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Wearable devices effective for understanding mental health

Dr. Joseph Delano Fule Robles
10 Oct 2018

A recent study showed that wearable sensors are effective for identifying factors associated with high stress and low mental health.

The 1-month SNAPSHOT study on 201 college students from a single university in New England, US, collected over 145,000 hours of data from questionnaires on mental health, electronic diaries, sensors and mobile phone applications. Results showed that wearable sensor features better classified high or low stress groups and high or low mental health groups (78.3 and 87 percent accuracy, respectively).  [J Med Internet Res 2018;20:e210]

“These new tools and methods allow multimodal data in daily life to be captured more continuously, with greater accuracy and integrity,” authors of the study commented.

The wearable sensors measured skin conductance (SC), temperature and three-axis acceleration (ACC). SC reflected autonomic arousal, providing stress index during waking hours. ACC was used to estimate activity levels and sleep-wake patterns.

The group will continue further analysis of data to understand more behaviour variables, physiologic responses and traits that impact health and well-being.

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