Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Wearables to be used in stress, teenage depression study

William Payne
September 18, 2018

Connected healthcare device maker VivaLNK is to lend its Vital Scout devices to Stanford University for research on links between stress and depression. As part of the agreement, VivaLNK will provide the use of Vital Scout, which will help quantify stress and recovery levels in study participants over continuous 24-hour periods. 

Stanford researchers in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences are studying whether there are longitudinal associations between stress and depression in teenagers.

Normal daily activities including exercise can put stress on the body, but prolonged periods of high stress can be harmful. To get a comprehensive view of stress and recovery levels, contributing factors need to be accounted for throughout the entire day, under varying conditions. Taking occasional snapshots or random measurements of stress levels can be misleading.

"Until recently, quantifying stress has been difficult," said Jiang Li, CEO at VivaLNK. "Now with wearable sensors, quality data, and a better understanding of physiological impacts, we are able to provide a window into how daily activities affect our well-being in a quantifiable way."

Vital Scout is a wearable patch that uses ECG sensors and established heart rate variability (HRV) algorithms to quantifiably measure the body's response to physiological impacts from various activities throughout the day. In addition to stress and recovery levels, Vital Scout also tracks activity, sleep quality, heart and respiratory rates. About the size of a small bandage, Vital Scout is designed to be worn comfortably and discreetly under clothing on the chest.