Mizzou becomes part of Center to Stream Healthcare in Place, an NSF consortium

August 12, 2022

Marge Skubic and Giovanna Guidoboni are involved in the C2SHIP project

Professors Marge Skubic and Giovanna Guidoboni, both involved in helping Mizzou join C2SHIP, have worked together and with campus collaborators for years on eldercare technologies such as bed sensors that track vital signs.

Mizzou has become the fifth university to join the Center to Stream Healthcare in Place (C2SHIP), a National Science Foundation (NSF) consortium focused on helping patients monitor and manage their health at home.

Marjorie Skubic, a Curators’ Distinguished Professor in electrical engineering and computer science, along with co-principal investigators, were awarded NSF funding to lead the effort.

“The goal is to make innovative Care-In-Place technology available to the people who need it most by working with industry partners to accelerate commercialization,” Skubic said. “Our aim is to give people options in how and where they age and to improve their quality of life.”

Skubic is the director of the Center for Eldercare Rehabilitation and Technology (CERT), which will now be under the C2SHIP umbrella.

CERT opened in 2006 with the goal of helping older individuals remain independent. Through CERT, researchers develop sensors that can detect fall risks, bed sensors that monitor vital signs and other devices that allow patients to track health issues while aging in place.

“The mission of C2SHIP is completely in line with what we’ve been trying to do at CERT for the past 16 years,” Skubic said. “From the beginning, one of the missions we had was to address the needs of older consumers through innovative technology, and to give them access to this new technology requires the research to be translated into the commercial marketplace. This is exactly the framework NSF has set up.”

C2SHIP is an NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC), an initiative aimed to connect academic teams with industry innovators and government agencies. Other members of the consortium are the University of Arizona, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Southern California and California Institute of Technology, as well as 21 industry partners that advise the group and invest in projects.

Becoming part of C2SHIP will have a broad impact on Mizzou as it will connect researchers from across campus to global collaborators. In addition to engineering, faculty from the Sinclair School of Nursing, School of Medicine, School of Health Professions, and College of Veterinary Medicine are involved in the work.

For students, being part of the consortium could open doors to employment and internships, Skubic said.

“For companies, part of their motivation for getting involved is having access to a trained workforce,” she said. “They are engaging with students and recruiting for internships and, as things progress, will no doubt start hiring our graduates. It offers some tremendous opportunities for students.”

The C2SHIP consortium also benefits from having Mizzou involved, as researchers associated with the project have expertise in medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, physiological modeling, biomedical engineering, AI, informatics, cybersecurity, and veterinary medicine.

“MU brings some interesting capabilities to this group because of the diversity we have on campus,” Skubic said. “We are looking forward to the exciting possibilities.”

Co-PIs on the project are Prasad Calyam, Gilliom Professor of Cyber Security; Giovanna Guidoboni, professor and associate dean of research for engineering; Mihail Popescu, professor of health management and informatics in the School of Medicine; and Blaine Reeder, associate professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing.

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