University of California, Riverside

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Ubiquitous Sensing for Somatic Studies Presented by: Dr. Ramesh Rao

Ubiquitous Sensing for Somatic Studies Presented by: Dr. Ramesh Rao

Ubiquitous Sensing for Somatic Studies Presented by: Dr. Ramesh Rao

April 14, 2014 - 11:10 am
Winston Chung Hall, 205/206



With the growing adoption of high performance smart phones and low cost wearable sensors it is now possible to imagine monitoring individuals for health and wellness under free living conditions. The focus must now switch to developing new diagnostics that are based on such long term personalized data. The fundamental role of the Autonomic Nervous System in regulating human physiology for optimal health makes it a ready source of information on the state of the body. Higher order statistics of the variations in the beat to beat time instants of the heart is easily sensed, tracks the state of the ANS and can be analyzed and bench marked against known disease states. It can also be used to generate real time feedback on the effect of various activities on individuals and groups  to effect behavior modification. The main challenge is to develop a systematic characterization of the signalling that runs through the ANS and developing interventions that can interpret and ultimately address degradations in both the sensing (afferent) and response (efferent) directions. He will describe a methodology for jointly analyzing heart rate signals from multiple subjects engaged in a common activity through the use of wavelet coherence analysis to uncover group effects. Furthermore, he will describe an approach to model the  instantaneous heart rate signal using a Bayesian method, inferring in real time a probabilistic distribution that approximates the real distribution of this signal. The best model is chosen after an experimental analysis of real data collected within our framework. The parameters of this distribution can reveal interesting insights on the influences of the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in real time. He will also share vignettes from unexpected outcomes of early experiments with quantifying health and wellness through ubiquitous monitoring of subjects in the context of Cancer, Pregnancy and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders.


Dr. Ramesh R. Rao has been a faculty member at UC San Diego since 1984, and Director of the Qualcomm Institute, UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), since 2001. He also holds the Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Telecommunications and Information Technologies in the Jacobs School of Engineering at UCSD, and a member of the school's Electrical and Computer Engineering department.

Prior to QI (Calit2), Professor Rao was also the Director of UCSD's Center for Wireless Communications (CWC). Dr. Rao is involved on a day-to-day basis with a wide variety of research initiatives at QI. He leads several major interdisciplinary and collaborative projects and has been a PI on dozens of federal-, state-, foundation- and industry-funded grants. Dr. Rao is an IEEE Fellow and Senior Fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology. Among his most recent honors and distinctions, he received a 2011 Casa Familiar Abrazo Award for engagement with underprivileged area of San Diego. He also was named a Member of the Rady Children's Hospital and Health Center Board IT Task Force; Member of the Board of Advisors at CommNexus San Diego (a network of communications companies); Member of the UC San Diego Health System Advisory Board; Member of the San Diego Foundation Regional Vision Council's Education Task Force. In 2010, Dr. Rao received a Professional Gordon Engineering Leadership Award from UCSD's Gordon Engineering Leadership Center.

Dr. Rao earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1984, after receiving his M.S. from the same institution in 1982. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1980 from the University of Madras.




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Electrical and Computer Engineering
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University of California, Riverside
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