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Press Release

Wearables Suck: BioBeats Makes Significant Breakthrough to Improve Data from Wearables to Offer You the Most Accurate Stress Data

Posted on: 18 Oct 16

BioBeats, the leader in digital health and artificial intelligence, announces significant improvement to its ability to measure stress and provide you with even better insight and interventions. Unique to the market, BioBeats now uses Heart Rate Variability measurements (HRV) to provide users with accurate stress insights including emotional arousal, elevated levels of anxiety, congestive heart failure and diabetes.

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Even with the recent growth in appreciation from consumers understanding the value of heart rate variability and the need to measure it for overall wellness management, it is still very difficult to accurate access data especially from the leading wearables.

David Plans, CEO of BioBeats, commented: “Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a key measurement for anyone looking to improve their wellbeing and receive indicators of the onset of future health issues including diabetes, burnout, cardiovascular disease, obesity, anxiety etc.

“It has taken us a long time to get our algorithms right and on top of that we have had to overcome issues of noise from the wearables to be able to provide our users with results they can trust. There is currently no wristband tracker in the market that can accurately measure HRV. However, stress is the missing part of the puzzle for anyone looking to improve their health and it’s too big a deal to get wrong. We had to get a grip on this and quickly. Measuring your sleep, steps and calories is the easy part!”

BioBeats uses HRV, the variation of the time interval between heartbeats, to more accurately understand and monitor user's’ health and well-being patterns. The typical method of HRV measurement is ECG but BioBeats uses non-invasive PPG (photoplethysmograph) taken from wearable technology or via smartphones to provide just as reliable results.

Davide Morelli, Co-founder of BioBeats, continues: “The use of PPG instead of ECG for HRV analysis is still not extensively explored, especially PPG from consumer grade wearable devices or smartphones. HRV analysis from PPG is shown to be reliable, as most HRV features show a very high correlation with the same features extracted from ECG, in stationary condition but this is not adequate for us or our users when they want to be able to move around and see their stress during a day. Cutting the noise from the data to be able to monitor stress at any time, no matter what our user is doing is a massive step forward. We have shown that PPG data acquired from a consumer grade wrist worn wearable device are highly susceptible to motion artefacts but that it can be managed to provide the accuracy our users expect from us.”

The biggest problem with HRV taken from PPG sensors commonly found in consumer wearables is that the noise level (a disruption in the signal captured from the sensor, even gentle movement of the wrist disturbs the signal) is a problem. When running the signal becomes almost entirely noise and the heartbeat not visible. This is a big problem in terms of the lost opportunity to create applications that look at wellbeing from more than a fitness and general health perspective. BioBeats has solved this problem.

Davide Morelli, Co-founder of BioBeats, concluded: “The wearables industry is just waking up. By now, the idea that we should be measuring HRV is well understood and most wearable companies are looking to move into health rather than wellbeing applications. Soon, companies like MC10 and others will give us on-skin and intradermal sensors that link to our smartphones that willmake the above problem go away for good. However, in the meantime, we will continue to push our technology boundaries to provide actionable insights for our loyal users.”

BioBeats recently completed a landmark study with BNP Paribas to provide key insights and personalised interventions to manage stress more effectively for 560 employees. From the study BioBeats has strengthened its ability to deal with complex data and to provide the most accurate non-invasive measurement of stress in the market today.

Participants wore a Microsoft Band 2 that was able to take various biometric measurements and data continuously throughout the day. Over 60G of data was gathered and analysed in BioBeats’ unique artificial intelligence engine.

BioBeats also offers a consumer-facing app Hear and Now, celebrated as “Mindfulness meets the Sciences”, which allows users to instantly discover their stress triggers, as well as guiding the user through customised breathing exercises. Critically, users are able to learn pertinent health information about themselves through mind and body stress tests. The Hear and Now app is available to download globally and is free from the iTunes App store.

Tweet this! Wearables Suck! Why work @joinBioBeats involves testing lots of wearable devices to gather accurate data on stress

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About BioBeats

BioBeats is a digital health and artificial intelligence company that specialises in creating easy-to-use corporate and personal wellness solutions. Its world-class team of scientists and designers includes renowned experts in AI, machine learning, wearables, cloud solutions and theoretical computer science. BioBeats solutions, based on years of research, provide insights into individual health and wellbeing by tracking data from wearable and smartphone sensors. Biometric and psychometric feedback is combined with unique machine learning algorithms to deliver personalised stress and productivity management tools based on clinically proven coaching techniques.

Following the launch of its consumer-facing app Hear and Now (recently featured in Apple App Store’s Best New Apps, April 2016), the team now provides tools to foster wellness at scale, with bespoke corporate versions in active deployment. The company’ s corporate offering provides solutions to help employees privately control their own wellness through the use of wearables and data-driven coaching.

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Business Wire

Last updated on: 18/10/2016

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