University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign launches first-of-its-kind AI in Medicine Certificate program for healthcare professionals

7/8/2021 Huan Song

Help us spread the word about bioengineering's new certificate program, now enrolling online students. 

Written by Huan Song

Imaging the brain with an MRI machineURBANA, Ill., July 8, 2021 - The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has launched a new AI in Medicine Certificate program through an interdisciplinary partnership between the department of bioengineering at The Grainger College of Engineering, the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. This self-paced online certificate program will equip healthcare professionals with a conceptual understanding of AI and its applications through real-world medical case studies using machine learning models.  The cost for this program is $750 and Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits are available upon completion issued by the Carle health system and the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Artificial intelligence is poised to make a significant impact throughout healthcare systems. Current applications of AI in healthcare include disease diagnostics, health monitoring, enhancing electronic healthcare records and clinical decision support. However, existing AI training courses on the market are largely targeted for students with coding skills and who plan to develop AI tools. The purpose of this course is to familiarize clinicians with the key concepts and applications of AI in medicine. This course is intended for physicians, physician assistants, medical students, nurse practitioners, veterinarians and veterinary technicians. "We have created this program to meet an urgent need for AI training in the healthcare community," said Mark A. Anastasio, Donald Biggar Willett Professor in Engineering and head of the department of bioengineering. 

The AI in Medicine program is divided into six modules and delivered by Dr. Kevin R. Teal, a staff neurosurgeon at the Carle Foundation Hospital:

  • Module 1 - Establish key concepts of artificial intelligence and machine learning and recognize their differences.
  • Module 2 - Deep dive into subfields of machine learning and statistical learning grounded in clinical examples.
  • Module 3 - Understand how to train artificial neural networks to learn from data through deep learning.
  • Module 4 - Consider the value of medical data and the role of clinicians in the development and training of machine learning tools.
  • Module 5 - Examine ethical, regulatory and legal topics while using machine learning models in clinical settings.
  • Module 6 - Explore real-world applications of AI in medicine for diagnosing diseases, interpreting tests and processing electronic healthcare records. 

By the end of this course, students will be able to read literature related to artificial intelligence in medicine, understand how data-driven decisions are made and assessed, identify and define different types of artificial intelligence tools and techniques used in medicine and actively participate in the selection and purchase of AI-based medical software. This program empowers healthcare providers to more effectively partner with computer science professionals and interact with vendors. 

"The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a global hub where technological innovations meet medical advancements," said Anastasio. One such example is the formation of The Carle Illinois College of Medicine in 2018, the first engineering-based medical school in the world which seeks to educate the next generation of physician innovators to bridge technology with healthcare delivery. 

Illinois is a leader in the field of artificial intelligence. Within the department of bioengineering, faculty are leveraging AI to assemble digital biopsies, diagnose diseases, and synthesize novel materials. Significant federal and private investments have also been made to further accelerate AI-related breakthroughs at Illinois including a 10-year $200 million investment from IBM to launch the Discovery Accelerator Institute.

As part of this certificate, students will have exclusive access to connect with artificial intelligence experts at the university through weekly virtual office hours. "Our goal is to prepare students in this program to lead the future of medicine,” said Anastasio. 

About The Grainger College of Engineering

The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is one of the world's top-ranked engineering institutions, and a globally recognized leader in engineering education, research, and public engagement. With a diverse, tight-knit community of faculty, students, and alumni, Grainger Engineering sets the standard for excellence in engineering, driving innovation in the economy and bringing revolutionary ideas to the world. Through powerful research and discovery, our faculty, staff, students and alumni are changing our world and making advances once only dreamed about, including the MRI, LED, ILIAC, Mosaic, YouTube, flexible electronics, electric machinery, miniature batteries, imaging the black hole, and flight on Mars. The world's brightest minds from The Grainger College of Engineering tackle today's toughest challenges. And they are building a better, cooler, safer tomorrow. Visit for more information.

About The Carle Illinois College of Medicine 
At Carle Illinois College we harness engineering and innovation to improve the human condition. As the world’s first engineering-based college of medicine, we are leveraging advanced technology to train physician-innovators who will deliver better, more compassionate and accessible care to patients worldwide. Engaging creative minds in a case-driven, problem-based, active learning curriculum with early clinical immersion is just one way we’re setting a new bar for medical education.

About The College of Veterinary Medicine
The College of Veterinary Medicine is dedicated to educating future veterinarians and biomedical scientists, making discoveries that improve animal, human, and environmental health, facilitating production of a safe food supply, and delivering outstanding clinical and diagnostic care for animals at a full-service teaching hospital, veterinary diagnostic laboratory, and regional clinics. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
The Grainger College of Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Huan Song (Department of Bioengineering)

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This story was published July 8, 2021.