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Medellín, June 19, 2020

The G8 Antioquia universities present to the public opinion the academic and scientific efforts with which they have contributed from their knowledge and experience to actions to contain the spread of COVID-19. The joint work of the academy has consolidated a network university to face the challenges posed by this pandemic.

The Lasallian University Corporation, the University of Antioquia, the CES University, the Eafit University, the EIA University, the University of Medellín, the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellín, and the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana are part of this network.

 The common purpose that the G8 of universities in Antioquia has proposed is to ensure that the knowledge generated in higher education institutions contributes to overcoming the challenges that society currently faces. Based on this ideal, scientists, managers, teachers, students and the talent of universities as a whole, in some cases with the support of the company and the state, work rigorously and look for alternatives that contribute to the containment of COVID-19 .

Science has been the protagonist in this joint work by universities, which have made contributions from nanotechnology, bioengineering, biology, data science, artificial intelligence, engineering, health, among other areas that, from their diversity of knowledge, nourish ideas and effective solutions to actions against the virus.

Models that facilitate the tracking and control of the outbreak, production of suits for the protection of health workers, mechanical ventilators, N95 masks with nanotechnological antivirals, mathematical and epidemiological models for decision-making in emergency care, ultrasonic technologies for clean the lungs, design of depressurized chambers for the isolation of infected patients, isolation of the SARS-CoV2 virus, ecological stretchers made from polyaluminum containers, proposal for a network of regional laboratories, coronavirus studies in domestic pets and fauna Silvestre, the first clinical trial of convalescent plasma, production of biological reagents for diagnosis with PCR tests, among many other initiatives, are proposals that have emerged as shared knowledge from the universities of Antioquia and Colombia.

These actions have grown with the own resources of the institutions that make up the G8, and with the contribution and encouragement of public and private entities that have relied on the knowledge and talent that emerges from these centers of thought.

Based on their capacities, the institutions have guaranteed the continuity of their services and their reason for being: education. Universities continue to be active as entities of knowledge. The network university in Antioquia has joined forces and resources to contribute to the containment and solution of this public health challenge. The G8 has committed to a collective project called partnership.

 

G8 ACTIONS: NETWORKED UNIVERSITIES TO FACE COVID-19

CATEGORIES:

COVID-19 tests:

  • CES University: carrying out diagnostic PCR tests at the Colombian Institute of Tropical Medicine (ICMT) and GenomaCES in Medellín and at the headquarters in Apartadó, Urabá, Antioqueño.
  • University of Antioquia: began on April 15, 2020 the process of detecting COVID-19 cases in nine of its laboratories.
  • University of Antioquia: development of the Colombia Protocol, which proposes alternatives to reduce time in the diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2.
  • Lasallian University Corporation: The possibility of having a laboratory for the diagnosis of Covid-19 tests is opened to meet the demand in the south of the Aburrá Valley and the Southwest of Antioquia.
  • University of Antioquia: development of the Colombia Protocol, which proposes alternatives to reduce time in the diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2.
  • UNAL Medellín: Since April, it has been processing covid-19 tests at the One Health Genomic Laboratory. He has recently carried out tests from Tumaco (Nariño).
  • UNAL Medellín: Professor Juan Pablo Hernández, director of the One Health Laboratory, is an advisor to the departmental government on matters related to COVID.
  • UNAL Medellín: With the use of the Nextractor Nx-48 robot, donated by Grupo ISA, the Genomics One Health laboratory of the National University of Colombia Headquarters Medellín quadruples its installed capacity to make diagnostics of Covid tests.

Medicine:

  • CES University: Research in convalescent plasma process with the Universidad del Rosario and the GenomaCES laboratory. It is the first clinical trial approved by Invima in Colombia.
  • Universidad de Antioquia: de Researchers from the Faculty of Medicine were able to cultivate SARS-CoV2 in the laboratory. This achievement opens the way to face the pandemic with the development of new diagnostic tests, new methods of disinfection against the virus and testing drugs that could be useful in patients.
  • EAFIT University: Bio-based nutraceuticals to strengthen the immune system against SARS-COV2.
  • UPB: Provision of the facilities of the Bolivarian University Clinic for testing a Robot created by SENA with capabilities to care for patients infected with COVID-19.
  • UPB: Doctors, bacteriologists and infectologists are making progress in the study of the behavior of the coronavirus in people with cytokine storm syndrome (CTS), an immune reaction that intensifies the symptoms associated with the disease and, therefore, should be treated in the units intensive care - ICU.

Nanotechnology:

  • EAFIT University: Pilot-scale development of a nanofiber-based filtration membrane for the management of patients with acute respirable infections - COVID-19.
  • UPB: It worked from nanotechnology to offer N95-type masks improved with antiviral agents.

