Your Phone Knows How Stressed You Are

First Aid SmartphoneYour mobile phone could soon become an ever-present personal health assistant, helping you de-stress after a hectic day, and also provide 24×7 motivation to quit bad health habits such as smoking.

Several health technologies presented at the 2015 mHealth Summit in Washington DC leverage the capabilities many of us carry around every day in the guise of mobile phones.

Most smart phones now have sophisticated sensors that lend themselves to tracking a number of personal health markers.

Measuring Stress Through a Smart Phone Camera

Eco Fusion, an Israeli startup, has developed an interesting way to measure your pulse, heart rate variability – HRV – (an independent measure of cardiovascular stress), and breathing rate using the built-in smartphone camera and flash:


With the Serenita app, users can check their baseline stress level, and then use a guided breathing/relaxation exercise to moderate body stress:


According to Eco Fusion’s Chairman, Dr. Oren Fuerst, the Serenita app is being used in several clinical trials to validate the technology, and determine the level effectiveness for treating several health conditions, including reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol in people with diabetes.

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Motivating (and Nagging) Smokers to Quit

somatix-screen1Part of overcoming addictions (and ingrained habits) is lasting behavior change. Enter new startup Somatix with a real time feedback app for smokers.

Using a smartwatch to track repetitions of hand-to-face movements, the SmokeBeat app balances “in your face” statistics on how much money a smoker spends on tobacco (and minutes of reduced life expectancy), with cessation coaching and group support.

Somatix is looking for pilot users to test the new SmokeBeat app.

See also: The Future Wave of Medical Technology