Galway Bay fm newsroom – Construction is set to commence this month on a long awaited orthopaedic theatre building at Merlin Park Hospital.
The will involve two additional operating theatres for elective orthopaedic procedures while the existing theatre will be retained and used for less complex cases.
The theatres at Merlin Park were shut down in 2017 due to a leaking roof which led to urgent calls to address the issue due to growing patient lists.
The project faced various setbacks with planning issues and various measures were taken to maintain activity levels in the interim, including the transfer of some elective procedures to UHG.
The number of patients awaiting inpatient or day-case orthopaedic care in Galway stood at 1,349 at the end of November 2020.
Minister of State and Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton says the new facilities will exceed the operating capacity of the previous orthopaedic theatre building that was closed in September 2017.
She says it’s scheduled to reach completion by the end of the year.
NUIG researchers developing advanced AI to improve COVID-19 diagnosis
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Researchers at NUI Galway are developing an advanced artificial intelligence system that will improve diagnosis times for COVID-19.
The project involves developing AI technology to analyse CT scans using a ‘supercomputer’ from the Irish Centre for High-Performance Computing.
It’s being being undertaken by Dr. Aaron Golden in collaboration with Dr. Christoph Kleefeld of NUI Galway and Dr. Declan Sheppard of Galway University Hospitals.
Researchers say that everyone is used to the idea of nasal and throat swabs for COVID-19 – but they’re not 100% accurate and can miss genuine cases, and there can also be delays in getting results.
The project now underway at NUI Galway is developing new AI techniques using a national supercomputer, to expedite the diagnosis of Covid-19 from patient CT scans.
At present, the use of CT scans, allows a radiologist to examine lesions on the lungs that would be indicative of Covid-19, in less than an hour.
However, it can be difficult to determine the cause of these lesions – which is where the new AI techniques will come into play.
The imaging system being developed by researchers at NUI Galway will incorporated trained AI who will be able to distinguish between different types of lesions.
The training of this AI involves familiarising it with thousands of different CT scans – and then developing deep learning algorithms to standardise the scans.
Researchers say this is a big data problem requiring a phenomenal amount of computation – necessitating the use of the KAY supercomputer at the Irish Centre for High-Performance Computing.
City Council to publish all Part 8 planning applications online
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway City Council is to publish all Part 8 planning applications online.
Fianna Fail City Councillor John Connolly proposed uploading the documents to the Local Authority’s online planning system, where they could be publicly viewed – at this week’s meeting.
The City Chief Executive Brendan McGrath advised Councillor Connolly that it would be more appropriate to upload the documents to the City Council’s general website as the planning section was not designed to host Part 8 documents.
Meanwhile, Director of Services for Planning Ruth McNally advised the meeting that a new portal is being set up where the files can also be uploaded.
File sent to DPP over Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Clifden
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Gardaí have sent a file to the DPP in relation to the investigation surrounding the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner, which was held in Connemara last summer.
81 people, including politicians and members of the judiciary attended the event in Clifden in August, during a period of COVID-19 restrictions.
Golfgate was followed by the resignation of Phil Hogan as EU Trade Commissioner and the resignation of former Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary.
A number of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael senators also lost the party whip as a result.
Supreme Court judge Seamus Woulfe was also in attendance, but a report by former Chief Justice Susan Denham found it would be unjust to seek his resignation.