UWinnipeg alumni develops software to aid COVID-19 research
With COVID-19 clinical trials underway, a University of Winnipeg alumnus has developed a software program to accelerate understanding of the disease.
Daniel Iluz-Freundlich, along with colleagues at Refuah Solutions, developed PI-Enroll, a cell phone app that provides researchers access to study-related information. The app was originally developed for other medical conditions, but when the pandemic hit, Iluz-Freundlich saw an opportunity to modify it to meet the needs of the current situation.
“It’s a simple, easy to use, mobile app,” he said. “It is designed to expedite patient enrollment, ensure the right patients are enrolled into the right trials, help research and hospital staff respond to patient and family queries regarding a study, and provide a communication network for study team members to share their challenges and solutions.”
The app allows laboratories that get positive tests results to automatically alert research investigators. Iluz-Freundlich hopes that by donating the app to 14 COVID-19 related clinical trials, he will help them identify an effective treatment.
“Tragically, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths throughout the world and many more are predicted in the foreseeable future,” he said. “Many of those deaths might have been prevented and future lives will be saved when effective treatment becomes available.”
As vice-president of Refuah Solutions Ltd, Iluz-Freundlich works closely with his friend and mentor, Dr. Gerald Minuk, President and CEO of the company. In addition to this administrative position, Iluz-Freundlich is a student at Ben-Gurion University’s Medical School for International Health.
To meet the demands of his busy schedule, he says organization is key.
“What really helps me is at the beginning of each day, I strictly plan every hour of the day and decide how much time I allocate to Refuah Solutions and my commitments to medical school,” he said.
Iluz-Freundlich graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science. He says the invaluable guidance and support he received from Dr. Simon Liao made a huge difference to his success. He also points to Drs. Kenneth Friesen, Athar Ata, and Desiree Vanderwel, whose teaching instilled a passion for chemistry and biochemistry.
“Wherever I go, I always make sure to have someone in my life who I can look up to and learn from,” he said.
Jennifer Cox, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
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