Lifesaving SA innovation

Posted in rrfyekym on December 19th, 2019

first_img11 August 2005A South African device originally designed to detect the theft of diamonds by mineworkers is saving the lives of critically injured patients around the world.Taking just 13 seconds to provide a full-body x-ray, the Lodox Statscan saves time during the vital “golden hour.”“It is an innovation designed in South Africa, for South Africa,” says Lodox product manager Rodney Sandwith.Sandwith received the Chairperson’s Award for the Statscan at the SABS Disa Design Institute Awards in May – the most recent in a succession of awards since the product was first unveiled in 2003.The Statscan is able to provide scans of both bone and soft tissue, useful in the diagnosis of a wide range of traumatic injuries. The full body overview means injuries can be quickly identified.“We can use it to make high quality x-rays of the entire body or just a hand. It represents the safest choice for doctors before deciding to use expensive high-dose CT or other scans,” says Sandwith.This versatility gives the scanner an edge over many other imaging technologies. The open design of the device also means that medical personnel have access to critically injured patients at all times during scanning.The images are digital, so they can be transferred across the hospital’s computer network, rotated and manipulated without any loss of quality. There is also no need for x-ray film or cartridges, dramatically reducing operating costs.A study conducted at the trauma unit at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town over more than two years found that the Statscan offered significant improvements in patient handling, reducing the time required to complete a diagnostic examination from 48 to five minutes.The same study also showed that both patients and medical staff were exposed to significantly lower radiation doses compared to conventional x-ray devices.The technology at the core of the Statscan was developed for security purposes for De Beers’ diamond mines. When the humanitarian possibilities of the scanner became apparent, De Beers became one of the primary investors in the Lodox consortium.The other primary backers are the Industrial Development Corporation and emergency services provider Netcare.The company has recently been awarded a contract to supply the Sudanese government with four Statscans at a total cost of US$1.2-million.The Statscan is already in use in 10 US hospitals, and has received full approval from the US Food and Drug Administration.“It is a state-of-the-art, lifesaving medical system,” says Sandwith. “A technology all South Africans can be proud of.” reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Durban to host Volvo Golf Champions

Posted in uecgexfa on December 18th, 2019

first_img17 October 2013The fourth edition of the prestigious Volvo Golf Champions will be held at the Durban Country Club for a second year in succession from 9 to 12 January 2014.The event is open only to players who have won on the European Tour in the last year, or who have 10 or more European Tour victories to their name.South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen is the defending champion after a one-shot victory over Scotland’s Scott Jamieson in January of this year.In 2012, fellow South African Branden Grace, after qualifying for the Volvo Golf Champions only a week before the tournament on The Links at Fancourt, won the event on his way to capturing a stunning four European Tour titles that year.Volvo World Golf ChallengeThe same week as the 2014 tournament takes place, the World Final of the Volvo World Golf Challenge – Volvo’s global tournament for customers – will be contested in Durban.The top finishers from the World Final will get a chance to play with the stars of The European Tour on the Friday of the Volvo Golf Champions, live on television, in front of a worldwide audience of millions.Commenting on the venue in a statement on Wednesday, Per Ericsson, President of Volvo Event Management, said: “Durban Country Club offers a fantastic stage for the European Tour’s 2013 winners to challenge at the season-opening event.“We are very happy to be partnering with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government, the Department for Sport and Recreation and the Department for Tourism again.”‘A fantastic place’Guy Kinnings, the Global Head of Golf, IMG, the tournament’s co-owners, said: “KwaZulu-Natal Province is a fantastic place to kick off the year and, having received no end of positive feedback from the players about their experiences during the Volvo Golf Champions this year, I know all the players will be delighted by this announcement, which will showcase South Africa to a global audience over the four days of the Championship.“This is the third time we have played the Volvo Golf Champions in South Africa, demonstrating the strength of golf in South Africa, which is testament to the great work done by the Sunshine Tour, both on their national Tour and in partnership with the European Tour.”George O’Grady, the CEO of The European Tour, said: “We are delighted that our ‘Tournament of Champions’ will return to the Durban Country Club in January.“We are also very thankful for the support of our friends at the Sunshine Tour, who play such a crucial role in the eight tournaments we host in South Africa.”Two-prong strategyMike Mabuyakhulu, the KZN MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, said the hosting of the tournament offered a number of pluses. “The Volvo Golf Champions works perfectly with our strategy to showcase our golf tourism offering to the world, while giving our star players opportunities to compete in front of their home crowds.”Deputy Minister of Tourism, South African Government, Tokozile Xasa, added: “Through the Volvo Golf Champions, we are able to show the world the wonderful facilities we have to offer international visitors as the event is viewed by many millions around the world.“We look forward to welcoming home our South African players and to hosting the many other great Champions from the European Tour in January.”SAinfo reporter and Volvo Golf Championslast_img read more

