University of Arizona faculty and researchers with representatives from biotech, biomedical, and life science companies at the FINE event on Thursday, August 13, 2020.
 
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A team of engineers and scientists is developing a solar-powered desalination system to recover water from concentrated waste streams with maximum efficiency. The team is conducting research using the Optical Sciences Center solar testbed.
 
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Dr. Kristen Pogreba-Brown, UArizona epidemiologist, BIO5 member, and lead of the Student Aid For Epidemiological Response (SAFER) program, shared her team's progress on developing contact tracing practices before students return to campus. She also spoke about the steps all people on campus will have to take to ensure the contact tracing program is effective this fall.
 
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Thanks to a U.S. Department of Defense contract for as much as $9.5 million, UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix and partners aim to develop a portable device to easily and accurately detect bio-threats, including COVID-19. This effort will be led by Dr. Frederic Zenhausern, director of the Center for Applied Nanobioscience and Medicine and BIO5 faculty member.
 
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A record number of Tech Launch Arizona startups at UArizona were reported during FY2020. This was made possible through the innovations from 19 different startups by teams of world-class entrepreneurial researchers, including BIO5 members Drs. Minying Cai, David Harris, Victor Hruby, Doug Loy, Marty Pagel, Sairam Parthasarathy, Benjamin Renquist, Marvin Slepian, and Russell Witte.
 
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Joyce Schroeder and Kristen Pogreba-Brown are lending their unique expertise and collaborative approach to mitigate the risk of returning to campus this fall.
 
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This semester the UArizona opened the new Peter and Nancy Salter Medical Device Design Lab for undergraduate students majoring in biomedical engineering and other engineering fields. Dr. Philipp Gutruf, a UArizona assistant professor of biomedical engineering and BIO5 member, discusses the educational value of giving students access to state of the art equipment that can help them manufacture and design circuit boards or custom enclosures for wearable devices.
 
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BIO5 connects and mobilizes hundreds of world-class researchers to develop creative solutions for complex challenges such as disease, hunger, water and food safety, and other health issues facing Arizona and the world. This interdisciplinary approach from BIO5 researchers, including Drs. Jennifer Barton, Judith Su, and DK Kang, has resulted in disease prevention strategies and promising new therapies, innovative diagnostics and devices, and improved food crops.
 
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To address the shortage of health care supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Drs. Win Burleson and Marvin Slepian have been spending much of his time designing ventilators with solely readily available items. One of Dr.

 
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At least two independent research teams in the United States are developing technology to measure how much COVID-19 is in sewage water to help track how the virus spreads. One of those teams is led by Dr.