Data science:

  • EAFIT University: feasibility and validation of the application of artificial intelligence models for the detection of pneumonia in radiology services of third and fourth level hospitals in Medellín.
  • EAFIT University: web platform for data collection, visualization, analysis, prediction and evaluation of control strategies for the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 through mathematical modeling tools and artificial intelligence.
  • EAFIT University: development and evaluation of mathematical and epidemiological models that support decision-making in response to the SARS-CoV-2 emergency and other causative agents of ARI in Colombia using Data Analytics and Machine Learning.
  • EAFIT University: implementation of a cohesive cybermanufacturing platform for the rapid articulation of parts supply chains, in rapid developments of medical devices.
  • EAFIT University: ChatBot for triage. Artificial intelligence platform to guide people when they suspect or consider they are infected, and provide remote patient assessment and counseling. It is currently in the implementation phase in the Way Medicals application.
  • EAFIT University: Coronamonitor. A virtual platform to collect information that can help, for example, the authorities make more effective decisions in the current contingency. Among the tools it helps to build are maps with georeferencing of cases to identify prevention and care routes.
  • UNAL Medellín: Development of mathematical epidemiological, economic and transport models to measure impacts on the economy due to the epidemic and quarantines.

Engineering:

  • EIA University: a functional prototype of a mechanical ventilator was built in the institution's laboratories and awaits the medical validation that authorizes its application in patients, which could save many lives of people affected by COVID-19.
  • National University: the Laboratory of Mechanical Design of the Faculty of Mines, through 3D printing, will produce face protection masks for medical personnel. These elements were endorsed by the medical personnel of the hospitals that receive them. In addition, they received international resources to donate 9,000 face shields to health personnel in Colombia and Ecuador.
  • UPB: in alliance with actors from the electricity sector (XM, ISA), the University proposes initiatives to respond in a timely manner to the emergency caused by COVID 19 and maintain the system without failures.
  • UPB: students from the Faculty of Electrical and Electronic Engineering created the CompraLocal project, an initiative that seeks to reduce the economic impact that COVID-19 generates in the commercial sector during Mandatory Preventive Isolation through the optimization of information and location for addresses, purchases and identification of stores and supermarkets.
  • UPB: students from the Faculty of Aeronautical Engineering designed aircraft in virtual mode. These designs range from supersonic speed, stealth drones, to commercial air transport. One of these is the ANK-400 aircraft that has air and water disinfection units based on UVC LED technology, which make it an aircraft to face the possible conditions faced by the post-coronavirus aeronautical sector.

Virtual education:

  • CES University: virtual education program on COVID-19 aimed at health professionals in which 20,000 people are currently trained. Project developed with the Ministry of Health of the municipality of Medellín.
  • Universidad de Medellín: initiative that consisted of assisting and equipping members of the university community with computers and even internet connection, taking each team to the door of their homes and assigning those who require it, web connectivity plans sponsored by the entity.
  • University of Medellín: transmedia solutions. The Faculty of Communication of the University of Medellín builds communicational references to restore social and political trust violated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • UPB: the team of researchers from the UPB's Digital Content Ecosystem for Apps in Urabá project has been working with teachers from the municipalities of Apartadó, Necoclí and Carepa, training them in the appropriation of mobile devices and microlearning to face this contingency.

Design / bioengineering:

  • CES University: Production of R60-P6 suits for health care personnel. Project developed with Crystal and the Packaging Company. Under the support of Seguros Sura.
  • CES University: Production of facial mask as an element of personal projection. Project developed with Grupo Familia, HGM-CES-EIA co-creation laboratory, Sura, Faculty of Engineering of the CES University, Henao Ltda.
  • CES University: Production of spray booths, sinks and portable devices as elements for the protection of construction and infrastructure personnel.
  • EIA University: EIA University and the collective "Do to Save" build face protection masks, implements to protect the lives of health workers. It is a kind of headband that health personnel install around the head and hold a transparent plastic sheet that descends from the forehead and covers the entire face.
  • EAFIT University: Anticovid19 Functional System: Cabin with ultraviolet rays for the safe disinfection of people in conjunction with the CES University School of Medicine.
  • Universidad de Medellín: Researchers from the University of Medellín, in alliance with the company Tetrapack and Proplanet, have developed an ecological stretcher made from polyaluminum containers, the traditional boxes in which they pack products such as juices, etc.
  • University of Medellín: modular tents. The University of Medellín released the patent Modular Space Coverage System to the regional government to address the contingency against COVID-19. It is a flexible and easy-to-install solution for covering spaces in camps and temporary facilities that integrates self-generation and storage from renewable energy sources.
  • National University: Design, manufacture and validation of a depressurized chamber / stretcher for the isolation of patients infected with the COVID-19 virus. 40 isolation chambers with their respective stretchers for the transfer of patients with COVID-19, whose objective is to avoid contagion to medical and ambulance personnel.
  • National University: together with La Colegiatura, a characterization laboratory for audiovisual media El Muñequero and Fabricato - in the development of biomedical suits with durability characteristics to protect medical personnel who treat patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19 in different health centers in Medellín . The tests were carried out at Hospital La María.
  • EAFIT University: Development of ultrasonic humidifying technologies for natural products - water atomizer, and natural products to clean the Lungs of COVID-19.
  • UNAL Medellín: design and manufacture of an infrared thermometer to monitor COVID-19 symptoms.

