By Liz Warren-Pederson
Hsinchun Chen, UA Regents’ Professor and Brown Chair in Management and Technology at Eller, has been appointed lead program director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Smart and Connected Health Program.
The Smart and Connected Health Program funds research to develop innovative approaches to transforming healthcare from reactive and hospital-centered to preventive, proactive, evidence-based, person-centered, and focused on well-being rather than disease. It encourages existing and new research communities to focus on breakthrough ideas areas including sensor technology, networking, information and machine learning technology, decision support systems, modeling of behavioral and cognitive processes, as well as system and process modeling.
In his role, Chen will coordinate over ten program directors and 100 current research projects, overseeing $100 million in program funding. He will also develop partnerships with the National Institutes of Health, other federal and international health agencies, and industry.
“Healthcare IT research is facing a perfect storm for radical transformation,” Chen said. “It is an honor for me to serve the community at such a critical time. I hope to foster and develop innovative, high-impact, and transformational future healthcare technologies that can benefit patients, society, and the world.”
In the coming years, Chen will divide his time between Tucson and Washington, D.C. He will begin his appointment in August 2014.
Chen, an imminent scholar in data mining and informatics, is director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the UA Eller College. It is through his lab that he developed the Dark Web project to track terrorism online, as well as the crime-fighting product COPLINK®, which allows law enforcement agencies to draw information from multiple databases and identify associations between crimes. The latter technology formed the basis of a spinoff company, Knowledge Computing Corporation, which merged with crime analytics company i2 before being purchased by IBM Corporation.
Chen is the founder of Caduceus Intelligence Corporation, a UA spinoff company in healthcare information systems. In 2013, he was awarded $5.4 million for two major cybersecurity grants and was also named the UA’s Innovator of the Year.
Top image of medicine doctor hand working with modern computer interface courtesy Shutterstock.