Monday, September 19, 2016

URSP Student Chris Rios Determines How Heart Rate Variability and Differential Pulse Transmit Time Correlates with Fatigue Levels

I am currently a Bioengineering major with a concentration in Health Care Informatics along with a double major in Economics at George Mason University. I have always had a passion for creating solutions and breaking solutions – which I think is the best of both worlds. To me, a bioengineer means to be an engineer at heart who is able to utilize subjects – math, physics, biology, etc. and create a solution for a problem. Now it is one thing to learn about previous works and learn from their mistakes but to be the person doing the research is a world of its own. The URSP research position has allowed me to experience this world and has allowed me to gain new passion for my topic.

Currently, I am conducting research on determining how heart rate variability (HRV) and differential pulse transit time (dPTT) correlate with fatigue levels. Using videos to extract pulse velocity waves (PVW) from specific region of interests (ROI), the potential extraction for dPPT can be determined. Now I have come to understand that developing an optimized algorithm for determining anything is not easy obstacle to overcome. Long days of programming and getting nowhere can be very frustrating from time to time. But even though that may sound a bit discouraging, it has given me a bigger drive to understand what is not working and how should I fix it. Some of the research that I had done inclined me to do: literature reviews for fundamental understanding, validation of methodology, validation of working environment, algorithm validation, and cross-validation of methodology. I think these research skills have helped me grow as individual and to understand what it means to be a researcher. In the works of my research experience, I have learned to balance the ups and downs in conducting research. Another important attribute that I have learned is defiantly how patience is important to any type of research. Patience is very important as not everything may work at an instant but the journey makes it worthwhile.

Overall, I think I have learned what is to be researcher and I am very grateful for the experience as it has helped open my eyes. I am very eager to continue my ongoing work on my research project and future research projects. I would also like to thank my mentor, Dr. Ikonomidou, for everything she has done for me and the great people from the OSCAR department.