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master of science in health technology

News and Events

MS-Health Tech Students Celebrate Capstone Presentations and Awards

Eight students in the Master of Science in Health Technology program showcased their Capstone Presentations on Aug. 4 at the I-Hotel in Champaign.

The capstone is the final presentation for the students’ Master of Science degrees.  Invited guests included faculty members and capstone sponsors as well as friends and family of the students.  Special guests included Illinois alumni and donors Michael Vitoux and Jim and Karen McKechnie.

Falguni Deshpande was selected to receive the Michael Vitoux Capstone Excellence Award, which included a $2,000 prize. Deshpande’s capstone was entitled “Inclusion of Minority Patients in Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) Clinical Trials through Care Partner Engagement” and was supervised by Kinesiology and Community Health Assistant Professor Mina Raj in the Aging, Caregiving and Technology Laboratory.


Lauren Komrska received honorable mention in the same category, which includes a $1,000 award. Komrska’s capstone in the Disability, Participation, and Quality of Life Laboratory with KCH Associate Professor Laura Rice was entitled “Development and Validation of a Fall Detection Device for Older Adults who use Wheelchairs or Scooters”.

Vitoux was present for the award presentations and said he was impressed by the students’ work.  The recipients were selected by the awards committee based on presentations and assignments about their capstone projects throughout the academic year.

Dr. and Mrs. McKechnie celebrated all of the MS-HT students’ accomplishments at the luncheon and poster session. They were especially proud of the work of Deshpande and Komrska, who were recipients of the 2021-2022 James and Karen McKechnie Fellowship in Applied Health Sciences.

You can find more information on the MS-HT program at this link.

Health Technology Speaker Series: Dr. Abigail Wooldridge

October 22, 3 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.

Dr. Abigail WooldridgeTitle: Designing Sociotechnical Systems to Support Teams in Health Care and Health-related Contexts

Speaker: Dr. Abigail Wooldridge

Description: We will explore recent and ongoing work in the Human Factors in Sociotechnical Systems Lab, where we create, integrate and translate knowledge to improve performance, human well-being and quality in complex sociotechnical systems, found in healthcare and health-related settings through interdisciplinary collaborations.

About Dr. Wooldridge: Dr. Abigail (Abby) Wooldridge is an Assistant Professor in the Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering Department, with courtesy appointments across campus and in the Carle Illinois Col-lege of Medicine. She recently received the Presidential Award and Medallion for her leadership on COVID-19 response efforts designing a mobile diagnostic testing system.

MS in Health Technology (MS-HT) graduates first class and awards Vitoux Capstone Excellence Awards

6 students standing side by sideClass of 2021: From left to right: Neva Manalil, Gabrielle Choo-Kang, Amrutha Kumaran, Marlene Robles Granda, Asif Huq, and Tia King.

On August 3, 2021, the MS in Health Technology’s first class celebrated the completion of their degrees with a capstone presentation and award ceremony at the I-Hotel. Six students presented their final capstone project videos to members of the MS-HT Advisory Board, faculty members, capstone sponsors, and other guests.  The student capstone projects were diverse and impactful:
Gabrielle Choo-Kang was sponsored by the University of Chicago Medicine for her project on modeling accelerometry data related to frailty, disability, and falls.

Marlene Robles Granda was sponsored by the Applied Research Institute for her project on developing software analytics for prediction of anxiety and depression.

Asif Huq was sponsored by State Farm/ Sundial Labs for his project on developing a digital home assistant tools for older adults’ legacies.

Tia King, was sponsored by AARP for her project that validated use cases for digital health technology.

Amrutha Kumaran was sponsored by Human Factors in Sociotechnical Systems Lab for her project on developing a mobile application to support pediatric care transitions.

Neva Manalil was sponsored by the Applied Research Institute for her project on developing an application to predict anxiety and depression using speech and voice data.

Following the presentations, the Michael Vitoux Capstone Excellence Award was announced.  Asif Huq received the Award, and Gabrielle Choo-Kang received an honorable mention.

Michael Vitoux is a two-time alumni of University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, earning a BA in History in 1968 and a MA in Sociology in 1972. Vitoux competed on the University of Illinois fencing team as an undergraduate student and participated in two Big Ten Championships. He is still active as a fencing instructor and referee. He became interested in supporting the Health Technology program upon hearing Dr. Wendy Rogers (Director of the Health Technology Education Program) speak about it in 2021.

