The contribution of long-term stress to the development or worsening of a disease is unequivocal. Often labeled as a “silent killer,” chronic stress is a major underlying origin of the top leading causes of death, globally. While there is clearly a link between a wide range of psychological to objective biological measures of stress and chronic disease, the inability to easily measure stress outside the lab continues to be a challenge.
Stress isn’t a disease in and of itself – it’s a response that occurs to the body when it feels under attack. In short bursts, stress can be useful and even encourage productivity. Often however, stress is caused by issues in a person’s life. In these cases, where stress continues long-term, it can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety disorders, and more.
The current state of stress measurement
The growth and availability of digital healthcare technologies now afford the opportunity to significantly improve the measurement of stress in real-time. These technologies can dramatically enhance the field of stress research and management, as well as each person’s wellness journey.
Long-term stress is more than a short term emotion, and can be measured through vital signs, specifically heart rate variability, heart rate and breathing rate. Accurate readings of sympathetic stress levels and vital signs, when monitored over time, can help a patient and/or provider with the success of a treatment or stress management plan. Solutions are available today such as sensors attached to the body, smartwatches, finger clips, cuffs or any other dedicated hardware that can offer vital signs measurement, but they can also have challenges and/or barriers to access and use. In addition, wearables can also come with a high cost that may not be affordable for many.
As digital healthcare solutions continue to evolve, providers and patients can now experience the convenience and privacy that comes with remote health and wellness monitoring, without the “strings attached.” Meaning that the same vitals required to aid in stress management are now available without the wires that can create barriers to adoption and access, through contactless solutions.
Digital healthcare stress monitoring - in everybody’s pocket
One technology that is currently implemented across the globe is Binah.ai’s software only, video-based health parameters measuring solutions. Binah.ai uses remote photoplethysmography for contactless, video-based, remote vital sign monitoring, allowing for a readout of vitals simply by looking into the camera of a smart phone, laptop or tablet, in under one minute.
In the comfort of home, patients can measure vitals to indicate if they are experiencing long-term, damaging stress, through readouts including stress measurement itself, but also indicators such as blood pressure, heart rate, or breathability. This technology allows for users a convenient and cost-effective avenue to keep a close eye on their health levels without having to schedule an appointment, or head to a doctor’s office every time they need to check their vitals.
Binah.ai leverages the raw data provided from heart rate variability (HRV) R-R interval (RRi), allowing access to parasympathetic measurements. Knowledge related to parasympathetic activity offers an understanding of the body’s ability to reduce stress. From the data derived from these measurements, Binah.ai provides an easy-to-read result on a five-point scale: low, normal, mild, high, and extremely high. The ability to now access this information at any time, allows for patients and providers to tweak lifestyle choices, treatment plans and more, that can aid in the management of long-time stress.
The future of digital healthcare technology stress monitoring is here
The increased adoption of innovative AI-powered technologies in remote healthcare solutions that can aid stress monitoring opens up avenues for corporations, healthcare systems, insurance companies, wellness services providers, with 70% of those living in the U.S. reporting access to a smart device, including those who are part of an underserved community. By tapping into novelty technology already on-hand among individuals, these entities can further empower education around each individual’s personal wellness, including their stress levels. As society continues to work to unravel the consequences of the stress crisis brought on by the pandemic or our daily modern lives, we can lean on advancements in technology to better inform the management of this stress, and create a healthier world.
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