Delighted to share our preprint on design considerations of wearables for mental health and wellness. ✨ We combined human factors and engineering considerations to inform the development of wearables for mental health. This has been a truly collaborative project between the Stanford School of Engineering and the School of Medicine.

Paper title: Design considerations of a wearable electronic-skin for mental health and wellness: balancing biosignals and human factors

Abstract: Chronic stress has been associated with a variety of pathophysiological risks including developing mental illness. Conversely, appropriate stress management, can be used to foster mental wellness proactively. Yet, there is no existing method that accurately and objectively monitors stress. With recent advances in electronic-skin (e-skin) and wearable technologies, it is possible to design devices that continuously measure physiological parameters linked to chronic stress and other mental health and wellness conditions. However, the design approach should be different from conventional wearables due to considerations like signal-to-noise ratio and the risk of stigmatization. Here, we present a multi-part study that combines user-centered design with engineering-centered data collection to inform future design efforts. To assess human factors, we conducted an n=24 participant design probe study that examined perceptions of an e-skin for mental health and wellness as well as preferred wear locations. We complement this with an n=10 and n=16 participant data collection study to measure physiological signals at several potential wear locations. By balancing human factors and biosignals, we conclude that the upper arm and forearm are optimal wear locations.

Publication:

  1. Design considerations of a wearable electronic-skin for mental health and wellness: balancing biosignals and human factors Yasser Khan, Matthew L. Mauriello, Parsa Nowruzi, Akshara Motani, Grace Hon, Nicholas Vitale, Jinxing Li, Jayoung Kim, Amir Foudeh, Dalton Duvio, Erika Shols, Megan Chesnut, James Landay, Jan Liphardt, Leanne Williams, Keith D. Sudheimer, Boris Murmann, Zhenan Bao, and Pablo E. Paredes bioRxiv, 2021

    Chronic stress has been associated with a variety of pathophysiological risks including developing mental illness. Conversely, appropriate stress management, can be used to foster mental wellness proactively. Yet, there is no existing method that accurately and objectively monitors stress. With recent advances in electronic-skin (e-skin) and wearable technologies, it is possible to design devices that continuously measure physiological parameters linked to chronic stress and other mental health and wellness conditions. However, the design approach should be different from conventional wearables due to considerations like signal-to-noise ratio and the risk of stigmatization. Here, we present a multi-part study that combines user-centered design with engineering-centered data collection to inform future design efforts. To assess human factors, we conducted an n=24 participant design probe study that examined perceptions of an e-skin for mental health and wellness as well as preferred wear locations. We complement this with an n=10 and n=16 participant data collection study to measure physiological signals at several potential wear locations. By balancing human factors and biosignals, we conclude that the upper arm and forearm are optimal wear locations.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.

    @article{khan2021design, author = {Khan, Yasser and Mauriello, Matthew L. and Nowruzi, Parsa and Motani, Akshara and Hon, Grace and Vitale, Nicholas and Li, Jinxing and Kim, Jayoung and Foudeh, Amir and Duvio, Dalton and Shols, Erika and Chesnut, Megan and Landay, James and Liphardt, Jan and Williams, Leanne and Sudheimer, Keith D. and Murmann, Boris and Bao, Zhenan and Paredes, Pablo E.}, title = {Design considerations of a wearable electronic-skin for mental health and wellness: balancing biosignals and human factors}, elocation-id = {2021.01.20.427496}, year = {2021}, doi = {10.1101/2021.01.20.427496}, publisher = {Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory}, url = {https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2021/01/21/2021.01.20.427496}, eprint = {https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2021/01/21/2021.01.20.427496.full.pdf}, journal = {bioRxiv}, thumbnail = {khan2021design.png}, pdf = {khan2021design.pdf} }

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