News Release 

New grant aims to develop digital approaches for patient assessment

Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

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IMAGE: Bioengineering Professor Rohit Bhargava, who leads the Cancer Center at Illinois, focuses his research on the imaging of tumors through chemical imaging. view more 

Credit: L. Brian Stauffer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A new grant will fund an international collaboration to develop tools to assess patients who suffer from cardiovascular disease.

The Bhargava group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will collaborate with researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, a leading technology-focused educational institution in India. The grant "Partnership 2020: Leveraging U.S.-India Cooperation in Higher Education" is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Researchers hope to develop techniques for analyzing MRI and echocardiogram images, which will allow them to assess patients who suffer from cardiovascular disease. They have been awarded $75,000 for phase 1 of the study.

"Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in India. Usually, doctors assess patients by echocardiogram or MRI, which takes time," said Shachi Mittal, a Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow in the Chemical and Imaging Structures Laboratory and one of the principal investigators on the grant. "Additionally, the health care load is high, and it is therefore important to help them make faster and more accurate diagnose."

"Our lab has developed digital methods that use deep learning to enhance clinical care. We will collaborate with the researchers at IIT-Delhi and local hospitals in India to acquire cardio images and build models to predict patient outcomes," Mittal said.

"The scientists at Beckman have always tried to increase the quality and impact of their research," said Rohit Bhargava, Founder Professor of Engineering in the Department of Bioengineering and the director of the Cancer Center at Illinois. "With this grant, we can add a new dimension to Beckman's engagement at the convergence of health and technology. We can take the expertise from the University of Illinois and apply it to the problems in India to co-develop practical solutions for both countries."

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