Researchers Explore Multimodal Technology for Assessing Stroke Symptoms

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CSE’s Nadir Weibel, who is affiliated with the Design Lab, is leading the interdisciplinary Stroke-Kinect project.

San Diego, March 14, 2017 — CSE research assistant professor Nadir Weibel and CSE Ph.D. student Steven Rick are part of a small, interdisciplinary team that has been awarded a Frontier of Innovation Scholars Program (FISP) grant to pursue a sensor-based approach to multimodal stroke signature.

The so-called Stroke-Kinect team includes colleagues in engineering, computer science and the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Led by CSE’s Weibel — who is also a member of the Design Lab located in the Qualcomm Institute — the project was awarded $50,000, all of which will fund CSE’s Rick and Ph.D. student Vishwajith (Vish) Ramesh in the Department of Bioengineering while they are working over the next year on the technology.

It was one of more than 400 high-caliber proposals submitted as part of this year’s FISP grant solicitation by the university.

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CSE’s Steven Rick and Bioengineering’s Vish Ramesh both work in Weibel’s Human-Centered and Ubiquitous Computing Lab. Rick is also a member of the Design Lab’s Human Centered Healthcare team. He did his undergraduate work at UC San Diego in Cognitive Science (B.S. ’13) before switching to CSE. Currently his research focuses on computational ethnography — the augmentation of human observational research with insight from unobtrusive and ubiquitous sensing. In the Design Lab, located on the first floor of Atkinson Hall, Rick helps apply a mix of methodologies toward the generation of better human understanding of health and healthcare coordination. Rick expects to complete his Ph.D. in 2020.

Vish Ramesh

Stroke-Kinect is a new approach to characterizing the severity of ischemic stroke. The system exploits cutting-edge pervasive sensing technologies that unobtrusively capture body motion, eye tracking, and speech. The goal is to use all of these modes of communication and sensing — hence ‚multimodal’ — to understand the dynamics of human behavior and automatically assess clinical deficit scales more frequently and precisely than current human resources allow.

Team members aim to remove the subjectivity of human analysis in characterizing ischemic stroke, and to do so by allowing a more accurate quantification of specific behavioral patterns in individuals who have undergone a stroke. Another benefit of the system will be to enable rapid observation-diagnosis feedback loops by informing clinicians of patient deficits in real time. Weibel and his colleagues — including Bioengineering professor Gert Cauwenberghs and School of Medicine neuroscience professor Brett Meyer (a top expert on stroke) — will leverage campus expertise in neurology, stroke diagnosis and stroke rehabilitation. Stroke-Kinect will also collect and analyze multimodal data in the healthcare domain using pervasive sensing technologies, multi-year experience in neural computation and bioengineering, and via access to Meyer’s UCSD Stroke Clinic.

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