A New Partnership = New Healthcare Technologies

by Shelli Dankoff
OSF Saint Francis Medical Center

Jump ARCHES will create new tools and technologies to enhance medical simulation and education.

The world of healthcare is changing rapidly, and part of that change is due to the development of new technologies. When Dr. William Albers, the recently retired pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Hospital of Illinois, first came to Peoria in 1967, he really only had one piece of equipment to diagnose patients with complex heart conditions: his stethoscope.

Nearly 50 years later, if a physician thinks about a new way to diagnose or treat a patient, there’s a good chance that tool can be designed and built. A new partnership between the Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center (Jump) in Peoria and the University of Illinois College of Engineering in Champaign-Urbana is set to revolutionize healthcare technology even further. The $50-million Jump Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation (Jump ARCHES) will create joint research projects between the Jump center on the campus of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and U of I’s College of Engineering.

Jump ARCHES will create new tools and technologies using imaging, health information technology, novel materials, and human factors to enhance medical simulation and education at facilities like Jump. It also will create new tools, techniques and devices for clinical use and treatment. The fundamental goal is to improve the quality of care and outcomes for patients and to reduce healthcare costs.

“Since opening in April 2013, there are three things we have supported at Jump: education, research and innovation,” says Dr. John Vozenilek, Jump’s chief medical officer. “Now we will be able to emphasize, strengthen and expand those efforts thanks to this endowment. We see tremendous opportunities to do groundbreaking work in sensor technology, data visualization and security, and 3D printing.”

Nearly 44,000 people have benefitted from simulation training at Jump since it opened. Most have come from within a three-hour radius of Peoria, but there have been national opportunities as well, with more on the horizon. The economic impact on the region continues to grow, even more so with Jump ARCHES. “We anticipate there will be new, start-up technology companies as a result of this partnership—companies that will recruit and hire workers not only from the immediate area, but from around the country,” says Dr. Vozenilek.

The Jump team has been working with U of I faculty and students for more than a year, and this endowment will only strengthen that collaboration. A core group of about eight U of I faculty will work with Jump ARCHES from the fields of biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science. Graduate student projects and senior design projects will further bridge the connection between faculty and Jump.

Among the collaborations already taking place is the development of an ultrasound device that can be used by primary care physicians and nurse practitioners to diagnose problems within the carotid artery in the doctor’s office, thus preventing potentially unnecessary—and more costly—tests at a hospital. Another student is building a new type of 3D printer. The current one in use at Jump uses a resin material, so the finished product is hard. The new printer would simulate the density of real human tissue and provide more realistic training.

Jump ARCHES is the result of a $25-million dollar challenge gift from Jump Trading, a financial technology firm. The OSF HealthCare Foundation is raising a $25-million match, and the University of Illinois will provide annual support equivalent to that of a $12.5 million endowment.

“This new endowment goes on forever and deliberately pairs Jump with the U of I College of Engineering to bridge the gap between patient care and technology, which will allow us to expand care to patients with limited access to healthcare,” explains Dr. Vozenilek. “I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a part of this, and what it will mean to the world of healthcare in the coming decades.” iBi

Shelli Dankoff is senior media relations specialist at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.

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