Digital Medicine & Wearable Technology

Author: Elizabeth Kridle

Coauthor(s): Sydney LaMorte

Status: Project Concept

Wellness Wearable Technology for Anxiety Sufferers


Background:
In today’s society, anxiety is a prevalent issue for people of all ages. In the U.S. alone, anxiety affects one in every eight children and 18.1% of the adult population. Those who suffer from anxiety often experience symptoms such as fatigue, noticeable weight loss/weight gain, and depression. During an anxiety attack, one may experience tachycardia, changes in body temperature, sweating, and shortness of breath. Current treatments include therapy, virtual reality, and anti-anxiety medication, all which aid patients in overcoming their anxiety and fears. Although there are various different treatment methods for anxiety, many people are left untreated. For children, 80% of those with a diagnosable anxiety disorder are not receiving treatment, and for adults, about 66% of those with an anxiety disorder are not receiving treatment.

Methods:
Using a wrist watch with technology similar to that of a FitBit, a minuscule camera on a wearable pin, and a mobile app (all connected via Bluetooth), the cause of the user’s anxiety can be pinpointed and the anxiety can be treated. The watch will constantly monitor the user’s heart rate and body temperature, so when the bracelet senses a change in the user’s vital signs that may indicate an anxiety attack, the camera pin will begin recording the user’s surroundings. This footage will automatically be stored on the Wellness app. Users have access to this footage and will be able to look over it to help them identify the causes of their anxiety attacks. In addition to pinpointing the triggers, the app will offer features that may provide assistance in treating the user. These features include guided meditation, digital journaling, a personalized playlist of the user’s favorite music, helpful reminders throughout the day, and a user forum. Guided meditation will allow the individual to relax and find peace after an anxiety attack. This feature will include various meditations that target different aspects of the user’s life, whether it be school related, work related, etc. Digital journaling will allow the user to express their feelings while relieving stress. This will also be a helpful tool in tracking the user’s progress by showing the frequency of anxiety driven episodes, giving descriptions of what seemed to calm the user down, and tracking how the individual feels everyday. Music therapy will enable the individual to destress and help lift their spirits due to the fact that it’s music they greatly enjoy and find comfort in. The “reminders” feature of the app will send the user notifications periodically during the day. These notifications will include helpful tips and affirmations that will help users get through the day. This product will provide those who suffer from anxiety with a new and accessible form of treatment, allowing anxiety to be easily combated.

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“Facts & Statistics.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics.
“Anxiety Disorders.” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml.
McGilchrist, Sonya. “Music ‘Releases Mood-Enhancing Chemical in the Brain’.” BBC News, BBC, 9 Jan. 2011, www.bbc.com/news/health-12135590.
“Symptoms.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/panic-disorder-agoraphobia/symptoms.