Asif Huq, Michael Vitoux, and Nicole Holtzclaw-StoneMichael Vitoux Capstone Excellence Award winner Asif Huq, with Michael Vitoux and Nicole Holtzclaw-Stone.

Health Technology Launches Speaker Series for Fall 2021

September 10, 3 p.m.

Shannon MejiaTitle: How do older adults understand their fall risk and can technology help?

Speaker: Dr. Shannon Mejía, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Description: We engage in activities with an understanding of whether or not we’ll be successful. But how accurate are our assessments, what are the consequences of getting it wrong, and how can technology help? This presentation offers insight on older adults’ awareness of fall risk in daily life, the personal processes of gaining feedback from daily experiences, and the potential for mobile fall prevention technologies to help.

About Dr. Mejía: Shannon Mejía is an assistant professor of technology, health, and aging in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health. Her research examines the processes by which older adults leverage technology and their close relationships to understand and support their health.

Health Technology Launches Speaker Series for Spring 2021

The Health Technology Education Program is launching a speaker series for Spring 2021.  See below for speaker dates and topics.  All talks are held on Zoom – please pre-register for the events with the links below.

February 26, Noon to 1 p.m.

Travis KadylakTitle: Board Certification in Professional Ergonomics (BCPE): is BCPE right for me?  

Speaker: Travis Kadylak, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Description: Human factors and ergonomics professionals aim to optimize human performance and well-being with effective design of systems and technologies. This presentation will focus on the process, requirements, and benefits of attaining Board Certification in Professional Ergonomics. The main goal of this talk is to provide insight that will help attendees decide if BCPE is right for them.

About Travis: Travis Kadylak, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral research associate in the Human Factors & Aging Laboratory at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His research focus is on human-robot interaction and voice-activated digital assistant usability, design, and health outcomes for users across the life-course – especially those aging with mobility disability.

Register here.

March 26, Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Beth MynattDesigning Ubiquitous Computing Technologies to Support Aging in Place

Speaker: Elizabeth Mynatt, Georgia Tech

Description: While consumer mobile and internet of things technologies can have a powerful role in supporting the goals of older adults to “age in place” and sustain quality of life and independence, designing these technologies requires anticipating the actions of caregivers, spouses, adult children, and beyond. In this talk, I draw from a number of projects to reflect on the challenges incumbent in designing for informal care networks. These challenges include establishing trust, respecting privacy, retaining autonomy and combatting disparities. While these challenges are significant, the benefits of designing for care networks are substantial and this multi-stakeholder approach has the greatest potential for long-lasting care.

About Beth: Dr. Elizabeth Mynatt is a Regents’ and Distinguished Professor in the College of Computing and the Executive Director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology that pursues innovative research to promote healthy, productive and fulfilling lives on a global scale. Over the past two decades Mynatt’s research has focused on the role of ubiquitous computing in health. She’s currently leads the NCI funded MyPath project, creating an application that provides breast cancer patients with personalized recommendations during their cancer journey. Mynatt’s co-leads the Emory-Georgia Tech program to empower people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). She is also one of the principal researchers in the Aware Home Research Initiative; investigating the design of future home technologies, especially those that enable older adults to continue living independently as opposed to moving to an institutional care setting. Mynatt has been recognized as an ACM Fellow, a member of the SIGCHI Academy, and a Sloan and Kavli research fellow. She has published more than 100 scientific papers and chaired the CHI 2010 conference, the premier international conference in human-computer interaction. Prior to joining the Georgia Tech faculty in 1998, Mynatt was a member of the research staff at Xerox PARC.

Register here.

April 30 Noon to 1 p.m.

Janneke RitchieTitle: Hello World: Making Health Tech Innovation Real

Speaker: Janneke Ritchie, CEO Orange Gate

Description: Designing innovative health tech is not enough. It has to make it in the real world.  In this interactive session, Janneke will share insights on the messy realities of tech implementation, building a business and how to be seen (and found) in a noisy online world.
About Janneke: Janneke Ritchie has spent 20 years designing & implementing solutions to enhance the adoption of new technologies for large corporations. Janneke designs solutions that empower people to take advantage of modern technologies and go digital. As the host of brickTObytes she shares real stories about adopting modern tech and how it changes lives.

Register here.

