Biomedical Engineering
School of ITEE

Dr Vinayak Swarnkar

Contact details

School of ITEE, General Purpose South [78]
Tel: +61 7  3365 1181
Fax: +61 7  3365 4999


Dr. Swarnkar is a young researcher who started his research career in 2005 when he joined the PhD program at University of Queensland. He completed his PhD in Biomedical Engineering in 2009. His PhD thesis focused on developing technology for the reliable diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), based on brain wave analysis. Dr. Swarnkar, with his colleagues, proposed an innovative method based on hemispherical asymmetry of the brain to characterize OSA. It is a unique and ground breaking attempt to extract apnea-specific information from the brain. Since June 2010, Dr. Vinayak Swarnkar has been employed as a Post-doctoral research fellow at the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, The University of Queensland.

Research Interests

Dr. Swarnkar research interest includes biomedical signal processing, acoustic modelling, portable technology for sleep apnea screening, real-time sleepiness analysis,cough sound analysis. His research has led to several peer-reviewed publications in high quality journals and conferences in this field. Recognizing the potential commercial value in this research, The University of Queensland has filed 3 provisional patents and one USA-PCT application.

Key Publications
  • Abeyratne, U. R., V. Swarnkar, Setyati, A. and Triasih, R., “Cough Sound Analysis –A new tool for diagnosing Pneumonia”, Accepted for publication in, Proceedings of the 35th IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Annual International Conference (IEEE-EMBS 2013), Osaka, Japan, 2013.
  • V. Swarnkar, Abeyratne, U. R., Chang, A. B., Amrulloh, Y. A., Setyati, A. and Triasih, R. Automatic Identification of Wet and Dry Cough in Pediatric Patients with Respiratory Diseases. Annals of Biomedical Engineering 41, 1-13 (2013).In this paper we developed a pioneering technology to automatically classify cough sounds into wet and dry categories using their mathematical characteristic. This is the first ever attempt to develop objective technology for dry/wet classification of pediatric cough sounds.
  • Swarnkar V, Abeyratne U, Hukins C, Objective measure of sleepiness and sleep latency via bispectrum analysis of EEG, Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, Official J. of the International Federation of Medical & Biological Engineering, Volume: 48(12), pp: 1203-1213, 2010. This paper proposes a fully automated, objective sleepiness analysis technique, via Sleepiness Index, based on single channel of EEG. Paper has been recently cited by Ronald D Chervin. Dr. Chervin is a pioneer in pediatric sleep-disordered breathing, the role of childhood sleep disorders in attention deficit and hyperactivity, and the mechanisms by which sleep apnea affects the brain. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Sleep Research Society and the International Paediatric Sleep Association, USA.
  • Abeyratne U R, Swarnkar V, Hukins C, and Brett Duce, “Inter-Hemispheric Asynchrony correlates with severity of respiratory disturbance index in patient with Sleep Apnea”, IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. July 2010, Vol. 57(12), pages 2947 – 2955.This journal is a prime outlet for biomedical engineering. Paper develops a noble index to characterize sleep apnea based on the functional asymmetry of the brain as indicated by two channel overnight EEG data.
  • Swarnkar V, Abeyratne UR, and Hukins C. “A Sleep Stage Transition based method for quantifying Sleep Fragmentation.” Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing. vol. 47(10), 2009; pp. 1053-1061, 2009. Proposes a novel concept on using sleep stage to capture sleep fragmentation in sleep disorder. The result will help make the assessment objective and evidence-based.
  • Swarnkar, V., U.R. Abeyratne and C. Hukins, “Inter-hemispheric asynchrony of the brain during events of apnea and EEG arousals”, Physiological Measurement, UK, vol. 28(8), pp.869-880, 2007. Paper discloses a fundamental discovery on brain waves in Apnea; establishes a new direction of research. Derivative of this work was patented (PCT) by the University of Queensland.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow