Updates

Safe Paths: A Privacy-First Approach to Contact Tracing

Fast containment is key to halting the progression of pandemics, and rapid determination of a diagnosed patient’s locations and contact history is a vital step for communities and cities. Smartphones can aid in this process. A team led by MIT Media Lab Associate Professor Ramesh Raskar is designing and developing Safe Paths, a citizen-centric, open source, privacy-first set of digital tools and platforms to slow the spread of pandemics, like COVID-19.

Mutual Aid Resource Planner

In the aftermath of a disaster, emergency responders regularly rely on mutual aid support from neighboring towns to help response and to cover the area while recovery efforts continue. In its research on improving mutual aid partnerships, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate developed an application to help jurisdictions create better mutual aid plans.

New Mathematical Model Can More Effectively Track Epidemics

A new model developed by National Science Foundation-funded researchers at Princeton and Carnegie Mellon improves tracking of epidemics by accounting for mutations in diseases. Now the researchers are advancing their model to allow leaders to evaluate the effects of countermeasures to epidemics ¬– before they deploy them.

HHS Accepts Donations of Medicine to Strategic National Stockpile as Possible Treatments for COVID-19 Patients

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) accepted 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate donated by Sandoz, the Novartis generics and biosimilars division, and one million doses of chloroquine phosphate donated by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, for possible use in treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19 or for use in clinical trials.

NIST Releases Online Economic Decision Tool to Help Communities Plan for Disaster

Preparing a community’s buildings and infrastructure for a hurricane or earthquake can be an incredibly complicated and costly endeavor. A new online tool from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) could streamline this process and help decision makers invest in cost-effective measures to improve their community’s ability to mitigate, adapt to, and recover from hazardous events.

COVID-19 Information for the First Responder Community

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recognizes that first responders at the federal, state, and local levels are on the front lines of providing support to their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. To assist first responders in conducting activities as safely and efficiently as possible, DHS is providing links to authoritative resources to help inform and guide first responders actions.

New Geoelectric Hazard Map Shows Potential Vulnerability to High-Voltage Power Grid for Two-Thirds of the U.S.

The U.S. Geological Survey released a new report on geoelectric hazards for two-thirds of the contiguous United States, spanning from the northeast to the west coast of the nation. The research includes a map of voltages that would be induced on the national electric power grid by a geomagnetic superstorm.

bioMérieux Receives Emergency Use Authorization for BIOFIRE® COVID-19 Test

bioMérieux announced that its subsidiary, BioFire Defense, has received Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of its BIOFIRE® COVID-19 test for use in CLIA moderate and high complexity clinical laboratories to detect SARS-CoV-2. The BIOFIRE® COVID-19 test detects SARS-CoV-2 in approximately 45 minutes from a nasopharyngeal swab in transport media.

DOD Leveraging Diagnostic Platform for COVID-19 Rapid Response

The Department of Defense (DOD) leveraged an existing contract agreement with BioFire Defense LLC, to develop a rapid response diagnostic test capability to detect novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The test will be developed for use on the BioFire® FilmArray® instrument, which is used to diagnose infectious diseases in order to aid in treatment of service members.

FLIR Launches Ranger HDC MR High-Definition Mid-Range Surveillance System

FLIR Systems Inc. announced the launch of the FLIR Ranger® HDC MR, a new high-definition midrange surveillance system. The Ranger HDC MR has the ability to detect illegal activities even in degraded weather conditions, utilizing embedded analytics and image processing to reduce the cognitive workload, enabling operators to distinguish quickly between true threats and false alarms.