Carle Illinois College of Medicine faculty are among the UIUC researchers who recently received funding through the Jump ARCHES research and development program.

Professors Rohit Bhargava, Manuel Hernandez, Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler, T. Kesh Kesavadas, and Brad Sutton are among the recipients of funding that supports research involving clinicians, engineers, and social scientists to develop technologies and devices that could revolutionize medical training and healthcare delivery. Thirteen research projects are sharing nearly $970,000 in funding.

“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, Ph.D., Carle Illinois professor and director of the Health Care Engineering Systems Center at UIUC. “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,” added Kesavadas.

Carle Illinois faculty research projects receiving Jump ARCHES funding includes:

Manuel Hernandez


Investigators: Manuel E. Hernandez, PhD, UIUC; Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler, PhD, UIUC; Richard Sowers, PhD, UIUC; Brent Roberts, PhD, UIUC; Susan Caldecott-Johnson, MD, UICOMP, OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois; Jean Clore, PhD, UICOMP


Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler

In frontline health care workers, recent evidence suggests increased depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even without COVID-19, physician trainees face mental health challenges as they provide care and learn clinical best practices. This project will integrate data from a suite of wearable sensors to quantify symptoms of stress and anxiety in physician trainees. The idea is to use information gleaned from sensors to monitor and potentially improve wellbeing before mental health disorders develop.


Brad Sutton

Investigators: Matthew Bramlet, MD, UICOMP, OSF HealthCare; Brad Sutton, PhD, UIUC; Yogatheesan Varatharajah, PhD, UIUC; Andres Maldonado, MD, UICOMP, OSF HealthCare; Michael Xu, MD, PhD, UICOMP, OSF HealthCare

Some patients with seizures face debilitating effects that pharmacologic therapy cannot treat. These patients are left with surgery as their best option that requires an invasive procedure (stereotactic-electroencephalography or SEEG) to pinpoint the origin of these seizures. This project will present surgeons with a stereoscopic 3D model to give surgeons a better mental representation of where seizures are occurring. The group also wants to develop an automated interpretation algorithm of SEEG tracings, and create predictive algorithms to reduce invasive testing.

T. Kesh Kesavadas


Investigators: T. Kesavadas, UIUC; Dusan Stipanovic, PhD, UIUC; Anne Horowitz, OTR/L, CSRS, MSCS, OSF HealthCare

Existing robot-based rehabilitation systems lack effective methods to monitor and enforce a patients’ participation in therapy. We propose to develop a community-based, networked robotic therapy system. This system uses a home-based haptic interface for rehabilitation of fine motor skills, with assistance from a remote external agent, such as a therapist, caregiver or artificial intelligence, who monitors progress and accordingly modifies the therapy regimen.

Rohit Bhargava


Investigators: Anusha Muralidharan, UIUC; Dr. Sarah de Ramirez, MD, OSF HealthCare, UICOMP; Thenkurussi Kesavadas, PhD, UIUC; Rohit Bhargava, PhD, UIUC; Dr. Sandhya Pruthi, MD, Mayo Clinic; Kimberly Michelle Bolin, National Consortium of Breast Centers

This project proposes to develop a high-fidelity training simulator to train health professionals on clinical breast examination techniques. It will also provide clinical evaluation to result in diagnosis of breast cancer at earlier stages, resulting in improved outcomes when followed with timely and appropriate treatment. The project uses current state-of-the-art technology to improve training using real-time performance analysis and mimics a realistic environment, giving medical professionals the flexibility of practicing as many times as they want in order to master the skill.


Investigators: Paul M. Arnold, MD, FACS, Carle Foundation Hospital; Andrew Webb, PhD, Carle Foundation Hospital; Ravishankar Iyer, PhD, UIUC; Brad Sutton, PhD, UIUC; George Heintz, MSPH, MSE, UIUC; Dzung Dinh, MD, UICOMP, OSF HealthCare

The goal of this study is to image patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) by using high-field MRI, specifically the 7-Tesla. This type of imaging is expected to provide rich, previously unavailable information about lesions to diagnose what the effect of TBI could be. Better understanding of lesions can provide more detailed information about the extent of an injury and the cognitive processes that might be affected six months after injury. This will aid in the development of analytic tools to guide clinicians in decision-making and prognosis.

The Jump Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation (Jump ARCHES) program is a partnership between the University of Illinois (U of I) Urbana-Champaign and its College of Medicine in Peoria and OSF HealthCare.

These projects were submitted to the Fall 2020 Jump ARCHES request for proposals which concerned six unique focus areas: digital healthsocial and behavioral disparitiesautismneurological sciencesCOVID-19, and simulation and education. This was the first Jump ARCHES request for proposals that specifically concerned social and behavioral disparities to mitigate the impact of age, location, and social barriers in delivering quality health care to vulnerable populations. Emphasis was given to proposals that addressed racism, social justice, social and implicit biases, health equity, and access to care.

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.

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 original article, including full list of the Jump ARCHES 2020 awardees researchers and their projects can be found here.