Recent research shows that the Moodmetric ring is an accurate tool for measuring EDA

Prediction of Self-Perceived Stress and Arousal Based on Electrodermal Activity – a paper by Tomppa Pakarinen, Julia Pietilä and Hannu Nieminen has been presented at the European Biomedical Conference EMBC in Berlin in July.

The researchers were keen to understand how individuals perceive stress and how devices can capture it. The need for this kind of study has been there for a long time. Today, prolonged stress is a common cause of work-related health problems and has major negative impact on employee wellbeing and productiveness. Being able to measure exposure to stress long term would provide a valuable tool for improving workplace and personal wellbeing and potentially reduce health-related problems.

In contrast to some earlier studies, the researchers in this study attempted to simulate actual work-related stress rather than induce extreme reactions.

Electrodermal activity (EDA) in evaluation of mental state

Questionnaires are commonly used to measure the individual’s subjective perception of stress. Physiological measurements are used for assessing the physiological responses related to stress and arousal. The most common measures are heart rate variability (HRV), electrodermal activity (EDA), heart rate, electroencephalography, respiration, and skin temperature. In previous research, HRV has been the most commonly used method.

Electrodermal activity (EDA) reflects the functions of the autonomic nervous system and was chosen to be applied in this study. It is often used for the evaluation of different mental states such as short and long-term stress. In the study, test subjects were exposed to a 3-phase test (relaxation, arousal, stress) during which EDA was recorded, and the self-perceived stress and arousal were assessed.

The results are promising for the use of EDA as a long-term measurement of work-related stress

In this study, the research team was able to reliably classify relaxation, arousal and stress-inducing phases of simulated work with high accuracy (94.1% with BIOPAC, 82.8% with Moodmetric smart ring), using a number of EDA features.

When comparing EDA to subjective questionnaires, the self-perceived stress and arousal were classified with much lower accuracy of 60.5–72.2%. Based on the results, it is possible that individuals are less able to recognize and interpret the level of stress they are experiencing in a particular situation than the measuring devices reading their EDA.

Overall the results are promising for the use of EDA as a long-term measurement of stress at work.

For Moodmetric the research is an important, continued validation of accuracy. The easy-to-use Moodmetric smart ring can provide information on the stressfulness of work-related situations almost as accurately as respective laboratory equipment designed to measure EDA.

Tomppa Pakarinen, Julia Pietilä, Hannu Nieminen. 2019. Prediction of Self-Perceived Stress and Arousal Based on Electrodermal Activity.
41st International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC).

Contacts:

Moodmetric
Niina Venho, CEO, +358 40 710 0487, [email protected]

Research team
The Personal Health Informatics research group at Tampere University, Finland
Hannu Nieminen, D.Sc. and head of the research. [email protected]
Tomppa Pakarinen,  [email protected]

More about Moodmetric in research

Do you study stress, attention or customer experience?

Attention and focus relieve stress

The Moodmetric measurement gives real time and accurate data on the sympathetic nervous system activation. Use cases below give a snapshot on how the Moodmetric ring can be used to study stress or anything that makes us react. These are just a handful of examples. Electrodermal activity is a signal with great and for most unused potential in field research.

How to study stress with Moodmetric

Positive stress is a good thing.  When it is in control, it takes us forward. Chronic stress reduces productivity, creativity and job satisfaction and it is a risk for physical and psychological health. Emotional and cognitive load can be extremely high especially at knowledge work. It is not easy to catch signals early. Stress might not be detected before it has reached harmful levels.

Questionnaires are subjective and bound to a certain moment. Preventive stress management needs continuous and long term measurement. The Moodmetric ring is intended for weeks and months of use. It is a great tool to research stress at work.

Customer experience

A customer is testing a new shopping center virtually. The center is equipped with innovative implementations, including parking, navigating inside etc. The pilot customers´ opinion have a major significance on the final drawings and the pilot is heavily studied. The Moodmetric measurement shows instantly and in real time the pain points. We find out when the experience is getting from smooth to troublesome. The Moodmetric levels increase in seconds when the customer is perplexed.

Another example: People drive through a car washing lane. How many of them get terrified inside, with not way of getting out in the middle? Could we ease this out somehow?

One can use Moodmetric measurement to study stress levels in any environment, inside or out in the woods. It suits to observing a person in different situations.

Gaming

Mobile and desktop games can be extremely agitating. Chasing, fighting, racing and performing dangerous tasks is enervating. The sympathetic nervous system of the player is active. The body does not understand that the threat is just an illusion created by the game developer.

A game can also be soothing, like puzzles. Focus is needed but vigilance not.

What kind of a game is yours and what is the target audience? What if you could design games that really calm down the sympathetic nervous system? Could there be a game that you could wholeheartedly recommend for kids with concentration difficulties?

Pay attention! – Study focus with Moodmetric

We make better decisions when we pay attention. Our movements are correct and precise, and we make better analysis. We can really pay attention by not letting noises, lights, phone, emails or the smell of lunch distract us. The Moodmetric ring makes it easy to study stress in different work environments.

The Moodmetric index of 1 to 100 tells our arousal level.  When we are focused the level is below ~25. Full focus on the task at hand might show a steady level of around 10.

Many people can find their way to reach focus no matter the surroundings. Some of us need complete silence to work efficiently. Therefore many companies design spaces and areas inside their offices that enhance concentration.

Sports

What kind of training methods provide the best results? The Moodmetric measurement makes it possible to better understand what level of focus the athlete reaches. Interventions such as mental exercises can be tested. The Moodmetric levels indicate the ones with the best results for improving concentration. The measurement also shows when recovery from practice is sufficient.

Are you interested to know more about the Moodmetric measurement?

Read our article series, starting with explaining the fight-or-flight response.
Applications in research and ongoing projects are on our research site.

Or contact us directly:
Niina Venho / CEO
niina. [email protected]ic.com