Sentio Solutions, a wearables company out of San Francisco has quantified COVID-19’s impact on our mental health. The first study of this kind, it shows our negative emotions have nearly doubled during the lockdown.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
The research uses data collected by the company’s Feel Emotion Sensor. This is an emotion tracking wearable that was launched a couple of years back. The bracelet is designed to track biosignals throughout the day, while the mobile application visualizes the results and provides personalized recommendations to improve emotional health.
The device doesn’t look all too different from your standard fitness tracker. Inside are sensors that allow it to measure heart rate variability, galvanic skin response, skin temperature and movement (activity). Some clever algorithms utilise the tech to figure out how the wearer is feeling throughout the day and how their mood is affected by various factors.
The study involved a random group of 36 participants from Europe and the USA. Some 128 million electro-dermal activity (EDA) samples were analysed during an 8 week period, along with 400 million heart rate variability (HRV) samples, 64 million skin temperature (ST) samples, and 900 significant emotional moments.
The results show a large fall in a number of bio-signals since social distancing measures were put in place. This indicates a significant change in people’s emotional state. In fact, the number of negative emotions nearly doubled during the lockdown. Vulnerable, empty, fearful and miserable feelings were typically reported. Over 60% of the negative emotions increased in intensity as compared to the pre-lockdown period.
We suspected this might be the case but this is the first time physiological data has been used to quantify the impact of the pandemic on our emotional states. If you’re interested, the full study can be seen on this link.
Sentio Solutions offers a solution that combines its sensor with 24/7 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) support. There’s also a recently launched Relief Program, to help people manage excessive stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Feel Emotion Sensor was developed following many years of research, it uses proprietary algorithms and artificial intelligence to analyze physiological data to detect the emotional space, and is connected to a companion app and a data-driven CBT therapy program.” said CTO and Co-Founder Haris Tsirmpas.
“We are only scratching the surface of the potential of our technology and this will completely reinvent mental health care for the future,” he adds.
Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!