UofT funds innovative research on early detection of respiratory infections

August 18, 2023

The University of Toronto’s Institute for Pandemics, in partnership with the Emerging & Pandemic Infections Consortium (EPIC), has awarded the Catalyst and Research Development Grant to a team led by Dr. Benita Hosseini, a Research Scientist at Upstream Lab. Their project, titled “Innovative Strategies for Early Detection of Acute Respiratory Infections,” aims to reshape infectious disease surveillance systems to enhance pandemic preparedness.

The study focuses on Early Warning Systems (EWS), evaluating their effectiveness and co-designing a surveillance system for respiratory infections in collaboration with Canadian primary care providers and emergency department physicians.

The research team will initially assess the evidence on EWS strategies and efficacy to develop a comprehensive summary. They will then use the findings to guide the co-design process with healthcare providers in outpatient settings, creating surveillance systems tailored for their health districts.

By collaborating with experts from different parts of Canada, the researchers will provide evidence-based foundations for implementing a system that can detect outbreaks and alert public health authorities across the country. The results of this project will not only foster collaboration but also help ensure that communities are ready for the next pandemic.

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