CS Faculty Among Researchers Awarded Jump Arches Funding

3/3/2021 8:02:53 AM

Four Illinois CS professors are applying their expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), human-computer interaction, and computer vision to several new projects funded in fall 2020 by the Jump Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation (Jump ARCHES) program.

In all, 13 research projects totaling nearly $970,000 were funded across campus through Jump ARCHES, which is a partnership between the U of I, its College of Medicine in Peoria, and OSF HealthCare. The program supports research involving clinicians, engineers, and social scientists to develop technologies and devices that could revolutionize medical training and health care delivery. 

Jimeng Sun is leading a team of physicians and researchers from OSF HealthCare and the U of I Health Care Engineering Systems Center on a project using AI technology to understand and improve pediatric vaccination rates in high-risk zip codes. With the help of AI, the project will visualize spatio-temporal patterns, identify critical geographic areas with the most concerning rates of under-vaccination, predict the supply need, and deploy mobile immunization units to increase vaccination rates for those areas.

ChengXiang Zhai is collaborating with an interdisciplinary team of researchers and physicians on two projects. The first project aims to design an intelligent medical record that would work hand-in-hand with the electronic medical record for more precise documentation of cases, and aid in medical decision-making as well as rapid, accurate diagnoses. The project would also include machine learning capabilities as more cases are fed into the system.

Zhai’s second project is an extension of a recently completed Jump ARCHES effort, where he and the other researchers prototyped MedLang, an ontology-based medical concept mapping tool. In this new project, the team will apply the tool to the analysis of single medical cases by medical students and researchers, and they will add an AI component to its suggestion system.

The MedLang tool benefits medical students  by providing a rigorous learning space for the development of critical clinical thinking. It will also offer a web-based infrastructure, which will allow speedy peer review of cases and the accompanying concept maps.

CS professors Karrie Karahalios and David Forsyth are part of a collaborative team developing a series of digital, interactive, and visual tools to improve communication between parents and clinicians in order to mitigate challenges between the two parties in diagnosing children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The earlier a child is diagnosed with autism, the sooner he or she can begin interventions, which typically leads to better outcomes.

Since its inception in 2014, Jump ARCHES has awarded more than $5.46 million in funding to collaborative projects between the three institutions and across many disciplines. The effort expanded opportunities with an additional major gift in 2019.

“The scope of Jump ARCHES has expanded in recent years to foster collaboration with disciplines outside of engineering and medicine, such as social sciences,” said T. Kesh Kesavadas, PhD, director of the Health Care Engineering Systems Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. “Technology such as AI, sensors, and simulation training can integrate with and improve outcomes in other fields in innovative ways. Above all, Jump ARCHES is striving to improve people’s lives after the disastrous impact of COVID-19 on daily life.”

A special request for proposals for spring 2021 is being planned with an emphasis on solutions to the unprecedented challenges faced by our society as we develop policies and procedures in a post-COVID-19 world.

A complete list of the fall 2020 Jump ARCHES projects is available here.