Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Wearable devices offer exciting opportunities to longitudinally detect and track multi-modal stress and symptoms of disease in an objective and unobtrusive way.

The potential and emerging opportunities involving digital technology, stress and disease are highlighted in the article: Unlocking stress and forecasting its consequences with digital technology, which was published in the Nature Partner Journal, Digital Medicine, July 2019.

The availability and capabilities of digital devices have exploded in recent years. Smart phones, watches, rings, vests, scales, patches and even eyeglasses can produce different types of physiological data reflecting measures of the autonomic nervous stress system and objective digital biomarkers relating to activity patterns, daily routines, cognition, speech patterns, eye movements, and social activity.

The big data from these connected devices holds huge promise in discerning processes leading to disease. One of the major underpinnings of disease is stress, yet little progress in uncovering how it produces end stage illnesses such as acute episodes of major depression, flares in irritable bowel disease and symptoms or cardiac events has been made. 

 

Exposure to stress and individual reactions to stress are complex, fluid and dynamic. Until recently, we have had little means to measure, and discern the complexity associated with individual stress responses, and how these responses forecast disease. - Sarah Goodday, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

 

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) will be needed to translate the large volumes of data coming from digital devices and to decipher the complex inter and intra individual variation in stress and how it forecasts end stage illness. With the help of AI these tools could return signs of stress and early warning signs to individuals, offering personalised health management systems. 

 

 

 

 

 

The clinimetric properties of most wearable technologies is unknown, as well as, their capabilities for detecting early symptoms and stress.
- Authors of the paper.

The market for wearable devices continues to saturate, outlining the importance of focusing efforts on large scale feasibility studies across different patient populations. Once the feasibility of using these digital tools to detect and track stress is established, these approaches offer real potential for pathways towards individualised care.

 

To read the full paper.

 

NIHR OXFORD HEALTH BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTRE NEWS

Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.

Similar stories

Childhood Abdominal Pain May Be Linked to Disordered Eating in Teenagers

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Early intervention Mental Health

New research shows that people who suffer from recurrent abdominal pain in childhood may be more likely to have disordered eating as teenagers.

Future-Proofing Mental Health

COVID-19 Early intervention Mental Health

UK academics are calling for targets for mental health research in order to meet the healthcare challenges of the next decade. Published today in Journal of Mental Health, researchers set out four overarching goals that will speed up implementation of mental health research and give a clear direction for researchers and funders to focus their efforts when it comes to better understanding the treatment of mental health.

Children and Adolescents’ Mental Health: One Year On

COVID-19 Child and adolescent Mental Health

Parents and carers reported that behavioural, emotional and attentional difficulties in their children changed considerably throughout the past year, increasing in times of national lockdown and decreasing as restrictions eased and schools reopened, according to the latest Co-SPACE (COVID-19 Supporting Parents, Adolescents, and Children in Epidemics) study, led by experts at the University of Oxford.

No Evidence of Significant Increase in Risk of Suicide in First Months of Pandemic

COVID-19 Mental Health Suicide

A new observational study is the first to examine suicides occurring during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple countries and finds that suicide numbers largely remained unchanged or declined in the pandemic’s early months, however continued monitoring is needed.

Largest study to date suggests link between COVID-19 infection and subsequent mental health and neurological conditions

COVID-19 Mental Health

One in three COVID-19 survivors received a neurological or psychiatric diagnosis within six months of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, an observational study of more than 230,000 patient health records published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal estimates.

Opportunities for Final Goodbyes Must be Prioritised in COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Mental Health

Bereaved relatives described the ongoing pain of being absent at the end of a loved-one's life. Many had not seen their relative for weeks or months due to the pandemic. Opportunities must be prioritised for essential connections between families at end-of-life care.