A shift in the direction of the global flow of innovation has been realized as the State of Qatar exports new, homegrown technologies internationally. One such technology, a wireless information transfer platform known as RASAD is now deployed by the City of Rome through studies aimed at addressing prevalent health concerns in the capital.. The application of RASAD was demonstrated during a presentation at the Campidoglio in Rome yesterday, which was attended by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF).
RASAD is a direct realization of Her Highness’ vision to develop innovative technologies in Qatar that would not only benefit the country, but also be shared with the region and the world.
“To see for myself how our “Made in Qatar” technology is being used in Italy is a very important moment for me,” said Her Highness. “It shows how our long-term investment for Qatar in science and technology is starting to bear fruit. We have a vision to make our name on the global map of research and science, and to share our innovations with the rest of the world. And I am proud that QSTP is collaborating with top Italian institutions on this.”
RASAD is an ICT platform developed and owned by Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) and ASPETAR. It enables real time remote monitoring using wireless sensors, and is the first technology developed in Qatar outside the energy sector to be commercialized and exported. In 2011, the Rome City Council adopted RASAD to assist in studying health patterns in Rome with an eye towards developing better monitoring and prevention methods. The RASAD platform is currently in operation in Al Ahli Hospital and ASPETAR in Qatar where subjects are being monitored for cardiovascular and lifestyle studies respectively.
RASAD allows doctors and caregivers the ability to remotely monitor and respond to patients with diabetes and hypertension, and also has applications for keeping tabs on children’s physical activity to help encourage the adoption of healthy lifestyle choices that could potentially prevent obesity and diabetes from developing in the early years. These applications are significant.
Dr. Tidu Maini, Science and Technology Advisor and QSTP’s Chairman, said at the event in Rome, “RASAD is proving to be an essential tool to monitor the health status of both children and adults. Seeing the impact of RASAD’s use outside Doha makes us all proud - it cements Qatar’s position as a technology and innovation provider and puts us another step closer towards realizing the country’s National Vision.”
With advanced technology increasingly forming an integral part of healthcare systems across the world, practitioners from Italy and Qatar updated Her Highness Sheikha Moza on the extensive benefits that both patients and medical practitioners have gained from RASAD.
“The application of information technology and communications in medicine encourages the building of an inclusive and innovative health strategy,” said Luciano De Biase, Associate Professor of Cardiology and Vice Dean for Medical Education at the Faculty of Medicine and Psychology at University of Rome La Sapienza. “Telemedicine and telecare services contribute to improving the quality of care, prevent risk factors and contribute to the overall reduction of healthcare costs.”
The collaboration between the city of Rome, QSTP and researchers at University of Rome La Sapienza is enabling different studies on the prevalent health concerns of the citizens of Rome. RASAD is being used in several current studies investigating obesity in children, non-drug therapy in diabetics, the ideal sport for maintaining cardiovascular health and risk factors for metabolic disease in Rome City Council’s homes for the elderly.
Under the contract with the Rome City Council, the analysis of the data from the study is being carried out by Sant’Andrea Hospital, the teaching hospital for the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Rome La Sapienza. The outcome of this study will facilitate better monitoring and prevention of lifestyle-related healthcare problems such as cardiovascular diseases, a leading cause of death across the world.
H.E. Dott. Enrico Cavallari, the Minister for Technology and IT Networks in Rome, said, “Today we have seen for ourselves how technology can be used to improve the lifestyle of elderly people, athletes and children with the tools of preventive medicine at the service of our community. The partnership with QSTP has allowed a trial study, and in the coming months we will be able to disseminate the results tested in the areas identified.”
RASAD’s ability to monitor multiple physiological variables makes it an ideal technology to serve a variety of commercial applications from sport and fitness to monitoring safety at work in extreme environments and pilot fatigue.
Both Qatar and Italy stressed the mutual benefits of building upon a relationship that began in May 2011 between QSTP, and Rome City Council. Endeavors such as RASAD will only serve to deepen the existing and growing relations between the two forward-thinking countries.