The Science behind Emvio


The team at Darta Systems is currently hard at work testing Emvio’s stress-measurement capabilities. But why is measuring and controlling your stress is so important in the first place? 

There's nothing wrong with stress, and sometimes it’s useful when it drives us to complete a difficult task or achieve something significant. But if there's too much stress in our lives, it can cause major problems such as heart disease, digestive problems, and a weaker immune response. 

In the 1930’s Hungarian scientist Hans Selye was the first to describe how stress places demands on the hormonal system and the body’s response to these hormonal changes can cause ulcers, high blood pressure, arthritis, kidney disease, and allergies. The idea that stress can have physical effects was explored in a range of disciplines, from animal behavior to social psychology, and because of Selye’s work, today’s doctors consider high stress to be dangerous to one’s health.

In response, we’ve created Emvio, the first watch that continuously tracks heart rate, physical activity, and stress. But how does Emvio actually help someone keep track of their stress?

Emvio’s measurements over the course of a day. Emvio will prompt users to enter events so that they can see what causes their stress to rise and fall.

To measure stress, Emvio uses its highly sensitive optical sensor to measure heart rate. Then, Emvio's patent-pending software uses changes in your heart rate to determine your emotional state. But it's not as simple as "excited = more beats per minute" and "calm = fewer beats per minute." 

Measuring stress using heart rate variability has been tested extensively in medical practice. If you really want to check out the modern research on heart rate variability and stress, you can read this study from the European Society of Cardiology and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology here. In Russia, Roman Baevsky developed his stress index by using heart rate to assess the status of astronauts, and you can read an example of how his research has been recently used here.

Even after all this research, no one had measured heart rate variability over a 24-hour period. But we did. In order to breathe life into Emvio, we had to re-develop the system of pulse measurement, making it more sensitive. We also had to devise effective algorithms for calculating stress and lowering interference from other factors, since not every increase in heart rate means you're experiencing emotion.

Raw pulse rate values vs. Emvio's use of heart rate variability. See how the graph on the right is smoother? This “smoothing out” allows Emvio to give you an accurate stress measurement.

We've devoted much of our time and effort into creating the best, highly-tested algorithms so that you can have a clear picture of your individual stress level. As you go through your day, Emvio continuously records your pulse, calculates your stress level, and tells you about these changes. 

We are in the process of patenting Emvio's main technical features, having applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 

When you know that your stress is medium or high, you can avoid rash, emotionally-driven decisions. You can also learn about your triggers, and make plans to avoid them in the future. Also, your relationships with family and friends will improve as you take a minute to think about how you'll respond to negative talk and irritating behavior.

Emvio combines superior hardware and the newest research in biometrics in one breakaway product. It’s a great tool for tracking stress and cultivating mindfulness. 

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Stress management with Emvio

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