ARCHES Summer Internship 2016

ARCHES Summer Internship in Medical Virtual Reality

Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center (jumpsimulation.org) and the University of Illinois Health Care Engineering Systems Center (healtheng.illinois.edu) are pleased to announce the ARCHES summer internship opportunity in the area of Medical Simulation and Virtual Reality.

This internship, located at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, is a full time summer internship.

Applications have closed for Summer 2016.

 

2015 ARCHES Grant Recipients Announced

PEORIA, Ill. (Dec. 18, 2015) –Four research projects are each receiving up to $70,000 through a collaboration between Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center and Health Care Engineering Systems Center at the University of Illinois College of Engineering at Urbana-Champaign. Jump ARCHES (Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation) encourages clinicians and engineers to work together to improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs.

Those applying for grants are working on new tools, techniques and devices to enhance medical simulation and education as well as for clinical use and treatments. Selected groups have one year to build prototypes and can reapply for funding to continue their projects in late 2016.

Improving Patient Discharge Process: Simulation will be used to analyze how hospital discharge plans are designed and how to improve the process. New and evolving technologies combined with the unique situation of each patient will be used to develop appropriate discharge plans. The goal of the research is to reduce readmission rates. The principal investigators of this project include Deborah Thurston, Professor of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering at U of I at Urbana-Champaign and Dr. Richard Pearl, Surgeon, Director of Surgical Simulation at Jump and professor at University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.

Addressing Safety and Reliability of Surgical Robots: This project will create a future-proof standard for simulations that work to address reliability and safety challenges in minimally invasive robotic surgery. This data will be used to make robotic surgery safer, and improve the next generation of surgical robots. The principal investigators of this project include Ravishankar Iyer, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Coordinated Science Laboratory at U of I at Urbana-Champaign and Dr. David Crawford, Surgeon and Clinical Professor at UICOMP.

Simulation Training for Mechanical Circulatory Support: This project aims to develop and validate a simulator that helps surgeons perfect the process of providing oxygen to failing heart/lungs. This simulator covers a gap in training primarily achieved through hands-on exposure in the clinical environment. The principal investigators of this project include Dr. Matt Bramlet, Director of the Advanced Imaging and Modeling Program at Jump and Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at UICOMP and Dr. Jai Raman, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center.

Identifying Fall Risk: This project will assess fall risk and predict falls using camera-captured motion data of participants in a simulated home environment. The system will allow for targeted intervention. These simulations will offer clinicians new opportunities to better examine body dynamics. The principal investigators of this project include Jacob Sosnoff, Associate Professor of Kinesiology at U of I at Urbana-Champaign and Dr. Julia Biernot, Assistant Professor of Neurology at UICOMP and Director of Illinois Neurological Institute Cognitive Center.

More than 15 groups submitted proposals for this round of funding. Teams of clinicians and engineers will have another opportunity to apply for funding in February, 2016.

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CONTACT:

Denise Molina-Weiger, Strategic Relations
Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center
309-677-0827
Denise.Molina@jumpsimulation.org 
Bill Bell, Marketing and Communications
University of Illinois
College of Engineering at Urbana-Champaign
217-265-5102 

Illinois researchers developing new technology to assist in-home rehab care

Kim Gudeman, Coordinated Science Laboratory at Illinois

10/15/2015

In the future, the occupational therapist helping you relearn how to use a fork following a stroke might be a computer.

Prototype of a haptic-based rehab system

Prototype of a haptic-based rehab system

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Buffalo are developing new technology that could assist stroke victims and others with occupational and physical therapy at home. The project, “Cognitive Haptic-Based Rehabilitation System for Patient-Centric Home,” is funded by the National Science Foundation at $708,000 for three years.

“When people go back home after a stroke, they are rarely monitored and often decline in abilities,” said Thenkurussi (Kesh) Kesavadas, director of the Health Care Engineering Systems Center at Illinois and a professor of industrial and enterprise systems engineering. “Our primary goal is to use very advanced technology to help people do fine-motor rehab at home.”

The research comes at a time when health care costs are driving stroke victims to reduce time spent in in-patient rehabilitation care and return home before regaining full functioning. Stroke is a leading cause of disability among American seniors, with nearly 800,000 strokes occurring each year.

Thenkurussi (Kesh) Kesavadas

Thenkurussi (Kesh) Kesavadas

Researchers in Illinois’ Coordinated Science Lab are developing a system based on haptics, the process of recognizing objects through touch. The team is working to create a low-cost model that can help enforce proper technique through exercises, which will be designed using data collected by analyzing the motion of healthy subjects. In particular, the work will target fine motor skills – which usually involves synching the hand and fingers to make small movements – over gross motor skills, which are less challenging to rehabilitate.

The system will have three main components: a hardware platform, a remote-access interface so that an off-site therapist can monitor progress and modify the therapy regimen as needed, and a brain-machine interface that allows the system to adapt itself to the patient’s level of effort based on cognitive measurement.

Ehsan Esfahani, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Buffalo, says the system will evaluate patients’ progress based on whether they complete a task, the accuracy with which they perform the task, and their level of mental engagement during the treatment.

“This evaluation empowers the physician to monitor the subject’s performance during in-home therapy and allow him or her to adjust the haptic and simulation in an appropriate fashion,” Esfahani said.

The same approach could be used in other applications as well, such as helping children with dysgraphia learn how to write.

“This technology could really help assist in teaching any fine motor skill through repetition of movement,” Kesavadas said.

