KITE teams with India on smart fabrics
March 10, 2021
TORONTO and BANGALORE, India – Technology services firm Vee Technologies and Sona Group of educational institutions have forged an agreement with Toronto-based University Health Network, Canada to collaborate on a multi-institution research and commercialization effort to develop smart fabric-based wearables. The objective is to improve the lives of people living with health-related challenges.
The collaboration agreement seeks to contribute to FIBRE, a research initiative that will be fuelled by the UHN hospital network, 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 on FIBRE’s goal.
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.
The University Health Network (UHN) is a public research and teaching hospital fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. 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.
As part of this agreement, Bengaluru and New York co-headquartered Vee Technologies will make significant cash contributions to the current and future research projects to be undertaken by the collaborating institutions, universities and hospitals in Canada. Vee Technologies and Sona group of institutions will be the only partners outside North America.
The Salem-based Sona Group of education institutions – 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 through their faculty, laboratories and facilities.
An agreement to this effect was signed by Dr. Bradly G. Wouters (pictured on left), executive vice president, science and research, University Health Network and Dr. Milos R. Popovic (pictured on right), director, The KITE Research Institute, and Sona College of Technology chairman and Vee Technologies CEO Mr. Chocko Valliappa in the presence of Counsel General of India in Toronto, Ms. Apoorva Srivastava.
Speaking at the agreement inking ceremony Mr. Valliappa said, “We at the Sona group of institutions proudly commit the best scientific brains 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 the big beneficiaries.”
Dr. Wouters said 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.
“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 team science approach to solving today’s greatest health issues and a key element of UHN’s research strategy,” said Dr. Wouters.
“The health benefits are far-reaching and will serve to help individuals experiencing chronic illness, aging as well as those living with disabilities.”
Ms. Srivastava hoped that 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 across the world. She added that the arrival of ‘Made in India’ Covid vaccines in Canada marked a new milestone in healthcare partnership between the two countries.
Dr. Popovic, who leads the FIBRE research team at The KITE Research Institute, said the 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 fibre 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 multi-million-dollar investment and the best brains to the initiative,” said Mr. 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.
About Vee Technologies
The Bangalore, and New York co-headquartered Vee Technologies provides IT services to over 150 hospitals in the US, including six of the Top 20, handling their clinical coding and revenue cycle management in addition to providing e-learning and e-governance solutions. Healthcare is the firm’s biggest offering with 3,000 of its 5,000 employees engaged in healthcare analytics. For more information, visit www.veetechnologies.com.
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. For more information, visit www.sonatech.ac.in and www.tpt.edu.in.
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. For more information, visit www.uhn.ca.