ECE PhD student Rajkumar Theagarajan  is the first author of the paper that won the Best Student Paper Award  at the 18th IEEE International Conference on BioInformatics and BioEngineering (BIBE), held in 2018.  Theagarajan’s PhD adviser is Distinguished Professor Bir Bhanu.  BIBE is a highly selective conference and the acceptance rate for regular papers for this conference was ~11%. The paper is entitled, KnowPain: Automated System for Detecting Pain in Neonates from Videos and co-authored by Rajkumar Theagarajan, Bir Bhanu, Danilyn Angeles and Federico Pala. The paper dealt with the problem of pain of neonates in intensive care units. Premature neonates are subjected to clinically required but painful procedures throughout their hospitalization. Since neonates are non-verbal, pain scoring tools are used to measure their pain responses. Although a number of pain instruments have been developed to assist health professionals, these tools are subjective and may underestimate the pain response of neonates. This could lead to the pain being misread resulting in mis-diagnosis and under/over treatment. The paper developed machine learning based computer vision algorithms to accurately quantify the pain. This work was done in collaboration with Dr. Angeles from Loma Linda University Medical Center.

IEEE BIBE

Link to Award