Assistant professor awarded AI grant: measuring health with sound

The way people breathe and speak holds valuable information about health. Aaqib Saeed, assistant professor at Industrial Design, has secured an AiNed grant to research that very topic. He is going to develop an AI model that analyzes everyday sounds to monitor a person’s health. “This project could revolutionize the way we measure health.”

photo iStock | Chiken Brave

Saeed’s research is called “Private Ears, Shared Insights: Scaling Clinical Audio Understanding with Federated Learning” and its aim is to detect health problems through audio. “Imagine a future where your smartphone or smart speaker can analyze the sounds of your speech, breathing patterns and heart rate rhythms in order to send early warning signals of possible heart conditions or dementia, without you having to share personal data. That is exactly what I’m looking to accomplish through my research. It’s an exciting prospect and I’m very excited to take the helm in this endeavor.”

“Winning the AiNed Fellowship grant was an incredible moment for me,” says Saeed. “The grant will support five PhD candidates. Not only does it provide me with the necessary means, it also serves as a strong vote of confidence in my work. This project has enormous potential through combining the power of decentralized AI with devices we all use daily and harnessing them for health monitoring.”

AiNed grant

The AiNed grant is part of the National Growth Fund program. The goal is to attract AI talent to Dutch academic research institutions, as AI experts are internationally in high demand. Since its inception in 2022, a total of 14 grants have been awarded, ranging from a minimum of €785,000 to a maximum of €916,598.

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