Carle Illinois, UIUC Partners with Chicago ARC to Tackle Healthcare Inequity

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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign excels at utilizing interdisciplinary approaches to find solutions to complex healthcare problems.

Our commitment to research-based solutions and innovative problem-solving strategies has earned us a reputation as a leader in the healthcare field. With a diverse faculty and student body, UIUC provides a wide array of resources and expertise to help tackle healthcare challenges. In past months, we made headway in healthcare technology and delivery, speech accessibility, and AI in medicine.

In UIUC’s healthcare-centered partnership with Chicago ARC, the university aims to provide solutions in another critical area within the industry: equitable healthcare. Chicago ARC is a health innovation venture collaborative with a mission to make affordable, quality healthcare accessible for everyone, starting in Chicago. Bridging the gap between healthcare providers, researchers, venture capital firms, startups, international organizations, and corporate partners, Chicago ARC is at the center of cross-sector collaboration in this industry. UIUC and Chicago ARC are partnering with Illinois Tech, Americare Senior Living, Insight Hospital and Medical Center, and OSF Healthcare to accelerate this initiative through a network of nearly 750 healthcare locations throughout Illinois.

In Chicago’s healthcare system, “your zip code matters more than your genetic code”, according to Chicago ARC. This means that Chicago residents can live up to 30 years longer depending on which neighborhood they live in. This partnership aims to close this disparity, allowing both UIUC and Chicago ARC to work directly with patients and giving patients access to healthcare programs throughout Chicago and its suburbs.

By providing Chicago with the university’s latest healthcare technology and research, this partnership will revolutionize Chicago’s healthcare systems, making the city a global hub for health equity and healthcare technology. Areas such as virtual medicine, digital education, and medical workforce training tools, extended reality tools, connected health solutions that leverage 5G and 6G networks, hospital at home, virtual patient literacy and engagement, remote monitoring of chronic disease patients, and others will be prioritized.

Dr. Stephen Boppart, Professor and Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering and biomedical and translational sciences professor at CI MED, presented at the Chicago ARC Partners kick-off meeting held on November 17th on behalf of The Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute (IHSI) and the UIUC partnership. Dr. Boppart states that, “Our land-grant mission at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is to improve the lives of our citizens across the state, and to be a world-class leader in developing innovative technologies and solutions that benefit humanity. This is what has driven us to engage with Chicago ARC and our new associated partners in a shared commitment to address some of the greatest health care challenges that we face. We have in our sights the opportunities for access to equitable care, advanced technological solutions to improve care, and social innovations that will make a transformative impact on health. We look forward to what we can achieve together in this partnership.”

At UIUC, the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, The Grainger College of Engineering, the College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences (ACES), the Siebel Center for Design, the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute, the College of Applied Health Sciences, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications can provide an integrated approach towards innovative solutions.