Electrodermal activity measured by the Moodmetric ring

Electrodermal activity

With any sympathetic nervous system activation, skin reacts and becomes a better conductor of electricity. This can result from emotional, cognitive or other psychological origin. The phenomenon is known as electrodermal activity (EDA) and it is widely adopted in psychological research (1). Other commonly used terms for this phenomenon are skin conductance response and galvanic skin response.

EDA is generated by the activity of the sweat glands.  Moodmetric measures the palmar skin on your finger. The palmar skin is the recommended EDA measurement location, since it has the highest eccrine sweat gland density (2). You can measure EDA elsewhere as well but the reliability is not as high or as easily achieved.

The unconscious actions of the human body are regulated by the autonomic nervous system. It consists of the sympathetic part and the parasympathetic part. The parasympathetic part controls the body’s rest-and-digest functions and the sympathetic part controls the fight-or-flight reactions. With EDA, we can examine the latter.

The sweat glands are exclusively innervated by the sympathetic nervous system. This makes EDA an ideal measure for sympathetic activation (2). Electrodermal activity correlates to general cognitive and emotional intensity, and high responses are caused by e.e. stress, enthusiasm, anxiety, joy, anger (1, 3).

Mobile EDA devices have been used by scientists for some time (2, 4). The Moodmetric ring is an unobtrusive option to follow EDA responses real-time and in long term.

Signal accuracy

The signal accuracy has been proven in a study of 24 people by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health by J. Torniainen et al.. The accuracy against a laboratory grade reference was found to be 83 %. They conclude:

“Clearly the ring sensor can be used to measure a valid EDA signal as indicated by the similarity of both event-related responses and the calculated features. The accuracy of the Moodmetric EDA Ring is adequate for psychological and physiological research when weighted against the advantage of conducting ecologically valid experiments outside laboratory conditions.”

The results were accepted for publication in the 2015 conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC 2015, August 25-29).

The Moodmetric measurement has also been proven to be accurate by THe University of Tampere, Finland. The correlation with the reference equipment Nexus-10-MK II was good. Comparison details in charts below.

With skin conductance level (SCL) we refer here to raw measured skin conductance without any filtering. The figures below show the comparison of the two devices. 

References

1 Mendes, W.B. (2009). Assessing the autonomic nervous system. In: Harmon-Jones   E. ja Beer J.S. Methods in social neuroscience. New York: Guilford Press. p. 118-147.

2 Setz C., Arnrich B., Schumm J. and La R. (2010) Discriminating Stress From Cognitive Load Using a Wearable EDA Device. IEEE Trans. Inf. Technol. Biomed. 14(2). p. 410-417.

3 Nikula R. (1991) Psychological correlates of nonspecific skin conductance responses. Psychophysiology. 28(1). p.86-90.

4 Poh M.Z, Swenson N.C. and Picard R.W. (2010) A Wearable Sensor for Unobtrusive, Long-Term Assessment of Electrodermal Activity. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 57(4). p. 1243-1252.

 

 

The Moodmetric technology in research

The Moodmetric ring and app are the simplest solution to measure stress and excitement. Take the benefit of the Moodmetric continuous measurement and real-time feedback to support your research.

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The Moodmetric ring is developed to analyze the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, ie. the fight-or-flight reaction. This can be detected through the skin conductance response measurement. It is best done from the palmar skin or fingers, which makes the ring form perfect to obtain accurate data.

Where can the electrodermal activity measurement be applied

This phenomen of electrodermal activity / galvanic skin response has been an input for research for over hundred years. It is used in large extent for instance in
– Psychological research
– Clinical research & psychotherapy
– Media & advertising testing
– Consumer neuroscience & marketing
– Usability testing & UX design

How the Moodmetric ring is used

The Moodmetric ring is a non-intrusive way to measure the electrodermal activity, which enables long term measurement outside a laboratory setting. The ring is worn as a normal ring. It connects to a smartphone app via bluetooth smart and real-time measurement works within 5m radius.
The app shows the electrodermal responses measured by the ring and the output of the signal analysis which is the Moodmetric index (0…100).  In addition, the Moodmetric number among other data, so the ring can be worn without phone connection. The data can be synced any time.
Direct data streaming from the ring to Windows PC is possible with a BLE dongle. This enables also access to EDA raw data.

