New know-how serving to Victoria Royals in battle in opposition to COVID-19

Off-ice happenings have overshadowed on-ice information up to now within the 2021 Western Hockey League season for the Victoria Royals.

The Royals’ scheduled video games Thursday in opposition to the Kamloops Blazers and tonight in opposition to the Kelowna Rockets have been postponed on account of a COVID-19 outbreak amongst 4 Rockets gamers and three workers members.

Team actions for the Rockets have been suspended for no less than 14 days by means of April 14, that means 9 postponed video games for Kelowna.

The Victoria (0-3) versus Kamloops recreation was to be performed in Kelowna and was postponed Thursday morning out of an abundance of warning. Kamloops was as a substitute instructed to remain residence and play Prince George because the Blazers (3-0) defeated the Cougars (1-2) by a 6-1 rely. The Kamloops- Victoria recreation in Kelowna has been rescheduled to tonight.

(There have been no identified COVID-19 participant deaths attributable to video games in organized sports activities).

Helping preserve monitor of the COVID-19 scenario within the WHL is the world’s first diagnostic synthetic intelligence app created to detect the virus. Eight WHL groups are a part of the trial, together with the Royals and Rockets. Players are being examined as soon as per week utilizing the present polymerase chain response (PCR) technique. The new Light AI diagnostic take a look at is run concurrently to the PCR testing to check for the accuracy of Light AI’s revolutionary new know-how.

The Light AI diagnostic take a look at is non-invasive. The gamers obtain the Light AI app to their smartphones and comply with the instructions that allow the telephone’s digicam operate to take a picture of the gamers’ oral cavity. The picture is robotically uploaded to Light AI’s cloud-based server, the place a synthetic intelligence algorithm analyzes it for indicators of COVID-19. Results are despatched again to the gamers, together with directions within the case of a constructive take a look at end result.

“The [system] has a high-negative predictive value,” mentioned Peter Whitehead, founder and CEO of Vancouver-based Light AI. “If showing negative, there is only a 1.4 percent chance it is positive.”

In different phrases, a detrimental take a look at is 98.6 % correct.

“It’s cool to be part of this [trial],” mentioned Royals captain Tarun Fizer.

“It’s next level stuff. Who knows where technology will take us to.”

Whitehead mentioned he has been inventing issues since he was a child in Calgary. The know-how was first supposed to establish strep throat however was repurposed to COVID-19 after the pandemic broke out. Whitehead defined why he selected the WHL as the primary setting by which to check this know-how.

“Hockey is the biggest sport in this country and we knew the WHL was opening up,” mentioned Whitehead, who added he loves the NHL’s Canucks, however that his hometown Flames will all the time have a spot in his coronary heart.

His app may go from this small WHL springboard, which incorporates the Royals, to doubtlessly huge software globally.

“There are 4.5 billion smartphones in the world with which to conduct this test and people globally could do it inexpensively within four seconds of image capture,” mentioned Whitehead, by telephone.

“We are in the process of applying for emergency usage authorization in the U.S. [Then] we would start the process of introducing it through Google, Amazon and Microsoft. What a way it would be to showcase a Canadian idea.”

Whitehead famous the implication to be used in sports activities arenas and stadiums, airports, film theatres, live performance halls and eating places is self-evident.

“We hope our trial with the WHL validates this and confirms our confidence in the use of advanced diagnostic technologies that utilize AI,” he mentioned.

Each of the 5 WHL B.C. Division groups was set to play 24 video games within the abbreviated season going down within the Kelowna and Kamloops hubs. The Royals are bubbled in a Kelowna resort and the Cougars and Vancouver Giants in Kamloops lodges. The Rockets and Blazers gamers are staying with their respective billet households in Kelowna and Kamloops.

Victoria is scheduled to play Prince George on Tuesday in Kamloops and the Giants on Wednesday in Kelowna. The league confirmed these video games will go forward as deliberate.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

© Copyright Times Colonist

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