Since I started looking into the Belfast tech scene a few weeks back, I've been put in touch with dozens of smart people and clever companies eager to tell the world that this city is on the up. We've been broadcasting this morning from the small premises of Intelesens, almost on the runway of the George Best airport.
This is a company making what it bills as "the world's first intelligent wearable vital signs monitor". It's a neat piece of kit that allows doctors to monitor a patient even, as the chief executive Michael Caulfield put it to me, "when you're away on a fishing trip in Donegal."
I've been wearing one of the sensors this morning - it sends a read-out via the phone network to a computer and you'll be relieved to hear that my heart is beating healthily.
But let's check up on some of Northern Ireland's vital signs. One huge advantage is its education system.The schools have very high standards and the universities, which have always produced plenty of skilled graduates, are now also generating a number of start-up businesses where they can work.
Intelesens is the result of some ground-breaking research at the University of Ulster's bio-mechanical engineering department - and at least one recent graduate from the university has been taken on by the company. That's a healthy cycle.
After heart surgery, you can continue to live and play sports: preferably with a remote device that monitors your heart rate, allowing you to take advantage of remote diagnostic services.Twenty-one days, twenty-one stages. A trip from Catania to Milan, four hundred and sixty-seven km long. To chase a dream and raise the a third time. It will be a special Easter, for Ivana De Martino.
An Easter, which will once again challenge the ghosts of her past - ghosts that forced her twice into hospital for heart surgery. Ivana definitely wants to chase ghosts, running fast, right from Catania to Milan. This is the challenge of the patient's most famous Monzino Cardiology Centre (https://www.cardiologicomonzino.it/Pages/Default.aspx) in Milan, which will run throughout the Italain boot to "liberate ourselves of the idea that having heart surgery represents the end of life active and sport" , says Gianluca Polvani, director of the second unit of Cardiac Surgery of the center.
The protagonist of the challenge is the Vpatch (http://vpatchmedical.net) , a patch that will allow tech Ivana to be monitored constantly during the long ride through Italy, and directly from Milan. The device is divided into two different instruments and allows the transmission remotely and in real-time of the heart rate, even hundreds of miles away.
To start a patch is applied onto the chest, with a small transmitting device which collects data on heart rate , and sends it to the central telemedicine Monzino. "The system will enable us at any time to know the anomalies both in terms of heart rate and arrhythmias.
All this is thanks to telemedicine, which allows the use of services from diagnosis at a distance " , says the prof. Polvani, former professor of Cardiac Surgery of the ' University of Milan (http://www.unimi.it/) .According to the tests conducted on the patient, the patch should support the transmission of data even in the presence of a speed of movement of the person equal to 12 km / h. And in addition to an automatic detection of the parameters of cardiac activity , Vpatch allows the patient to send an electrocardiogram at the instant push of a button. But the challenge for Ivana goes beyond personal ambition, to embrace the hopes and needs of migrant children. "To represent the long ordeal of children fleeing from their lands, with the association Terre des Hommes, I chose to go symbolically" my "21 stages across all cities where there are reception centers for migrants" , said the patient.Ivana departed from Catania on Sunday, April 20, to arrive in Milan on May 10.
In between, the 21 stages that carry the hopes of a 43-year old mother of three children, but also of the approximately 35 million children and young people under 20 years on the run from poverty, violence and wars in the world. In the last year in Italy - demonstrates the association Terre des Hommes (http://terredeshommes.it/) - almost 8000 foreign unaccompanied minors arrived.
Ivana will help the organization raise funds for the project FARO, to welcome and protect in Sicily and other Italian regions minors, guaranteeing psychological support. From today you can support the project through Retedeldono.it (http://retedeldono.it/) , to provide assistance for 10 months in 80 children followed by the staff of Terre des Hommes in first aid and reception centers (CPSA) of Syracuse and Lampedusa. Waiting for the long journey of Ivana, in open defiance with itself and marked the future of thousands of children.