In addition to EDA sensors, there is a three axis accelerometer inside the Moodmetric ring. This enables for example measuring the step count, that is included in the app.

The measuring and output

Due to the advanced signal analysis methods to derive the Moodmetric index, the measurement works for everyone. It adapts to the typical level of the person using the ring. The ring learns the levels of the user, becomes personal, and always gives a number between 0 and 100, with a typical activation level of 50. If the user changes you can reset and the learning starts from the beginning.

The algorithm also includes an advanced artefact rejection. The electrodes touch the skin and even if your hand moves the algorithm rejects the disturbances in the signal caused by the electrode movement.

The Moodmetric measurement accuracy and current use in research

The Moodmetric ring feasibility for research has been verified by the Finnish Institute of Occupational health.
Link to the EMBC ´15 conference paper.
It has been used in following research programs:

Pop up, 2015-2016

‘Pop up  – knowledge work productivity’ research project provides new research results, practical methods and measurement tools for developing knowledge work productivity and well-being at work. Knowledge work is analyzed through a work system including physical, virtual, social and emotional environments. This project develops and utilizes participatory Pop up –method for designing and testing new work environments and practices that provides more productive ways of working. In addition, the project develops metrics and measurement tools for analyzing the impacts of new work designs. Mobile devices, sensors and applications are utilized to study fluency and experienced well-being and productivity of knowledge work.

Project’s multidisciplinary team comprises researchers from Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and Aalto University. The project is carried out in close collaboration with industry partners: Tampere Region Economic Development Agency Tredea, Arkkitehtitoimisto Helamaa&Heiskanen, University Properties of Finland Ltd, Martela and Moodmetric.

Contact persons:
TUT Novi research center: Maiju Vuolle, maiju.vuolle(at)tut.fi
TUT Human-centered technology: Kaisa Väänänen, kaisa.vaananen(at)tut.fi
TUT School of Architecture: Jenni Poutanen, jenni.poutanen(at)tut.fi
Aalto Virtual and mobile work research unit: Matti Vartiainen, matti.vartiainen(at)aalto.fi

DEEVA, 2016 -2019

DEEVA project utilizes the opportunities of digitalization to create value from data and to develop new, customer driven service products and methods which support value co-creation and that are based on deep understanding of customer experience.

The research question is as follows: what kinds of means, modes and contexts combining data, emotions and experiences digitalization enables. The project is carried out with a large and versatile network of enterprises. The participating 20 companies vary in size and industry, e.g. energy, media, bank, ICT, real estate, commercial and service sectors are represented in the project.  Multisectoral group of enterprises enhance both co-learning and gaining new insights into the research topic.

The project is executed by a multidisciplinary research consortium of three universities: Tampere University of Technology, Turku University of Applied Sciences and Tampere University of Applied Sciences in co-operation with six international universities.  In addition to knowledge and publications for different target groups the project will create tools and applications for measuring customer experience and analyzing emotion data in real-time. The information provided by the tools and applications can be used in everyday activities of companies to support e.g. management of multi-channeled service environment and development of new service products and co-creative ecosystems.

Contact persons:
TUT Novi research center: Nina Helander, nina.helander(at)tut.fi
TUAS AADI Research group: Harri Jalonen, harri.jalonen(at)turkuamk.fi
TAMK Mediapolis: Leena Mäkelä, leena.makela(at)tamk.fi

New team member at Moodmetric

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We are excited to announce having a new team member, Jari Jussila, who joined Moodmetric in August.

Jari is a keen researcher interested to understand better the human behaviour, using latest technology both in collecting and analysing the data. Lately the focus has been on knowledge workers’ productivity and well-being.

  “We can collect enormous amounts of data automatically, practically every mouse click. What has not been straightforward at all, is the human factor. How does the person react and feel? The Moodmetric measurement opens a huge new window, where real-time stress measurement can be added to other gathered data. I am really happy to be part of this team, to build something surprising together!”, says Jari. 

