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University of Wisconsin–Madison’s N+1 Institute and GE HealthCare Collaborate for Faster Biohealth Innovation and Valuable Real-World Education for Students

The University of Wisconsin School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS) at UW–Madison and GE HealthCare announced GE HealthCare as the founding member of the N+1 Institute. This announcement comes in advance of the official launch event on May 6, 2024. The collaboration will explore artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing as a means of improving precision and flexibility in patient monitoring technology.

Part of the Department of Computer Sciences within the School of CDIS, the N+1 Institute’s mission is to create unique pathways for industry-university collaboration. In addition to speeding up development and adoption of innovative technology, the industry membership model also provides students with valuable hands-on learning experiences. 

The collaboration comes on the heels of a huge win for the state’s biohealth industry. In October, the White House formally designated Wisconsin as a Regional Tech Hub “promot[ing] innovation in personalized medicine.” Both UW–Madison and GE HealthCare serve as Tech Hub consortium members, alongside 18 other public and private organizations throughout the state. This collaboration between the N+1 Institute and GE HealthCare, which will pursue edge-based solutions to meet a range of patient needs, is one way that the state-wide push for innovative biohealth research comes to life. 

“The collaboration between N+1 and GE HealthCare couldn’t come at a better time,” said David Ertl, Executive Director of the N+1 Institute at UW–Madison. “With Wisconsin’s thriving biohealth industry and UW–Madison’s incredible wealth of resources and expertise, we’re uniquely positioned to develop solutions that improve healthcare outcomes in the state and beyond.” 

Edge computing, one of N+1’s three core research areas, is a computing model that distributes data processing and storage at the “edge” of a network rather than relying on a central server. This improves speed, optimizes bandwidth, and increases reliability — crucial factors in patient monitoring. With their combined efforts, GE HealthCare and the N+1 Institute set their sights on edge technology that will save time, guesswork, and even help save lives. 

“Alongside the UW–Madison N+1 Institute, we’re pursuing a future in which edge computing technology in patient monitoring can support clinicians in providing real-time, critical patient care,” stated GE HealthCare’s Roshy Francis, Chief Technology Officer for Patient Care Solutions. “In combination with advanced cloud technologies, edge computing has the potential to create a more connected, efficient, and intelligent digital ecosystem for the healthcare industry. We believe it can help address healthcare industry challenges and opportunities, as well as support timely decision making for more precise, personalized patient care.” 

For doctors, real-time health monitoring means faster intervention when patient health begins to decline. Yet it’s not just about industry outcomes. With the work being conducted at one of the country’s leading research universities, leaders from both N+1 and GE HealthCare are eager to involve another key group: students. 

As a founding member of the N+1 Institute, GE HealthCare plans to work closely with the UW-Madison team, mentor students during capstone and research projects, guide and leverage applied post-graduate research, and collaborate on course materials. The company will also provide patient monitoring technology, like Portrait™ Mobile, a wireless and wearable continuous monitoring solution that provides a real-time personalized view of the patient, to support coursework and research projects. For students, the arrangement offers a valuable real-world education. For the state, the collaboration will prepare a trained workforce capable of supporting the Biohealth Tech Hub that Wisconsin legislators, University leaders, and industry members worked so hard to establish.