Evaluating impairment – both roadside and in the workplace – integral to safe communities
TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Emblem Corp. (TSXV: EMC, OTCQX: EMMBF) ("Emblem" or the "Company") today announced it has completed an equity investment in DriveABLE Assessment Centres Inc. ("DriveABLE"), a global leader in cognitive-based driving evaluations that measure the risk of impairment. Through this investment – to Emblem's knowledge, the first of its kind in the cannabis space – Emblem will support DriveABLE as it seeks to tackle the issue of impairment on roads and in the workplace with new mobile technology.
Using the knowledge gained from almost two decades of evaluating real world impairment risk in partnership with law enforcement agencies, universities and other industries that operate in safety-sensitive environments, DriveABLE is now developing a mobile cognitive evaluation tool that will focus on the risks associated with impairment.
As each person metabolizes cannabis at different rates, measuring THC levels – one of the main intoxicating compounds in cannabis – alone should not be used as the sole factor for determining impairment. We believe that a broader approach to evaluating impairment, regardless of the cause, is critical to making our communities safer.
Nick Dean, CEO, Emblem Corp.
Impairment – whether from alcohol, cannabis, fatigue, underlying medical conditions, or narcotics – is a serious issue that affects safety on roads and in the workplace. We have the responsibility to ensure that people are safe and are committed to working with DriveABLE to bring additional research and evaluation solutions to the table to address impairment.
Emblem's patient and healthcare professional education subsidiary, GrowWise Health Limited ("GrowWise"), intends to support DriveABLE in its research. The technology is expected to be tested at GrowWise education centres to provide data for DriveABLE's research, while helping patients better understand how cannabis therapy may impact their daily tasks.
"With the anticipated legalization of cannabis, the question of how we truly establish impairment has been left mostly unanswered. While we understand the application of measures offered by saliva swabs, breathalyzers, blood draws and urine samples, research tells us that we also need to evaluate overall cognitive performance to determine impairment risk," said Peter-John Barclay, CEO, DriveABLE. "DriveABLE is leveraging 18 years of expertise in impairment evaluations to develop a new mobile technology that has a number of applications including driving and operating in safety-sensitive environments. Our technology is by no means a standalone solution, but rather an important piece to the puzzle to understand and evaluate impairment."
Why is cognition an important component when looking at impairment?
Cognition encompasses how a person understands the world and acts in it. It is the set of mental abilities or processes that are part of every human action while they are awake.
In the event that a person's cognitive skills have been compromised, regardless of the cause, there is an increased likelihood of the person concerned being unable to complete a task correctly, which could put their life and the lives of others at risk.
Using cognitive science to evaluate impairment is designed to facilitate:
- An objective accurate measure of an individual's cognitive state
- An understanding of an individual's established cognitive state to determine their ability to safely operate within a particular environment
- The ability to identify if an individual is at risk, regardless of potential cause
"Ensuring patients and consumers use cannabis products safely is of the utmost priority to us, and we are supportive of an evidence-based approach to evaluating impairment," said Dean. "Our investment and future work with DriveABLE will support much needed research in this field to help ensure safer communities."
Emblem, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Emblem Cannabis Corporation, is a fully integrated licensed producer and distributor of medical cannabis and cannabis derivatives in Canada under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. Emblem's state-of-the-art indoor cannabis cultivation facility and research and development laboratory is located in Paris, Ontario. Led by an experienced management team of healthcare executives, accomplished marketing professionals, and cannabis experts, Emblem is focused on driving shareholder value through product innovation, brand relevance, and access to patient and consumer channels. Emblem is also the ultimate parent company of GrowWise Health Ltd., one of Canada's leading medical cannabis education services. Emblem trades under the ticker symbol EMC on the TSX Venture Exchange. For more information, please visit www.emblemcorp.com
DriveABLE (www.driveable.com) combines cutting-edge technology with proven research to deliver predictive cognitive assessment tools to the medical community, commercial fleets, governments and insurers. It provides software and hardware solutions that help identify if medications or medical conditions have affected a person's ability to drive. Established as a University of Alberta spin-off, DriveABLE has been providing driver risk assessments for 18 years. DriveABLE products are licensed primarily in North America and in other select countries. It is DriveABLE's mission to create safer communities by embracing the power of both science and technology.
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