Our Projects: AI_PREMie, COVID COCOON and AI_PredictMS

 

Preeclamptic toxaemia (PET) (defined as new hypertension presenting after 20 weeks with significant proteinuria) is a serious complication affecting one in every 10 pregnancies. Annually, PET claims the lives of 50,000 mothers and 500,000 babies, making it one of the world’s deadliest pregnancy complications. At present, birth of the baby is the only treatment and safest for the mother. Pre-term, delivery is associated with a significant risk of long-term neurodevelopmental infant morbidity and mortality, and accounts for a huge proportion of admissions to neonatal ICU.

Even a minor improvement in gestation at delivery would confer a significant infant survival benefit, such that every day in utero counts. Accurate risk stratification would also reduce the enormous competing risks for mothers and babies, facilitating early intervention before severe complications have occurred. Therefore, there is an urgent, unmet challenge to develop accurate risk stratification tools for PET.

AI_PREMie utilised intricate know-how and state of the art mass spectrometry to uncover novel biomarkers for preeclampsia. Now AI_PREMie is collaborating with UCD AI Healthcare Hub to create and deploy powerful risk stratification tools to diagnose and determine the severity of preeclampsia, that will revolutionise preeclampsia care in Ireland and globally. 

 

In the news: AI_PREMie covered in the Irish Daily Mail, May 19, 2020. 

Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 has to date affected over 100 million globally since its outbreak in December 2019 and resulted in over 2 million deaths. Additionally, new reports are coming in that the long-term effects of COVID-19 infection can be far worse than anticipated and can include psychosis, insomnia, kidney disease and cardiovascular issues. 

The Cocoon Study is an international project which will examine blood coagulation in COVID-19 patients and its interplay with inflammation. Using advanced artificial intelligence and genomics technologies, the project will deliver enhanced thrombotic prevention strategies and a rapid diagnostic platform for personalised risk assessment. The study aims to address urgent clinical dilemmas and to develop novel solutions for existing diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. COVID COCOON is collaborating with UCD AI Healthcare Hub to answer pressing questions about thrombosis in COVID-19. Additionally, COVID COCOON and AI Healthcare Hub are using standard clinical parameters to predict severity and the need for critical care in COVID-19 patients at the time of positive swab. 



Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory and neurodegenerative condition that remains the most common cause of non-traumatic disability in young adults. 9000 Irish people are currently living with MS and their individual disease progression is highly variable. Clinically predicting the course of the disease remains a huge challenge and biomarkers are urgently required to help in this effort.

ConwaySPHERE research group have utilised the ability of platelets to store the secrets of health and disease to uncover novel biomarkers for MS. Based on these, Conway SPHERE and AI Healthcare Hub have created a prototype risk stratification solution AI_PredictMS (Artificial Intelligence to Predict the future in Multiple Sclerosis) an affordable clinical tool based on blood-borne markers to track the progression of multiple sclerosis over time. In a recent trial this solution has shown the ability differentiate between people with milder and people with more debilitating forms of multiple sclerosis with 97% accuracy. This work has secured the 2020 UCD AbbVie Innovation Award for the ConwaySPHERE.