Anxiety reducing smart watch pilot project comes to CLC
CLC is participating in a pilot project by Awake Labs, developers of a technology that helps people with developmental disabilities manage anxiety. They have designed a software system that uses a smart watch worn by the person experiencing anxiety, and a mobile device for caregivers to monitor real-time stress indicators. The watch measures their physiological state, including anxiety. The app alerts the staff when there is heightened anxiety.
The pilot project was launched this week, with 12 of our participants. The software uses a Samsung smart watch and corresponding iPods to communicate with the smart watches, worn by designated participants.
Stress is often a precursor to other behaviour like agitation and aggression. Anxiety is a really hard thing to observe in someone else because there often aren’t any signs until it has progressed to an outward behaviour. Early intervention is most effective, which is where this technology earns its recognition.
The watch measures strong emotions, both positive and negative, like excitement, fear and anxiety. The app uses an algorithm developed by scientists at Holland Bloorview Hospital, calculating heart rate and motion to score those emotions as normal, low, medium, or high. When an emotion increases, a notification is sent to the caregivers mobile device. This helps reduce the number of stress related incidents, and minimize behavioural incidents.