DFP Cohort 5 Projects Announced!


Photo of UBC campus

This year we have our largest DFP cohort yet, with 27 students representing 11 departments (CS, OSOT, iSchool, MECH, ECE, Rehab, SSPH, Psychology, Biomed Eng, Curriculum & Pedagogy, and Civil Eng)! Laura Ballay and Antony Hodgson, this year's CPSC 554K instructors, met with cohort 5 twice last term, once for a CREATE Information Session and again for a Project Kick-Off. The students have formed 6 teams that will tackle various design problems, with the help of several core DFP faculty members and external partners. 

Digital Phenotypes

Project Brief: The NRC is developing an application for use in a seven-year program to understand how to quantify risk factors for dementia and related behavioral markers. The application would be used by older adults to collect phone usage and wearable sensor data, questionnaires, and supply interventions. Moreover, it would ideally support many aspects of the user’s involvement in the research, e.g. their onboarding, continuing use, and help improve engagement. The students will analyze NRC’s goals and the application it has selected for customization, then demonstrate modifications that could increase the usability of the tool.

Partner: Dr. Jordan Hovdebo
Francis Kobekyaa (Nursing)
Muyi Iyamu (SSPH)
Mui Tanprasert (CS)
Daniel Arauz Nunez (iSchool)

Inclusive Conferences

Project Brief: Our goals are to complete the work in both content and structure so that the website is accessible to all members of the UBC community and that it is professionally designed to ensure accessibility, aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate and most importantly provide a platform with tools to evaluate change. We also need a dynamic communication strategy to inform all members of the UBC community about this initiative.

Partners: Dr. Greg Martin; Dr. Naznin Virji-Babul
Ariel Lee (iSchool)
Chunjin Song (CS)
Mara Solen (CS)
Tyrone Scales (OSOT)


Project Brief: Auscultation is when physicians listen to individuals’ segments of the body with a stethoscope. In the chest and back areas, doctors listen to mechanically-enhanced respiratory and heart sounds, for clues that help them diagnose and monitor many different respiratory and cardiac conditions. RADAR seeks to enable self-digital-auscultation wherein we simplify the procedure to the point that a patient can perform a “good” data collection on themselves, or with the assistance of a non-expert in their home, e.g. a family member or home care provider. The locally verified data can then be sent by secure link to be added to the patient’s record and reviewed by a clinician, as a singular event or part of a time series. The key deliverable from the team is an implementable process that considers patients’ sensitivities and abilities.

Partners: Dr. Kendall Ho; Dr. Karon MacLean
Devyani McLaren (CS)
Kevin Gilmore (Biomedical Engineering)
Parinaz Ranjbaran (MECH)
Sahar Sattari (Biomedical Engineering)
Xincheng Huang (CS)

Synchronous Exams

Project Brief: The move to online examinations has created significant problems for 3 main stakeholders: the students, the instructors, and the administration. For students, the online exam experience has added anxiety and stress to an already stressful experience. Furthermore, universities adopting online proctoring have compounded the problem with the feeling of “being watched”. For instructors, trying to maintain academic integrity has been impossible because they lack the adequate digital tools for hybrid learning. For administrators, the number of ethics review cases have skyrocketed. EXAMIND’s software uses research-backed methods to ensure academic integrity without compromising privacy or mental health.
The problem we would like to investigate is the pre-examination experience, specifically as it relates to synchronous digital exams. Our research indicates that “peak stress” happens the moment before a student’s exam begins. The key deliverable from the team is to design a waiting room experience that reduces stress and anxiety so that students can be set up for success and perform at their best during a digital exam.

Partner: Gonzalo Tudela
Charlie Fokkens (iSchool)
Elise Shen (CS)
Elizabeth Reid (CS)
Jianhao Cao (CS)
Sang Yun Kwon (iSchool)

Tracking Infusion Pumps

Project Brief: The Alaris infusion pumps are the most common medical devices that LMBME supports (LMBME maintains over 18,000 pumps, which corresponds to ~17% of all devices supported by LMBME). Clinical staff uses these pumps to deliver medications and fluids intravenously to patients. Every hospital in the Lower Mainland has its own fleet of pumps, and the pumps are shared between the units in each hospital (mobile devices). Data analyses suggest that most Lower Mainland hospitals have pump utilization rates (pumps in use vs. inventory counts) lower than 50%. Despite these relatively low utilization rates, there are a number of challenges associated with the management of the fleet of infusion pumps. Ideally, clinical staff should be able to find clean pumps for utilization within a couple of minutes, all stakeholders should be able to track PAR levels remotely (in clean and
soiled utility rooms in a hospital), and Biomed should be able to locate specific pumps as needed (within a hospital or when moved to another site).

Partner: Alice Casagrande Cesconetto
Melissa Yu (Biomedical Engineering)
Najme Hashempour (Civil Engineering)
Yaman Sanobar (CS)
Yifan Liu (iSchool)

Virtual Trauma Bay

Project Brief: The trauma bay at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) is the first point of contact for the most critically injured patients and is where these patients are resuscitated and stabilized for definitive treatment by trauma surgeons. Since the development of trauma bays, in-hospital mortality rates
have fallen. VGH trauma teams are ready to start working as soon as the patient arrives. However, injuries occur across the massive geography of BC and the adjacent Territories. Access to trauma care in rural and remote British Columbia is a particular concern given the prevalence of resource-based industrial employment, the incidence of transportation-related injuries, compounded with the need to transport these patients long distances across the province to a trauma centre. Survival from injury is related to the distance from a trauma centre. The provincial Ministry of Health responsible for the care of injured patients, Trauma Services BC and Rural Trauma BC, has expressed a need for the development of a better system. Can we create a Virtual Trauma Bay that leverages telementoring (traditional and VR enabled), real-time clinical data platforms, and seamless communication systems to move
definitive trauma care closer to the scene of the injury, and provide improved logistics utilizing clinical and asset/resource data to improve efficiency, reduce deaths and the cost of care?

Partners: Dr. Harvey Hawes; Dr. Morad Hameed; Dr. David Evans; Sahar Zandi Nia
Amit Ghimire (CS)
Candy Tran (Nursing)
Grayson Mullen (Psychology)
Maria Jose Bonta (Biomedical Engineering)


NSERC logo

We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
Cette recherche a été financée par le Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada (CRSNG).