Jari holds a Ph.D. in technology and is specialized in data analytics. His previous work and publications entail advanced studies in Big Data, analytics in business development and social media.

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Moodmetric is not always love at first sight

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I’ve been with Moodmetric for three months now. I asked to join the Moodmetric team after having conducted research for over a year with the Moodmetric ring in the field of knowledge work productivity and wellbeing. Abandoned my half completed doctoral thesis, declined a job offering in an organization where I had dreamed to work some day and jumped into startup adventure that has no guarantee of a happy ending.

I have worn the Moodmetric ring on a regular basis ever since I put the ring on in January 2015. Not wearing the ring makes me uneasy. I guess one could say it was love at first sight.

The Moodmetric ring is the smallest biosensor measuring the reactions of the sympathetic nervous system. It gives real time data how the wearer’s stress levels fluctuate. The sympathetic nervous system activates when we experience stress in our everyday life. Chronic stress is a severe health risk and can lead to both physical and psychological health issues. With stress affecting our behavior, thoughts and feelings and ultimately our health, Moodmetric helps to detect stress and learn to unwind when necessary.

This is exactly what I need Moodmetric for – to know how my body is adjusting to the changes in my life. I am a person who gets excited very easy and love to have a lot going on. Getting things done just purely makes me happy. At times, I find myself having too much to get done in too little time and stress gets overwhelmingly vicious. However, my body (nor yours either) does not differentiate on good or bad stress. The sympathetic nervous system may be up and running high for pure excitement, but without proper recovery also good stress may turn against me.

Moodmetric provides me an independent assessment on the sustainability of my actions. I have learned from my previous experiences that the more prolonged stress I undergo, the less enlightened estimates I make on my health. ‘I can’t give up now, because others seem to be working even harder than I am’, ‘This has to be done now, or I will lose this opportunity’, ‘I am not progressing, because I have not worked hard enough’. That is stress skewing my thoughts.

The Moodmetric helps me to slow down if my thoughts, affected by stress,  try to drive me to accomplishments that are beyond my resources. Needless to say, there’s not much to accomplish with a broken body.

As I have talked about Moodmetric with a lot of people, it is not always love at first sight. To be honest, Moodmetric is a fright to some high achievers – ‘The last thing I need right now is to know how stressed I am!’. I assume these people believe that ignoring stress makes it less harmful.
I am left pondering do we need to lose our health before we take action?

 

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How do you sleep

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Newborn baby is rarely something fun in the night time. Back then, I lost count by midnight on how many times I was woken up. I tried to write all the activity down on a piece of paper, but in the morning it was impossible to comprehend my scribble.

Meeting other very tired mothers the next day, it would be have been great to boast about the 30 something wake up cries to explain why I did not remember my name. I thought how eye opening (for my husband) it would be to have a tracker to tell all this and have a proof the next day!

In a couple of years this all became possible and there are a lot of devices to choose of. Showing records of bad sleep is possible and even something your occupational health carer might ask from you. Insomnia is as common as a flu and temporary night problems can be caused by projects at work, also free time, not only by your sweet baby.

Virtually all the activity trackers have included sleep tracking in their devices. Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, just to name a few, all have solutions that give insights to the sleep. Depending on the device, they monitor the quality and length of sleep (deep, light and REM sleep), through person’s heart rate, breathing, movement, blood oxygen level and brain waves. A simple pedometer can tell the steps you took.

Personal insight: Carrying a crying baby from 2am until 4am quickly gathers the recommended 10 000 steps per day..

The sleep trackers reveal what happens after Sandman has paid his visit. Analysis on sleep cycles can help you to take actions if you want to improve your sleep routines. Sleep deprivation has harmful effects on our human health, and even small changes can significantly improve recovery during night time.
The Moodmetric ring tells about the sympathetic nervous system activation during the night. If the system is very active, your immune system does not work at it´s full power. The ring is a simple to use reader that tells how well you have recovered from your day. As the Moodmetric ring is designed to measure stress, the night time reading gives the user valuable and important insights into the big picture. If the day was hectic but the night was spent sound asleep, it is a good indication of having stress and recovery well in balance.

