The Pulse: July 27, 2022

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  • 27°C: A mix of sun and cloud. High 27. Humidex 30. UV index 7 or high. (forecast)
  • 7pm: The Edmonton Stingers will play the Ottawa BlackJacks. (details)
  • Pink/Orange/Yellow: The High Level Bridge will be lit pink, orange, and yellow for K-Days. (details)

A technician holds a device on a baby's hip joint and looks at an ultrasound image

Medical imaging company Medo acquired by California's Exo

By Brett McKay

Medo, an Edmonton-based medical AI innovator, is being acquired by Exo, an American health information and medical device company interested in making ultrasound imaging faster and simpler so that a wider range of caregivers can use it.

"Exo's powerful hardware and workflow technologies and Medo's AI will dramatically reduce the challenges that have long held back the widespread adoption of point-of-care ultrasound," Medo co-founder and CEO Dornoosh Zonoobi said in a release. "The ease of imaging and immediacy of diagnostic information we provide will radically transform medical care, creating a world where caregivers can image the body as easily as snapping a photo on a smartphone."

She did not disclose the terms of the acquisition when she shared the news on LinkedIn, but she said Medo and Exo have a shared vision of simple, reliable, and accessible medical imaging, and that their combined expertise will further drive point-of-care ultrasound adoption.

Medo's AI algorithm automates image acquisition and interpretation, aiding those without specialized training in performing accurate exams and diagnosing common or critical conditions. Trained on a library of millions of ultrasound images and longitudinal data, the AI processes and selects images that are best suited for calculating standard measurements, and has shown to be reliable in the diagnosis of hip dysplasia and thyroid conditions.

Incorporating this technology into Exo's platform will increase early detection and treatment, said Sandeep Akkaraju, CEO and founder of Exo, which is based in Redwood City, California.

"We believe this is going to really change healthcare in a significant manner," Akkaraju told the San Francisco Examiner. "This is something that is going to be in the pockets of caregivers everywhere."

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By Kevin Holowack and Mack Male

  • Pope Francis delivered an open-air mass at Commonwealth Stadium to a crowd of about 40,000 people on the morning of July 26 — rather 65,000 as expected — before continuing to Lac Ste. Anne to take part in the annual pilgrimage. His homily focused on honouring parents and elders and ensuring "a future in which the history of violence and marginalization suffered by our Indigenous brothers and sisters is never repeated." Murray Sinclair, former chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, criticized shortcomings in the Pope's apology the day before, which he sees as blaming "bad actors" rather than recognizing "a concerted institutional effort to remove children from their families and cultures, all in the name of Christian supremacy."
  • Sections of the QEII Highway will be under rolling closures on the morning of July 27 as the Pope's motorcade departs to the Edmonton International Airport for a 9am flight to Quebec City.
  • TransPod, the Toronto-based company that wants to build a high-speed cargo and passenger line between Edmonton and Calgary, unveiled a new hybrid vehicle called the FluxJet that it will operate on the proposed line in Alberta. Last March, the company secured US$550 million to finance infrastructure for the project, which a feasibility study said will be in the test-track construction phase from 2023-2027.
  • On the morning of July 25, the Monday Morning Magic event at K-Days provided special needs children access to the festival without the crowds. The inclusive event has been running for more than 40 years and drew around 500 kids this time around.
  • The Edmonton Oilers have re-signed Jesse Puljujarvi for a one-year $3-million contract. The 24-year-old forward scored 36 points over 65 games this past season, a career-high.
  • The Health Sciences Association of Alberta said that 85% of its members have approved a deal with Alberta Health Services that could see pay increases of 4.25% over four years. The AHS board will vote on the deal on July 28.
A semi truck with the banner "oversize load" on the front drives past sensor equipment at an inspection station along a highway

Clean Air Strategic Alliance aims to find out what trucks are emitting

By Dustin Scott

Machines will be shooting beams of light through the exhaust plumes of heavy-duty trucks along Alberta highways this summer to measure emissions, gathering the last bits of data needed for a report on how to reduce the environmental impact of the transportation sector.

The Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA) is working with Opus to collect the data as part of its Roadside Optical Vehicle Emissions Reporter III (ROVER III) project. After measuring emissions from light-duty vehicles in 2020 and 2021, the study is now turning its attention to big trucks, mostly diesel-fuelled ones, to reveal how much black carbon, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds the trucks are emitting.

The remote sensing technology from Opus, which will be set up at commercial vehicle inspection stations, shines beams of ultraviolet and infrared light across the road. "The amount of specific wavelengths of light absorbed by the pollutant in the vehicle's exhaust and evaporative emissions is recorded, and those readings enable us to determine the concentrations of pollutants present," Opus explains.

The technology also collects the year, model, make, fuel type, gross weight, registration postal code (first three digits only), registration type (class), and body style of each vehicle. But no one will get in trouble for what the sensors find.

"We are collecting no personally identifiable information ... and this will never be used for enforcement in terms of particular individuals," said Andre Asselin, executive director of CASA.

Rather, the data will be added to more than 60,000 data points collected so far to inform a report that is due in 2023. "It will come with complete recommendations on how we can collectively reduce the impacts of the transportation sector on human health and environmental health," Asselin said.

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A newspaper clipping of a story with the headline "City hunts for artifacts"

A moment in history: July 27, 1968

By Scott Lilwall

On this day in 1968, the hunt was on for artifacts from early Edmonton for the opening of Fort Edmonton Park.

Fort Edmonton wasn't actually a single location or structure. The Hudson's Bay Company built Edmonton House in 1795, on the north side of the North Saskatchewan River. Over the next half-century, it would be moved almost half a dozen times, often due to flooding. It wasn't until the 1840s that the fort found its final location, just south of where the Alberta legislature now stands.

The fur trade began to decline throughout the latter half of the 1800s, and so did the usefulness of the fort. Hudson's Bay eventually pulled out; the fort served as a warehouse for a time before it was abandoned and left to rot. While there was a push to restore and preserve the structure, it was eventually torn down in 1915.

It would be another 50 years before another serious effort began to restore Fort Edmonton, this time by the Rotary Club of Edmonton. The idea soon gained substantial support, and calls went out to build a collection of artifacts for the new museum. In 1969, construction began on a replica of the fort as it was in 1846, down to the exact measurements. (There was, in fact, one major change: as the original Fort Edmonton was on the north side of North Saskatchewan and the replica was on the south, the layout had to be mirrored to keep the gates pointed towards the river.)

The original master plan for Fort Edmonton Park called for 10 sections showcasing different eras in the city's history. The park opened with a few areas in progress, hoping to add many more. However, the plan proved overly ambitious, and Fort Edmonton Park now has four "streets" representing life in 1846, 1885, 1905, and 1920. Aside from the objects collected, the Fort also houses some actual buildings from the city's history, such as the original McDougall Church and the first home for Alberta's first newspaper.

For much of its existence, the park mainly focused on one specific part of Edmonton's story: the settler side. While Edmonton might have started with the construction of a fort in 1795, the Indigenous history in the region goes back thousands of years. That history, as well as how the arrival of settlers affected the people who were already here, was largely ignored, as were Indigenous contributions to the city's continued development.

A slow shift, both in Fort Edmonton Park and the broader world of historical research, has brought more attention to Indigenous voices and histories. In 2018, as part of a three-year renovation project, the park started construction on its Indigenous Peoples Experience, which was developed in partnership with First Nations and Métis people. The permanent exhibit opened in 2021, featuring documents, artwork, Indigenous interpreters, and the sounds of Cree, Dene, Anishinaabe, Nakota, Blackfoot, and Michif. It has since received accolades.

This is based on a clipping found on Vintage Edmonton, a daily look at Edmonton's history from armchair archivist @revRecluse — follow @VintageEdmonton for daily ephemera via Twitter.