PhD student on Video Monitoring (V36.2866)

PhD student on Video Monitoring

Position
PhD-student
Departments
Department of Electrical Engineering
FTE
1,0
Date off
16/04/2017
Reference number
V36.2866

Job description

Eindhoven University of Technology has a vacancy for a
PhD student on Video Monitoring for Robust Vital Signs Detection and Alarm Management in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
in the Electronic Systems group, department of Electrical Engineering

Project description
Medical care for very premature infants in western countries is provided in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where infants spend the first weeks or even months of their lives in a vulnerable state in which life-threatening complications can occur. Patient monitoring equipment is used to continuously monitor vital signs, such as heart rate, respiration and oxygen saturation. When necessary, alarms are used to alert the caretaker in case of a critical situation. These alarms signal the caretaker to visit and treat the patient and prevent further deterioration. Unfortunately, current systems too often raise false alarms while sometimes life threatening situations are missed.

The ALARM project aims to develop advanced methods for improved patient monitoring by fusing the measured vital signs and signals acquired with additional video monitoring to reduce false alarms and improve detection of relevant events. The project will employ data analytics to detect deterioration earlier, using the vital signals and physiology-based algorithms. In addition, it shall use video derived signals for robust patient-motion detection and unobtrusive vital sign monitoring as a further resource to raise the appropriate alarms, and lower the false. 

This PhD project is part of the larger ALARM project for which a grant was obtained from NWO-TTW. The PhD position will focus on reducing the number of clinically irrelevant alarms and on developing new event-predictors that will improve early warning for the diseases of interest. In the first year of the project, the PhD student will develop a video monitoring system that helps to distinguish between false/technical alarms and clinically relevant alarms. In the remainder of the project, the PhD student will extent this video monitoring system to a novel motion robust remote (unobtrusive) vital signs measurement system. This system will be based on an existing monitoring prototype that measures minute color and volume changes in superficial blood vessels to determine vital signs (like heart rate, breathing rate, and arterial oxygenation). The existing prototype requires further research to reduce motion artifacts and to automatically detect the relevant skin areas. Furthermore, further options to extract additional vital signs from the remote PPG signal will be studied. 

Departments and collaborators
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is a world-leading research university specializing in engineering science & technology, with a strategic collaboration with Philips and several regional hospitals, like Maxima Medical Center, who are both involved in the current project. The Department of Electrical Engineering is responsible for research and education in Electrical Engineering. The discipline covers technologies and electrical phenomena involved in computer engineering, information processing, energy transfer and telecommunication. The department strives for societal relevance through an emphasis on the fields of smart sustainable systems, the connected world and care & cure. The TU/e is the world’s best-performing research university in terms of research cooperation with industry (#1 since 2009). 

The Electronic Systems (ES) group consists of six full professors, two associate professors, eight assistant professors, several postdocs, about 30 PDEng and PhD candidates and support staff. The ES group is world-renowned for its design automation and embedded systems research. It is our ambition to provide a scientific basis for design trajectories of electronic systems, ranging from digital circuits to cyber-physical systems. The trajectories are constructive and lead to high quality, cost-effective systems with predictable properties (functionality, timing, reliability, power dissipation, and cost). Design trajectories of applications within the health care domain are an explicit focus point of the group. Within this area, prof.dr.ir. G. de Haan and dr.ir. S. Stuijk have developed various novel remote vital signs monitoring algorithms and their embedded implementations. 

The ALARM project team is designed to combine extensive knowledge in the key fields (neonatal care, physiological monitoring, system and signal analysis, data analytics and implementation), with an elaborate clinical infrastructure. There is long-standing research collaboration between Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Máxima Medical Center (MMC) and Philips on perinatal and neonatal projects, formalized in the so-called Impuls Perinatology flagship.  This project will be part of that collaboration. As part of this collaboration, the PhD candidate will work part of its time at Philips and carry out experiments at Maxima Medical Center.

Job requirements

We are looking for candidates that match the following profile: 

  • A master's degree in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering or related disciplines with excellent grades.
  • Excellent knowledge of signal processing and systems.
  • Solid programming skills (e.g., in Matlab and C or C++).
  • A team player that enjoys to work in multidisciplinary teams (including scientists, engineers, physicians and nurses).
  • Good communication and organization skills.
  • Excellent English language skills (writing and presenting). Proficiency in Dutch or the willingness to learn Dutch.

Conditions of employment

We offer a fixed-term, 4 year position in a research group with an excellent reputation. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, including: 

  • A gross monthly salary between EUR 2125,- (first year) and EUR 2717- (last year).
  • Additionally, 8% holiday and 8.3% end-of-year annual supplements.
  • A minimum of 41 holidays per year (excluding bank holidays, for a full-time employment of 40 hrs/week)
  • Additional benefits, including excellent technical infrastructure, child care, holiday savings schemes, and sports facilities.
  • Assistance for finding accommodation is offered.
  • Personal development program aimed to develop your social and communication skills (see http://www.tue.nl/PROOF3TU).

Information and application

Information 

Application

If interested, please use 'apply now'-button at the top of this page. You should upload the following: 

  • a detailed curriculum vitae, a letter of motivation and portfolio with relevant work;
  • a cover letter explaining your motivation and suitability for the position;
  • a detailed Curriculum Vitae (including a list of publications and key achievements in research project(s));
  • contact information of two references;
  • copies of diplomas with course grades;