School of Nursing holds successful grand reopening of Smart Center

The event speakers and attendees gather for a group photo.


The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Nursing’s Office of Nursing Research and Scholarship hosted the grand reopening of the Center for Smart and Connected Health Technologies (Smart Center) on Feb. 23. Over 85 participants converged at the event, delving into the future landscape of healthcare technology and its profound implications for research.

Empowering Human Well-being through Health Technologies

The reopening ceremony commenced with a captivating series of opening remarks delivered by Sonya Hardin, PhD, RN, APRN, FAAN, esteemed dean of the School of Nursing, and Jennifer Potter, PhD, MPH, the health science center’s vice president of research. Their speeches not only captivated the audience but also set a visionary tone for the proceedings, underscoring the transformative potential of health care technologies.

The Smart Center’s Vision and Mission

The Smart Center serves as a dynamic hub, integrating innovative technology with human factor principles in nursing research, education and clinical practice. Its mission is to drive positive health care transformation by supporting pioneering research that guides the design, development and implementation of innovative health solutions. The Smart Center equips faculty and students with cutting-edge technologies and a deep understanding of the human element, aiming to improve well-being and health outcomes.

Distinguished Keynote Insights

The event featured presentations from distinguished keynote speakers:

  • Hongfang Liu, from UT Health Houston, explored “Learning Health Systems in the Era of Digital Transformation and AI,” offering insights into the integration of artificial intelligence in health care.
  • Aimee Kendall Roundtree, from Texas State University, presented “Decolorizing Data about the Underserved: Critical Data Studies and Data Ethics in Medicine and Healthcare,” emphasizing the importance of ethics in health data management.

Faculty and Collaborator Contributions

An event attendee stretches his hand out while the robot dog lifts its paw to shake.
Event participants interacted with the Smart Center robot dog

Faculty and collaborators presented their innovative work, showcasing the potential technologies in patient care, digital health interventions for chronic disease management, and the use of mHealth technology to support lifestyle changes, among other topics. These presentations demonstrated the breadth of research and development activities at the Smart Center, all aimed at advancing health technologies for better care outcomes.

The resoundingly positive feedback from attendees underscored the event’s monumental significance for the School of Nursing and its partners. It marked a significant step forward in the journey towards integrating smart and connected health technologies into health care, with the ultimate goal of enhancing human well-being.

To learn more about Center for Smart and Connected Health Technologies, please email

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