Design and Development of a Physiological Stress Monitoring/Alert System Using a Wristband
Pathapati Thyagaraju, Ritesh Varma
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The design and development of wearable physiological systems for stress monitoring have gathered a lot of attention during the past few years. These systems have undergone much-needed development to tackle long-term effects such as a headache, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, confusion, inability to make correct choices, etc. Accurately measuring physiological signals that are helpful to detect stress in its early stages using wearable technology have long been a goal in the healthcare industry. Current commercial products such as Fitbit and Empatica only monitor either the heart rate (Fitbit) or electrodermal activity in real time (Empatica) but these devices have limited features in alerting the user to situations such as abnormalities in stress levels through the device itself and need some special software which has to stay connected always in order to get this information. In addition, they are quite costly ranging from $250 up to $1690. Previously, studies based on stress detection were confined to a closed environment limited to laboratories in which the patient was more often rested in a sedentary position during treatment or evaluation. When it comes to real-time periodic stress monitoring such systems fail by a huge margin. Hence a design has been proposed to provide better methods to monitor PPG (Photoplethysmography) and HR in real time with a user alert system to enrich user experience in tackling abnormality in the recorded signals and during stress encounters on a daily basis. The preliminary results from the data recorded after evaluating a user under stress when compared side by side to those of a same user experiencing no stress showed noticeable changes in Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and Galvanic Skin Response (GSR). This correlation can be used to prevent stress-related health problems that will eventually improve the quality of life.