Research Projects
Digital phenotyping for symptom and functional outcome evaluation in first-episode psychosis and bipolar disorder

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☒ MRes[Med] ☑ URIS

Severe mental disorders including schizophrenia (and related psychoses) and bipolar disorder affect 2-3% of the population and constitute one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Better understanding of the early course of illness, in particular the symptom evolution and functional outcome trajectories, is critical for development of targeted intervention to modify long-term prognosis. Ambulatory digital phenotyping measures encompassing both active daily self-rated survey and passive data capture using mobile app and wearable device represent a promising approach in refined evaluation and has been increasingly applied in health research. In this project, we conduct a well-characterized early-stage psychotic disorder and bipolar disorder cohort study with an aim to adopt digital phenotyping (mobile app + wearable) to comprehensively assess symptoms, mood changes, rest-activity rhythm, sleep patterns, etc. for in-depth clinical characterization and enhanced outcome prediction. This will then facilitates personalized medicine applied in mental health practice.

Dr WC Chang, Department of Psychiatry

Dr WC Chang is a Clinical Associate Professor and Department Chairperson of the Department of Psychiatry at the School of Clinical Medicine, LKS Faculty of Medicine and a Principal Investigator of the State Key Laboratory of Brain & Cognitive Sciences, University of Hong Kong. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK) and the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists. Dr. Chang’s research interests include early intervention for psychosis, outcomes of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, clinical high-risk and psychosis prediction, negative symptoms, reinforcement learning and related paradigms for amotivation, as well as the impact of severe mental illnesses on physical health. He has published 190 articles in international peer-reviewed journals, including 64 first-/corresponding authored articles and 4 book chapters. He has been a HKU Scholars in the Top 1% for 4 consecutive years since 2019, and has received several research awards including such as the Early Psychosis Association Young Investigator Award, and the NARSAD Young Investigator Award by Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

HKU Scholars Hub

For more information or to express interest for this project, please email the supervisor or the specified contact point in the project description.  Interested candidates are advised to enclose with your email:

  1. your CV,
  2. a brief description of your research interest and experience, and
  3. two reference letters (not required for HKUMed UG students seeking MRes[Med]/URIS projects).

Information on the research programme, funding support and admission documentations could be referenced online at the Research Postgraduate Admissions website. General admission enquiries should be directed to

HKUMed MBBS students interested in the Master of Research in Medicine (MRes[Med]) programme may visit the programme website for more information.  

HKUMed UG students interested in the Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme (URIS) may visit the scheme’s website for more information.