Do you suffer from stress and anxiety? If you do, then you know that it can stop you from functioning properly. Imagine if technology could ease stress?
Pip, a biosensor device, looks like a mini iPod and is held between the thumb and forefinger. It measures our sweat and electrodermal activity which is related to stress levels. The biosensor then feeds the information to your smartphone.
Pip is just one of a new line of stress-management gadgets. Galvanic, a Dublin start-up company, produced it with Trinity College. Professor Ian Robertson served as chair of its scientific advisory board.
In 2007, the device was researched and patented; however, the company was unable to continue with its idea until recently. According to the Health and Safety Executive, 10.4 million days are lost because of work-related stress in the UK. According to the World Health Organisation, this costs businesses up to £187 bn per year.
Pip allows users to manage their own stress through instant feedback whereby users can learn what stress relief techniques are best for them.
Another technology approach to stress relief is wearable technology. For instance, Insight uses wearable technology (wristbands and heartbeat monitors) instead of hand-held sensors to recognise anxiety and stress in our sweat. The results go to a smartphone app.
Muse, another wearable device designed in Canada, also recognises stress signals.
Ariel Garten, chief executive of InteraXon, which developed the device states: “It’s clinical grade EEG (electroencephalography, recording brain electrical activity) in this slim, sleek little consumer form factor.” Using this devices allows you to track your brain activity on your phone and practice focussed attention.
Another approach which differs from the other options uses social networking to reduce stress levels. Jennifer Hyatt founded Big White Wall, which is an anonymous social network that helps people to manage mental health. Many members use the social networking site to relieve stress.
So whatever system you use to relieve stress, technology seems to be the way forward.