Three bioengineering projects awarded Jump ARCHES grants

1/26/2022 Healthcare Engineering Systems Center

Three bioengineering project teams have received funding for research projects focused on medical imaging, antiepileptic drug therapy and the detection of pathogens in blood samples. 

Written by Healthcare Engineering Systems Center

Twenty research projects are sharing slightly more than $1.4 million in funding through the Jump ARCHES research and development program to address a variety of vexing medical challenges including neurological testing for children and athletes (such as concussions), migraines, and stress among nurses enduring pandemic challenges at home and at work. The Jump ARCHES program is a partnership between OSF HealthCare and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (U of I) and its College of Medicine in Peoria (UICOMP).

The funding supports research involving clinicians, engineers and social scientists to rapidly develop technologies and devices that could revolutionize medical training and health care delivery. Many of the awards represent new projects, while some will build on previously-funded efforts.

“These grants reflect areas of tremendous research success on the U of I campus at the intersection of engineering and medicine, which began at our very own Health Care Engineering Systems Center," said T. Kesh Kesavadas, director of the Health Care Engineering Systems Center at U of I Urbana-Champaign. "The Center has established itself as a leading innovator on campus where researchers solve problems faced by real clinicians in hospital settings with cutting-edge technology, such as AI-based intubation and IoT sensor-based masks." 

“These projects highlight areas where OSF HealthCare and our partners are committed to making advancements, including COVID-19 recovery, personalized medicine, data security, health literacy to underserved populations, support for those giving bedside care, and improvements in neurological diagnosis and treatment," said Dr. John Vozenilek, VP and Chief Medical Officer at OSF Innovation & Digital Health. "We know digitally connected health systems, powerful data analytics, and innovative approaches offer the promise of a universal standard of care and health knowledge for everyone we serve."

One such project reflects the innovative approaches to common problems, Facial pressure ulcer detection using a wearable sensor patch (WSP), led by simulation engineer Anusha Muralidharan at the Health Care Engineering Systems Center at U of I. "Medical device-related pressure ulcers (PUs) are one of the most common problems in hospital settings. It causes patient discomfort and places a large economic burden on health systems. Our project's objective is to design a wearable sensor patch to aid in early detection and reduce the incidence of PUs in all patients," said Muralidharan.
The sensor will wirelessly transmit data to a software application, which will calculate a risk assessment score based on the sensor's data and patient info. Clinicians will be alerted via text or alarm when the capillary parameter exceeds the threshold value. Muralidharan's co-primary investigator is Deborah McCarter, VP and Chief Nursing Officer at OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center. The prototype will be tested at the Jump Simulation Center on the U of I campus by Shandra Jamison, manager of the simulation center and co-investigator on the project.

"I'd like to thank Jump ARCHES for funding this proposal and providing a wonderful platform to work alongside clinicians to address this critical healthcare problem. This project will lead the way toward a new technology designed specifically to minimize medical device-related PUs," added Muralidharan.

Neurological technology is a primary focus of this grant cycle, as well as health accessibility. Digitized Neurological Exams (DNE) with Smartphones/Tablets – A Clinical Recording Pilot Study is a project that combines both focus areas. Primary investigator Minh Do is a professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at U of I, working with Christopher Zallek, M.D., of OSF HealthCare and Illinois Neurological Institute.

DNEs are exams that visually quantify and aid in the diagnosis of neurological impairments. This project proposes the use of smartphones to record these exams, showing the potential of an accessible, easy-to-use, and accurate digital solution for conducting the exams both in person and through tele-health.

“We are excited for the opportunity to combine our complementary expertise in clinical and engineering fields from OSF and U of I to develop a widely-accessible and reproducible tools, smartphones with cameras, to exam, quantify, and monitor neurological conditions that affect one in every three people across the US and worldwide,” said Do.

Here are the titles, investigators, and summaries of projects that involve bioengineering faculty:

Development of a Trusted Execution Enclave to Securely Link Computational Modeling to a Medical Imaging Database
Investigators: Matthew Bramlet, UICOMP, OSF HealthCare; Brad Sutton, UIUC; Andrew Miller, UIUC

The primary objective of this project is to create a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) plug-in tool that will allow researchers to run various algorithms on these large imaging datasets without exposing protected health information (PHI). This proof of concept project requires solving several problems to bridge the gap between research algorithms and access to an imaging database while ensuring data security and privacy.

Physiological and anatomical biomarkers for epilepsy antiepileptic drug therapy
Investigators: Hua Li, UIUC; Michael Xu, UICOMP, OSF HealthCare; Fan Lam, UIUC; Yogatheesan Varatharajah, UIUC

This study aims to develop a comprehensive and robust computational model for the prognosis of AED treatment response. Prognosis models will be developed based on advanced belief function theory (BFT) and deep learning (DL)techniques and utilizing a large cohort of retrospective patient cases. Our preliminary studies have demonstrated the promising performance of the resulting prognosis models.

Low pathogen counts in whole blood samples
Investigators: Rashid Bashir, UIUC; Enrique Valera, UIUC; John Farrell, UICOMP, OSF HealthCare

This project will demonstrate the feasibility of a new platform to achieve the detection of low bacteria and fungi counts (1-3 CFU/mL), in less than 2 hours, analyzing large volumes of whole blood (up to 5 mL) from clinical samples. Likewise, we would like to advance our understanding of the reaction mechanisms and fundamental questions regarding the bi-phasic reaction.

See the full list of funded projects here.

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This story was published January 26, 2022.