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This is our COO sleeping like a baby after an exciting day.

 

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Diamonds are forever

Jewelry has always meant a lot for the mankind. Pendants, earrings and bands have had special powers from the early days of our existence.

Wearable technology has brought those features back to jewelry. They are not just decoration, they give the wearer something in addition. The Moodmetric ring protects the wearer – from excess stress! If not having mystic healing powers, it gives relevant information regarding your wellbeing.

The electronics inside Moodmetric has been miniatyrized so much, that important functions can be fitted inside a stone that is comparable to any festive ring. The original designer Vesa Nilsson has made the form that is sleek and attractive.

The functionality allows the top cover designed in a thousand ways. Moodmetric was happy to collaborate with another famous Helsinki based jewelry designer Tina Tillander, who was keen to combine precious stones with the original design.

How pretty they came out..

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Atelier Torbjörn Tillander – Tina Tillander

 

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Moodmetric at Emotion Hack Day

 

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The University of Helsinki celebrated its 375th anniversary with the Helsinki Challenge competition, that was launched in 2014.

The competion received more than 140 registrations, and after a long selection process – including startup-type pitching –  the winner was selected at the end of 2015.

NEMO – Natural Emotionality in Digital Interaction,  received €250,000 for realising the team’s idea: to add empathy to the internet.

Digital systems are not designed to consider emotions. As a result, the tools we have for expressing our emotions online are severely lacking in quality. This in turn inhibits empathy, the mechanisms that allow people to understand each other, connect and collaborate.

The research team including Katri Saarikivi, Tommi Makkonen and Valtteri Wikström have a huge task in front of them. Part of their project is to include others with events like the Emotion Hack Day, that Moodmetric was also invited to participate.

The event took place simultaneously in Helsinki and Montreal, and gathered talented people from all work backgrounds to spend 24 hours to generate ideas around digitalizing emotions.

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Moodmetric sponsored the event with the Moodmetric rings and SDKs for teams interested in using GSR in their project:

‘It is always fun to work with a new wearable technology and think of how it can be leveraged in every day life. Also, working with a company that takes pride in making the data interface easy to work with is refreshing, since it allows us to focus on the creative aspects, instead of the device interface.’  -André

The submissions are one step towards online presence – with emotions.

How can Moodmetric help an ambitious achiever?

Are you, or would you like to be a high achiever? Do you have the emotional power to handle it?

Some high achievers are always in pursuit of perfection. They are driven by an inner voice that is never content with their achievements. No matter how good are the accomplishments looking from outside, in the inside the person never feels good enough. There would always be room to improve, and more to do. Self-criticism is at maximum. Showing weakness is not an option. The pursuit of perfection is emotionally consuming. The tiredness is sometimes overwhelming, worsened by the disappointment in self, and others.

People in healthier pursuit of excellence are high achievers, whose inner voice is their genuine self. They have a  strong desire to accomplish something important, and gain gratification from success in demanding tasks. Their approach to good achievements contains more empathy, towards themselves and people around them.

They are self-assured but not self-centric. They are able to ask advice when needed, and understand the power of working together. Still, achieving much is a tough task and sometimes they can be on the edge emotionally.

The both types have one problem in common – how to tell when too much stress is going to make the path of productivity too rough?

Moodmetric services are aimed at high performing individuals, who want to optimize the use of their emotional capacity. Persons demanding a lot from themselves want to know where their personal limits are. How much more can I do and achieve, before the stress turns against me? The Moodmetric ring is a simple tool to measure long term data about how emotional load is affecting the wearers’ sympathetic nervous system. The trends are visible in a simple to read index, which shows the emotional load day-to-day.

The Moodmetric app also includes real-time follow-up on stress levels. This gives an instant view to reactions and stress amount during the day. A simple guidance teaches the wearers to understand their data in the daily context.
Moodmetric helps the wearer to understand the emotional boundaries. The Moodmetric ring and app are a very special and personal tool in building the optimal performance.

 

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