Using Engineering and Technology to Address the Neurology Care Crisis
by Christopher M. Zallek, MD
and Elizabeth T. Hsiao-Wecksler, PhD
Carle Illinois College of Medicine
Innovation Grand Rounds
Friday, April 9, 2021
noon – 1:00 p.m. Hear from Dr. Christopher Zallek and Dr. Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler
1:00 – 1:30 p.m. Reflection & Dialogue
Zoom Call-in: go.illinois.edu/innovationgrandrounds
Healthcare systems and society face a growing neurology care crisis. This presentation describes factors contributing to the crisis, provides a brief overview of the neurological symptom evaluation process, and then identifies engineering opportunities to strengthen neurological care delivery through use of digital technologies and better training of clinicians. To address some of the training issues, we have been developing simulators for practicing clinical assessment techniques used during neurological examinations. Specifically, these simulators are able to replicate different severity levels observed in patients with upper limb muscle weakness, spasticity, lead-pipe rigidity, and lower limb clonus.
Chris Zallek, MD, is a neurologist with the OSF HealthCare, lead investigator with the NeuroHealth Lab at Jump Simulation, and Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria, IL. He earned his M.D. from the University of Iowa and completed his Neurology residency and Neuromuscular Disorders/EMG fellowship at the University of Michigan. Since joining OSF HealthCare in 2000, he has provided outpatient Neuromuscular subspecialty care and inpatient and outpatient general neurological care on teaching services. His clinical responsibilities include co-directorship of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Care Center serving Muscular Dystrophy and ALS patients in the central Illinois region. His interests include neurological exam training simulators, digitizing neurological exams, and novel care delivery models to improve patient care.
Liz Hsiao-Wecksler, PhD, is a Professor and Willett Faculty Scholar in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, and Affiliate Professor in CI MED, Neuroscience Program, Center on Health, Aging and Disability, Center for Autonomy, Beckman Institute, and departments of Bioengineering and Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering. Prof. Hsiao-Wecksler’s work has been supported by NSF, NIH, Dept of Homeland Security, and the Jump ARCHES program at UIUC. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Society of Biomechanics, Associate Editor for the Journal of Medical Devices, and President-Elect for the American Society of Biomechanics. Her group has been awarded 3 US patents, 2 pending US patents, and submitted 9 additional patent applications and invention disclosures. She was a co-founder of IntelliWheels, Inc., a Champaign, IL start-up that developed novel multi-geared wheels for manual wheelchairs.