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We at the Health Care Engineering Systems Center at Illinois hope this update finds you in good health and good spirits! Here at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, classes are online and staff are working from home. While times are unusual, the best solutions often come out of difficult situations, and that is especially true of the healthcare professionals and engineers we work with at HCESC. Our staff, along with the rest of The Grainger College of Engineering and The Carle Illinois College of Medicine, are working hard on solutions to help mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. We thought you’d might like an update on recent projects we have been working on, including the Illinois RapidVent and N95 mask fabrication. Like us on Facebook for real-time updates of what’s going on at HCESC!

A Message from the Director - T. Kesh Kesavadas

The health care and engineering fields are home to some of the world’s brightest minds and most groundbreaking technologies. When combined, I believe that we can rise to the challenge of conquering the most difficult and frightening of tasks. Today, we have COVID-19 consuming every facet of our lives, testing our health care systems and our abilities to work together. HCESC is proud to contribute in the fight against COVID-19. Find out what we’re doing and read the full message here.


HCESC Forms COVID-19 Task Force

Once COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, our team immediately knew that people would be looking for expert resources and ways to get involved. We created the COVID-19 Task Force, made up of faculty from the University of Illinois System and medical professionals from OSF HealthCare and Carle Foundation Hospital. The Task Force contribute to the COVID-19 page on our website with information about their research, funding opportunities, and educational content for the public. Members of the Task Force are also available to answer your questions and discuss potential research opportunities. View the COVID-19 page and Task Force here.  

UIUC and Partners Develop Illinois RapidVent Emergency Ventilator

A team led by UIUC’s Grainger College of Engineering and Carle Health developed a prototype emergency ventilator to help address the expected surge in need for respiratory care associated with COVID-19. The ventilator, which was developed in just under two weeks in March, has proven equivalent performance to commercial products in laboratory testing. HCESC director Kesh Kesavadas, research engineers Anusha Muralhidaran and Harris Nisar, and Jump Simulation Center manager Shandra Jamison were among the large team involved in the project. Read more here.

Jump ARCHES Endowment Funds UIUC N95 Mask Design & Fabrication Proposal

Jump ARCHES is pleased to announce the funding of a proposal for the fabrication of personal protective equipment (PPE), namely N95 respirators, for local healthcare systems to help protect their staff against COVID-19. This proposal was submitted in response to the Jump ARCHES Priority Call announced in March to address COVID-19 and other pandemics. The primary investigator is Jeremy Guest of UIUC, and the co-primary investigators are Jared C. Rogers and John F. Kreckman of OSF HealthCare. We will soon be announcing the rest of the grantees from the Jump ARCHES priority call. Look out for that announcement and find other information about Jump ARCHES here.

HCESC Hosts COVID-19 Virtual Summit

HCESC organized and hosted a COVID-19 Virtual Summit on April 6, 2020, where healthcare professionals and data scientists came together to give talks about their research and participate in a panel discussion about current COVID-related challenges on local, regional, statewide, and national levels. Speakers were from UIUC, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Carle Foundation Hospital, and OSF HealthCare. Watch a recording of the summit online here.

From the Experts: Blog Features Highlight Researchers Working on COVID-19

We're regularly featuring experts on our COVID-19 blog to discuss their research regarding the pandemic! Last month we heard from Professor Tamer Basar of the ECE Department and Professor Carolyn Beck of the ISE Department in The Grainger College of Engineering discussing questions they received at the COVID-19 Virtual Summit on Monday, April 6, 2020. Read Prof. Basar's responses here, and Prof. Beck's responses here. Stay tuned to the blog for more info from the experts!


Thanks for reading! Stay home and stay safe, everyone!


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