Illinois researchers making virtual surgery simulation a reality

Dr. Kasavadas stands with a tele-surgery robot
Kesh Kasavadas and his staff welcomed the RAVEN II robot assisted tele-surgery for tele-health, to the Health Care Engineering Systems Center.

In the same way that pilots train for actual flights through simulation the next generation of doctors will train for surgery. A group of researchers from the University of Illinois led by Professor of Industrial and Enterprise Engineering Kesh Kesavadas is at the forefront of a technology that will make that training virtual.This summer, Kesavadas and the Health Care Engineering Systems Center, welcomedRAVEN II, the Robot-Assisted Tele-Surgery for Tele-Health, to its lab. Raven will allow future doctors hands-on training in robotic surgery without the use of a patient. It’s one of the first steps that will link cutting-edge medical research already taking place on campus with the engineering-based College of Medicine, opening in 2018. Eventually Robotic surgery and training will be a major piece to the College’s $10 million Jump Simulation Center.

“Robotic surgery has been around for about 15 years, but there hasn’t been much innovation in that space largely because there has been only one company  (Intuitive Surgical Systems) with an FDA approved robot,” Kesavadas said. “Things are going to change in the next five years with new companies coming into the market. While getting FDA approval is a big challenge, the fact that they have already shown that using a robot is a fundamentally safe and practical way of doing surgery will speed up that process.”

Kesavadas’ vision is that research at Illinois will be the genesis of much of the development, and the newly acquired RAVEN is only a piece of that vision. For instance, Illinois is in its second-year of a $50 million partnership with the Jump Simulation and Education Center at OSF HealthCare in Peoria, Ill.

“In Peoria, we have a full-fledged operating room built to scale,” Kesavadas explained. “You can simulate whole procedures — robotic, laparoscopic or traditional open surgery. This allows us to go and test to see how the simulator would work inside an operating room.”

“You could put (Raven) inside the OR at the Jump Simulation Center and have a surgeon run through the whole procedure in the simulated operating room. This is the way future surgeons will be trained,” added John Vozenilek, Chief Medical Officer for Jump.

The research that Kesavadas group is working on takes that a step further and wouldn’t even require a robot for learning the basics of robotic surgery. Instead, through virtual reality and computer simulation, surgeons will be able to replicate the surgery.

“The kind of impact we are thinking is when someone comes to become a robotic surgeon,” Kesavadas said. “The simulator teaches them fundamental skills required to use a surgical robot without even needing to train on an actual robot.

Kesavadas has been working on robotic simulation for about seven years and was the inventor ofRoSS, the first stand-alone simulator for da Vinci surgical robot, currently used in training centers around the world.

“We use a mock interface to control a virtual robot,” Kesavadas said “The goal is so make a surgeon highly-skilled before they are allowed to touch a patient.”

There are two technologies that have made this type of simulation possible, according to Kesavadas. The first is virtual reality, which can simulate cutting a tissue, tying a knot and advanced engineering principles that are graphically stimulating. The second is haptics, which gives users the sensation of touching objects. For instance, a surgeon could feel tissue even though there is none.

“With computers and the new GPU based technologies, we are able to implement algorithms on a PC which would have required a supercomputer maybe 15-20 years ago,” Kesavadas said.

Urologists and gynecologists in residence are already using this robotic simulation for procedures like prostatectomies and hysterectomies using technology developed by Kesavadas.

Kesavadas is one of a half dozen Illinois faculty that is in the process of taking it to the next stage to introduce unexpected events. This spring an interdisciplinary group of Kesavadas, ProfessorRavishankar Iyer from the Coordinated Science Laboratory on campus, Zbigniew Kalbarczyk, Research Professor at CSL, Rush University surgeon Jaishankar Raman, and doctoral researchersHoma Alemzadeh (electrical and computer engineering) and Xiao Li (mechanical science and engineering), published their first paper demonstrating simulation of adverse events by using both a robot and simulator.

The FDA requires robotic surgeons to report events that have caused surgeries to be halted or where the patient has died. Their group is using those events to build an adverse event simulator. In the next year or so, the goal is to take the simulator to Peoria, to test and get feedback from doctors.

“We are looking to simulate most common unexpected events and what caused them,” Iyer said. “For example, if one of the surgical tools breaks down, what do you do? Do you stop the surgery? Prior to now, surgeons were only exposed to these events inside the operating room.”

In addition to engineers, the new College of Medicine will bring actual practitioners or doctors-in-residence to the center, which Kesavadas adds will be extremely beneficial to the development.

“The ability to have our own simulation center where we can test this with real students gives us everything,” Kesavadas said. “We don’t want to be just an engineering research center, but also want to translate research into clinical practices. The medical students can train here and give us feedback, which can improve our technology. When trainees come in, they can practice on both the robot and the virtual simulator.”

With simulation centers on campus, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana (the university’s partner in the College of Medicine) and in Peoria, the University of Illinois is poised to be the epicenter of surgical simulation whether through research or practice.

“We are building a big effort to become national leaders in simulation,” Kesavadas said. “Even though others are training in robotic surgery itself, the simulation to train robotic surgery is something that we have a unique strength here. There really is no other center like this in the country. We will have access to everything a student or a fellow will be required to learn. With RAVEN and the new virtual simulator, it helps take our robotic surgery program to the next level.”

Raven was purchased with a grant through the equipment challenge grant received by Kesavadas, Rohit Bhargava, Joseph Bentsman, Naira Hovakimyan, Ravi Iyer, Lui Sha and Alex Kirlik.