MS-HT Students Present Capstone Project Ideas to Advisory Board

titles of 8 different project proposals

On Dec. 4th 2020, MS in Health Technology students presented their capstone project ideas to the Advisory Board. In November, students were matched to their capstone projects and introduced to their project sponsors. In December students presented project ideas to all capstone sponsors, faculty, and the Advisory Board in a Five Minute Madness format. Students received feedback about their capstone projects and next steps for planning in Spring semester.

MS-HT Students Meet Advisory Board Meeting

zoom meeting with 16 people

The Master of Science in Health Technology program held an Advisory Board meeting on October 26, 2020. The MS-HT Advisory Board supports the program through advice and guidance to students on their academics, career, Capstone Project, and other professional issues. Advisory Board members represent healthcare organizations, small and large companies, and community partners. Our students eagerly joined the board meeting via Zoom where they introduced themselves and discussed their interests in health technology.

Welcoming Inaugural Class

2 students working together at a table

2 students working together at a tableThe Master of Science in Health Technology program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign was excited to welcome its first class in the Fall of 2020. This inaugural class is diverse and represents undergraduate majors including Community Health, Computer Science Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Medical Anthropology, and Psychology.

2 students working together at a tableDespite the need to take precautions related to Covid-19, the students have been able to meet in person for classes and to work collaboratively on engaging, hands-on projects. One project (pictured above) is re-imagining hypertension management for older adults. In this project, students were challenged to evaluate an existing wireless blood pressure cuff and associated mobile app, gather information about potential users, and create a series of prototypes to test their ideas for an improved system. Teams focused on different aspects of users’ needs and challenges using new digital health technologies. At the end of the semester, the teams worked together to combine their ideas into a few best concepts for a new product.

Orientation held in August

Nicole Holtzclaw-Stone speaking to a classroom of students

On August 21, 2020, the Master of Science in Health Technology Program held orientation for its first class. To adhere to the COVID guidelines, the students were welcomed by MS-HT staff Wendy Rogers, Director of the Health Technology Education Program, and Nicole Holtzclaw-Stone, Assistant Director for the Health Technology Education Program. Faculty joined the orientation meeting via Zoom to introduce themselves to the new students. Orientation took place in the McKechnie Family LIFE Home (Living in Interactive Future Environment) pictured above.

AHS to Launch First-of-Its-Kind Degree

Wendy Rogers, left, and Nicole Holtzclaw-Stone

Dr. Wendy A. Rogers, left, and Dr. Nicole Holtzclaw-Stone were on hand Dec. 10 as the Illinois Board of Higher Education approved the new Master of Science in Health Technology program.

Read the story here.

MS in Health Technology featured in Daily Illini

MS in Health Technology Launch Luncheon and Inaugural Advisory Board Meeting

large conference room with 60 people facing display screens

Wendy RogersOn Oct. 3, 2019, the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health hosted the Inaugural Advisory Board Meeting and Launch Luncheon for the MS in Health Technology. Approximately 60 guests joined the Advisory Board to hear from Dean Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell and Professor Wendy A. Rogers about this exciting new program, scheduled to host its first students in Fall 2020. The Advisory Board introduced themselves briefly to the crowd before heading to a closed door meeting where they discussed the program in-depth and made recommendations for further programmatic development. The 2019-2021 Advisory Board includes:

  • Tony Andre, Owner and Founding Principal, Interface Analysis Associates
  • Sarah Stewart De Ramirez, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of ClinicalInnovations, OSF HealthCare
  • James Duhig, Director Patient Integration, Abbvie International Pharmacovigilance Network
  • Jennifer Eardley, Vice President for Research, Carle Hospital
  • Jose Hernandez, Vice President, IT, AARP
  • Jason Hirsbrunner, Chief Operating Officer, Christie Clinic
  • Christopher Khoury, Vice President, Environmental Intelligence and Strategic Analytics, AMA
  • Raj Ratwani, Director, MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare
  • Deb Reardanz, President and Chief Executive Officer, Clark-Lindsey
  • Richard Sit, R & D manager, Human Factors Engineering, Smiths Medical
  • Beth Snell, Technology Director, State Farm

For more information about the board and their bio sketches, please visit the Advisory Board page here.

Contact Information

  • MS in Health Technology
  • Department of Kinesiology and Community Health
  • 2021 Khan Annex
  • 1206 S. Fourth Street
  • Champaign, IL 61820
  • Phone: 217-333-9708
  • Email: healthtech@illinois.edu