New Abu Dhabi lab to use AI tech to analyse wastewater for infectious diseases
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New Abu Dhabi lab to use AI tech to analyse wastewater for infectious diseases

New Abu Dhabi lab to use AI tech to analyse wastewater for infectious diseases

Construction on the Wastewater Monitoring Lab, being developed in collaboration with G42 Healthcare, will be completed in 12 months

Wastewater Monitoring Lab Abu Dhabi G42 Healthcare

The Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) has begun construction of a Wastewater Monitoring Lab in Abu Dhabi that will analyse wastewater samples and issue early warnings to prevent the spread of infectious diseases or harmful substances, as well as curb any adverse effects on the environment.

The construction of the lab will be completed in 12 months, and is being developed in collaboration with Abu Dhabi-based healthtech company G42 Healthcare.

The facility will be capable of testing for chemical, physical, and biological hazards, including infectious diseases (viruses/bacteria), parasites, pathogenic yeast and fungi, pharmaceutical compounds, and other lifestyle-related items – all with automated sampling and AI-powered data analysis, noted a statement issued by Abu Dhabi Media Office.

The Wastewater Monitoring Lab will handle and process emergency wastewater samples suspected of contamination with a harmful substance, as well as analyse samples suspected of contamination with a known or unknown substance.

The facility will focus its efforts on harmful contaminants, such as radionuclides, biotoxins, pathogens, biological hazards, and high concentrations of industrial chemicals or illegal discharge. Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health and Environment Agency will be among the main beneficiaries of the facility.

The DoE has worked towards ensuring that treated water is free of any harmful substances, particularly during the pandemic, where wastewater was examined for any traces of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19.

“Based on the success of the wastewater examination for traces of SARS-CoV-2 programme in 2020, the DoE launched the Wastewater Monitoring Lab – a state-of-the-art facility dedicated for such activities,” said Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, chairman of the DoE.

“The Wastewater Monitoring Lab can provide an early warning for potential contaminants and threats to public health and the environment,” she added. “But it can also be a powerful tool allowing us to detect other pathogens, harmful chemicals, or even banned substances. This, in turn, creates a solid foundation for decisions and programmes to be developed to combat any emerging threat.”

Ashish Koshy, CEO of G42 Healthcare, stated that the wastewater analysis laboratory in Abu Dhabi will be the first of its kind in the MENA region.

“Leveraging cutting-edge technologies to analyse wastewater samples for infectious agents and harmful chemicals, application of Artificial Intelligence in this lab will enable an early warning system that will determine with high accuracy the origin of the outbreak or pollutant behaviour, detect the virus in locations with limited monitoring, and track the spread of a disease during an infectious outbreak,” said Koshy.

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