Pablo Paredes on Individualized Stress Detection Using an Unmodified Steering Wheel

11 Nov, 2021

Pablo Paredes on Individualized Stress Detection Using an Unmodified Steering Wheel

BCNM alum Pablo Paredes co-authored a research study on detecting stress levels through steering wheel angle data, which can be used to measure muscle stiffness, a biomarker for stress. Being able to monitor stress in this way would allow for the adverse effects of stress to be mitigated with early intervention.

From the article:

In 2007, the American Psychological Association started to flag stress as a major health problem in the US. The report showed that one-third of Americans were living with extreme stress and nearly half of Americans (48%) believed that their stress had increased over the past 5 years. The numbers have increased even further since, and recently the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed stress into a national health crisis. The adverse effects of repetitive acute stress and chronic stress can have physical, behavioural and/or neuropsychiatric manifestations. The World Economic Forum and the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health propose the advancement of digital technology, to both understand the early (prodromal) effects of environmental factors such as workplace stress and to advance interventions for the pre-disease (subsyndromal) stages of mental illness. Advocates of Precision Health argue that we can intercept risk factors of disease by regular measurements of biomarkers. Passive sensors are an important application feature that enable frequent monitoring of health states without requiring designated changes in user behaviour. Among the various spaces and scenarios where such smart sensing can occur on a frequent basis, the car can become a valuable source of data. Given that 123 million people in the US alone drive their own car to work, an in-car stress sensing system could monitor about 87% of the US workforce and measure biomarkers of stress twice a day, every workday.

Read the full article here!