GIS vs. Mother Nature

Posted in dnxjvxyy on December 9th, 2019

first_imgNew England is famous for three things: Competitive sports teams. Trees. And wicked bad weather (note the regional slang). The weather gets particularly bad during winter, from snow and moisture content.When I ran electric operations for a New England power company in this challenging environment, there was some good news: I employed the most hardworking, dedicated crews.The bad news was, like our Patriots, they were incredibly competitive.Why is being competitive bad news? Well, the utility company was organized by district: north, south, central, and so on. During big storms, each district would battle to see who could restore customer power the fastest. The problem was, each district hoarded its crews. So while the north district served small service drop jobs, the south struggled to repair main lines. A lot more people went without power in the south than the north.The power company could have done much more if we had known the types of work going on in each district. I could have immediately dispatched crews, for instance, from the north to south to optimize restoration to the most customers across the company. But because I didn’t have a solid situational awareness of the full restoration effort, I couldn’t. I knew the number of outages, jobs, and crews assigned. But there was no overall picture to determine the overall restoration-effort impact.Yes, my crews were competitive. That was noble. But that wasn’t enough to provide optimal restoration for the whole company.Getting Good Damage AssessmentI was in charge of power restoration, but the trick was getting a good assessment of the damage Mother Nature had caused. Since trees were absolutely everywhere, you never knew if a power failure traced back to one tree that had fallen onto a circuit or 100 trees that had taken out multiple parts of the circuit. We needed rapid, holistic damage assessment to determine how many jobs our crews had to do to fix and how long those jobs would take – in other words, how long it would take to get everyone’s lights back on.What I needed was the ArcGIS platform, but back then it didn’t exist. Now it does, and the platform lets utilities see the entire restoration effort, from beginning to end.With the platform, I would have been able to speed up the damage assessment. Back in those days – and today for many utilities – damage assessment is a slow, manual, and arduous process. It often starts with lots of people and lots forms. They traipse through the snow with pencils and paper maps. In our case, they would spend several hours gathering all this damage-assessment information. Then they would head back to our service centers, where staff organized forms and input the information into spreadsheets. The next step was trying to make sense of the data.It doesn’t need to be so hard anymore. With the ArcGIS platform, field workers today can – and are – gathering damage data on mobile devices with photos, notes, and preconfigured data drop-downs. The devices immediately transmit this information to utilities’ Emergency Operations Centers, where an executive dashboard shows in real-time all damage occurrences. Dispatchers can immediately make geographically strong crew-staffing decisions.With this, I could have ended the battle between the north and south while getting customers’ power on faster. The immediate access to visualized situational awareness would have shown where we didn’t have enough crews in the south at the very start of our damage assessment, rather than three quarters of the way through the process.The platform serves as an early information system. Utilities can see if they have enough crews to handle the outage and if those crews are in the right spots. You can use it to arrange the right number of contract crews or foreign crews from neighboring utilities right away, rather than too late. You can visualize the impact of your restoration effort in a much more dynamic way. You can even incorporate data from your Outage Management System (OMS), Automated Vehicle Locator (AVL), and SCADA system. This gives you real-time views of the situation at every step.The Calm after the Storm Restoration involves more than just getting crews out into the field and cutting away dangled wires from downed trees. It involves communication, collaboration and information sharing. This applies to first responders, shelters, politicians, media, and frenzied customers.It also involves accessing a constant stream of information about flooding, blocked streets, bridges out, traffic, and hazardous situations. I would routinely be on the phone during and after a storm, madly writing information from police and fire officials about the situation on the ground.With the platform, that information streams into my GIS dashboard right now.What better way to share storm-situation information than with a map? Perhaps the only thing better is a data-driven map with all your critical information. The ArcGIS platform provides that.That’s why modern GIS as a platform is critical for utilities. This is what it does best. It brings disparate information together so you can make decisions – decisions that lower costs, get the lights on faster, and inform people to do their jobs as fast as possible.The competition isn’t to see which district can get customer power on faster. The real tame is to get all the lights on as fast as possible.Learn how the ArcGIS platform improves your storm response at read more