It would be an understatement to say that a lot of people suffer from too much stress. Unfortunately, though, it can sometimes be difficult to determine just what the causes of that stress are. VivaLNK's new Vital Scout is designed to help you find out.
Vital Scout takes the form of a water-resistant electronic patch that is adhered to the user's skin, worn under their clothing and over top of their heart for a minimum of 48 hours. One charge of the battery should reportedly be good for 72 hours of use.
Utilizing integrated electrocardiography (ECG) sensors, it continuously monitors users' heart rate variability – this is the variation in the time interval between heartbeats, and changes in it have been correlated with stress. The device also tracks their heart rate, respiratory rate, the amount of time they spend being physically active, and the amount (and quality) of sleep that they get.
All of that data is transmitted by Bluetooth to an iOS/Android app on their smartphone, which provides them with a graph that shows how their stress levels have fluctuated over the past hours, days or weeks. The idea is that by keeping track of what they were doing during particularly high- or low-stress times, users can identify the situations that both cause and relieve stress. Additionally, when users are experiencing particularly high stress, the app will alert them in real time.
And although there are already wrist-worn stress-tracking devices, VivaLNK claims that the optical photoplethysmography sensors which they commonly utilize aren't as accurate as ECGs. The more comparable Lief patch does use ECGs, although it's a bit larger than the Vital Scout, and is designed more as a biofeedback device.
The Vital Scout is available now, priced at US$149 for one device with eight adhesive strips. Additional strips can be purchased in packs of four, for $5.99.
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