May 17, 2020

How the ISCO is working toward a ground-breaking cure for Parkinson's disease

ISCO
Australia
healthcare
Parkinson's disease
Admin
2 min
The ISCO trial will consist of 12 Parkinson’s patients who will be injected with neural stem cells, and then observed for one year.
In an effort to cure Parkinsons disease, Carlsbad, Calif.-based International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO) will have a world-first trial in Australia fo...

In an effort to cure Parkinson’s disease, Carlsbad, Calif.-based International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO) will have a world-first trial in Australia for an innovative stem cell therapy.

Australia was chosen to host phase one of the trial due to the nation’s high standard in clinical research as well as its culture of innovation. If the first phase is deemed successful, larger trials in the U.S., Australia and Europe will commence within the next couple years.

RELATED TOPIC: Google's New Wristband Could Treat Parkinson's and Cancer

The trial consists of 12 Parkinson’s patients who will be injected with neural stem cells, and then observed for one year. Doctors will monitor the subjects to see if they are able to boost the brain’s capacity to produce and release the chemical messenger dopamine, which is lost in Parkinson’s patients.

“Dopamine is one of the most critical neurotransmitters or chemical messengers in the brain, and the loss of this neurotransmitter is directly linked to the development of the cardinal features that include stiffness, slowness and shaking,” said Australian neurologist Dr. Andrew Evans.

RELATED TOPIC: How Canada's stem cell research breakthrough will alter medical practices

“It’s hoped that through replenishment of the dopamine through these neural stem cells, which show some capacity to differentiate into obviously dopamine producing cells in the annual models, we are hoping to restore some of the functions in patients with Parkinson’s disease.”

Parkinson’s disease affects nearly 10,000 people across the globe, with symptoms including movement restrictions, shaking, dementia and other behavioral problems. According to ISCO chief scientific officer Dr. Russell Kern, a single injection of the stem cells could generate a lifetime supply of neurons.

RELATED TOPIC: Google Australia leads charge in improving STEM studies

Successful preliminary and subsequent trials would be a revolutionary breakthrough for using stem cells to treat other diseases that cause brain degeneration, including ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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May 12, 2021

OMNI: First-ever platform to launch citizen RPA developers

RPA
Automation
Digitaltransformation
citizendeveloper
3 min
OMNI is empowering employees to become ‘citizen RPA developers’, democratising automation and other AI technologies

Robotic process automation (RPA) is the fastest growing segment of the enterprise software market due to its many benefits - from reducing manual errors to processing tasks faster. For businesses to truly benefit from this technology, RPA needs democratisation, and this is where citizen RPA development comes in. 

Gartner describes a citizen RPA developer as "a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.” This could be anyone using IT tools and technology, not limited to IT specialists. 

The work citizen RPA developers do spans from identifying automation opportunities to developing RPA architecture and solution proposals, focusing on scalability and extensibility. By deploying citizen RPA developers, organisations can enable enterprise automation and digital transformation on a much larger scale. 

This is particularly beneficial for businesses struggling to undertake digital transformation, as a citizen RPA development programme can help drive adoption of automation as a strategic growth driver at multiple levels. With increased adoption, the cost of digital transformation becomes lower, increasing RoI. 

Technology needs to be democratised – right from low-code and no-code platforms, business process modelling and identifying automation opportunities to decision-makers at all levels, creating a pool of early adopters. This group could comprise people across different functions, especially those who are aware of customer preferences, industry trends and end user experience.

But how can organisations harness the power of citizen RPA development? Step forward AiRo Digital Labs, a Chicago-headquartered global tech company. 

AiRo provides innovative digital and automation solutions for the healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. In 2021 they launched OMNI, a subscription-based, SaaS platform to help clients accelerate their citizen RPA developer program and build digital centres of excellence (COE) within their organisation. 

OMNI provides a personal RPA coach and virtual digital playground that helps enterprises rapidly build and scale automation, removing the risk of failure or talent gaps. The latter is key as research has shown that digitalisation is far more successful when championed by internal employees. 

This has the added bonus of empowering employees - who will self-learn technologies including robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, and natural language processing (NLP), reducing the lead time for new applications and technology, as well as reducing technical gaps, making up for skills shortages and enabling their business to respond faster to critical market challenges. The virtual sandbox within OMNI gives access to all the major intelligent automation platforms where citizen RPA developers can build DIY digital prototypes. Additionally, they can access more than 150 digital assets within OMNI marketplace. 

The platinum helpdesk of OMNI acts as your personal coach and is available 24 x 7 to address issues during the digital learning, prototype building, and digital governance journey.  

Another key benefit is that it enables digitalisation to be bespoke to each organisation, compared to off-the-shelves initiatives plugged into the enterprise. Individual organisation's objectives decide the scope and size of the process. 

As Gartner state, in today’s world of SaaS, cloud, low-code and “no-code” tools, everyone can be a developer. 

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