Epidemiology:

  • CES University: 56 epidemiologists from the Faculty of Medicine and the Graduate School of the CES University carry out epidemiological surveillance of COVID-19 in the municipalities of the department of Antioquia. In this process, they provide advice and follow-up to the cases registered with the support of the Secretary of Health of the Government of Antioquia.
  • EAFIT University: Support monitoring system for the early detection of areas with high risk of spread of ARI and COVID-19. Support monitoring system for monitoring compliance with mandatory preventive isolation.
  • UPB: Researchers from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, in conjunction with officials from the Medellín Health Secretariat and other universities, review modeling scenarios weekly to adjust the city's actions and plans.
  • UNAL Medellín: received resources from the Mincienciatón call to carry out, in conjunction with the National Institute of Health, a study of blood tests in 11 cities of the country to know the immune response of Colombians to COVID-19 infection.

Joint initiatives:

  • Low-cost video laryngoscope: It is a device for tubing critical patients and that reduces contagion for medical personnel. Researchers from EAFIT, CES University and the Pablo Tobón Uribe Hospital participate in this initiative, and it has the support of Postobón (for the donation of the cameras, the main input of the device), and of Leonisa.
  • Regional Laboratory Network that currently seeks to develop strategies for the advancement of research with the social impact of COVID-19.
  • Molecular epidemiology of the circulation of the Coronavirus family in domestic pets and wildlife in the department of Antioquia. With this, it seeks to demonstrate the importance of veterinary public health, in the epidemiological surveillance of pathogens, emerging and re-emerging.
  • The Research Group in Bioinstrumentation and Clinical Engineering –GIBIC– of the Faculty of Engineering of the U. de A., participates with Industrias Médicas Sampedro and Universidad EIA in the development of prototypes for mechanical ventilation.
  • Based on the Chinese hospital built in record time, researchers from the universities of Antioquia and Nacional de Colombia designed a modular system with all the characteristics of intensive care units (ICU).
  • The Co-creation Laboratory for Innovation in Health (public-private alliance between the General Hospital of Medellín, the EIA University and the CES University), through alliances with companies from different sectors and the support of different professionals, advances in agile development and appropriate personal protection elements (PPE) that help address health challenges.
  • Students from the Pontificia Bolivariana and Nacional de Colombia universities, Medellín headquarters, were selected as the only Latin American group awaiting the final results of the CoVent-19 Challenge, a new call in which they seek to obtain the necessary resources to materialize their design.
  • Investigative Alliance to analyze the economic and social effects of the Covid-19 crisis in Antioquia. Reports are published as a result of the alliance between the Mayor's Office of Medellín, the Government of Antioquia, EAFIT, the National University of Colombia (Medellín headquarters), the EIA University, the Medellín Chamber of Commerce for Antioquia and Proantioquia.

From other disciplines:

  • CES University: Production of glycerinated alcohol by the Center for Pharmaceutical Science and Research -CECIF- to supply hospitals.
  • CES University: Participation in the study Viability and validation of the application of artificial intelligence models for the detection of pneumonia in the radiology services of hospitals of 3 and 4 level of Medellín. The project executors are the EAFIT University-CES University.
  • Universidad de Medellín: Under the name of Post-Crisis Economy and Humanity (8 editions), a series of analyzes have been carried out of the various sectors of the economy, the effects of companies, the consequences and challenges of human resources administrators as responsible for the economic recovery of companies and the impact of the economic crisis on non-operating sectors for health reasons such as tourism.
  • CES University: Participation of the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Center in the preclinical test with animal species of the respirators produced by Ruta N for humans.
  • CES University: Manufacturing Essential Medical Devices Unavailable. HolaDr virtual platform, model of care, assistance and monitoring of patients with covid-19 in alliance with Suramericana.
  • UNAL Medellín: El Semillero PREXIA advises small and medium-sized companies on strategies to cope with the crisis.

Social support:

  • CES University: Social Project Ties that bring hope. Economic and food support to more than 900 families of the itinerant innkeepers in the center of Medellín.
  • CES University: Social Project They need us too. Initiative that contemplates feeding support to nearly 3,000 street and vulnerable animals in the municipalities of the Aburrá Valley.
  • Universidad de Medellín: ecohuerta donates its production to families with food needs. The harvest of the Ecohuerta of the University of Medellín had a different destination: Products delivered to at least 300 families, thanks to the collaboration of the National Police and the accompaniment of community leaders.
  • Universidad Nacional headquarters Medellín: allocated three buses to transport administrative and health personnel in hospitals such as General de Medellín and La María. Each vehicle mobilizes about 40 people on each of the five tours they take per day.

By:
G8 University Group - Antioquia

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