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Department of Computer Science and Technology

Cecilia Mascolo is Professor of Mobile Systems here

Many congratulations to Cecilia Mascolo, Professor of Mobile Systems here, who has won an ERC Proof of Concept grant 2023.

She will be using the funding to further her work on developing mobile devices – like commercially-available earbuds – that can accurately pick up wearers' body sounds and monitor them for health purposes. 

The European Research Council Proof of Concept grants – worth €150,000 – help researchers bridge the gap between the discoveries stemming from their frontier research and the practical application of the findings, including early phases of their commercialisation.

Cecilia is one of 66 researchers who have been granted this funding to unlock the commercial and societal potential of their research. This funding is part of the EU's research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe.

Mobile systems and machine learning for health
Cecilia’s research interests are in mobile systems and machine learning for health. Her existing ERC-funded Project EAR was the first to demonstrate that the existing microphones in earbuds can be used to pick up wearers' levels of activity and heart rate and to trace it accurately even when the wearer is exercising vigorously.

Cecilia now wants to build on this work by enhancing the robustness of these in-ear microphones and further improve their performance in monitoring human activity and physiology in 'real life' conditions, including by developing new algorithms to help the devices analyse the data they are collecting.

"There are currently no solutions on the market that use audio devices to detect body function signals like this," she says, "and they could play an extremely valuable role in health monitoring.

"Because the devices' hardware, computing needs and energy consumption are inexpensive, they could put body function monitoring into the hands of the world's population accurately and affordably."

Published by Rachel Gardner on Thursday 27th July 2023