, who is a Senior Lecturer and Advance Research Fellow at the USQ Institute for Resilient Regions
, is using machine learning to research the early detection of mood changes, which are typical of mental health issues and relapses.
Machine learning is a field of computer science that uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to "learn" with data, without being explicitly programmed.
Dr Rana said research had shown that early detection and intervention could save 60 per cent of hospitalisations, potentially saving the Queensland economy almost $500 million.
“Early diagnosis of relapse enables clinicians to provide support before hospitalisation, reducing the burden on the hospital system and providing patients with the best chance of maintaining education or employment,” Dr Rana said.
The outcomes of Dr Rana’s research will include the development of a tool to automatically determine mood simply from day-to-day phone conversations on a smartphone and a system for early diagnosis of relapse by tracking mood in real-time.
When commercialised, the system will allow patients to identify and track their mood, which may help them to seek help early to avoid long-term hospitalisation.
The Young Tall Poppy Awards
, an initiative of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, recognise the achievements of Australia’s outstanding young scientific researchers and communicators.
USQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)
, Professor Mark Harvey
, said it was an outstanding achievement for Dr Rana to be recognised as one of the state’s finest young scientists.
“These awards recognise up-and-coming scientists and researchers who are not only conducting world-class research but also communicating and engaging with the community to encourage a greater engagement in science,” Professor Harvey said.
“Dr Rana’s work will no doubt have great benefits in the mental health sector, while his contribution to coding clubs and schools to encourage careers in STEM also shows a commitment to inspiring the next generation of researchers.”
USQ’s Dr Rajib Rana was awarded a 2018 Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Award.