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UK-based startup Soma Analytics has created a smartphone app that can detect if the user is stressed and this is achieved by measuring speech and sleep.
Soma Analytics’ co-founder Christopher Lorenz said that the app is a comprehensive system built with a measurement component. It works in two ways. First, it acts as a sleep tracker that uses the acceleration sensors on the phone. This feature monitors the sleep stages and body movement of the phone’s user, Lorenz said. According to him, the sleep stages are a high predictor of a person’s well-being and stress. “When we are stressed, one of the first thing that changes is sleep - it’s more difficult to fall asleep, to wind down,” he explained.
The second approach of the app is that it gathers data about the app users through questionnaires, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Once the app detects that things are not normal as they are supposed to be, it automatically recommends tasks to the user to improve their well-being. For instance, it alerts a person to improve his/her focus or to work on time management.
He also shares that once it detects that a person’s stress level is too high, the app’s interventive component works.
Lorenz pointed out that companies can also use the data collected by the app so that they can get an overview of their employees who are using the app. He said that although the idea of sharing a person’s sleeping habits to his/her boss may give a pause, the benefits will outweigh the possible worry.
Lorenz said that he created the app after he witnessed a friend going through a depressive episode.