Samsung, UCSF launch app to monitor your stress levels

The My BP Lab mobile app is also part of a wider research project.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Samsung and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have launched a research app for smartphone users to monitor their daily stress levels.

At Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Spain, the South Korean tech giant launched the firm's latest flagship devices, the Samsung Galaxy 9 and Galaxy 9 Plus.

These smartphones feature a swathe of upgrades in comparison to their predecessors, including an improved camera, video, and biometric scanning.

However, these new products will also support the new My BP Lab mobile app, which Samsung and UCSF say will "help users monitor their blood pressure and stress levels and obtain personalized insights for improving their daily health."

In a news release, the pair said the research app has been made possible through the Samsung Galaxy 9's optical sensor.

This sensor allows for improved contextual information about a user's wellbeing and according to Samsung, blood pressure can be "directly measured" without the need for any additional accessories or hardware.

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My BP Lab users are able to access information related to their stress levels and blood pressure throughout the day and can also join the UCSF research program by doing so.

The three-week study is voluntary and collects data with the overall aim of refining the accuracy of blood pressure readings by gathering information from users in "real-world settings."

It may be that mobile sensors can provide more accurate readings in comparison to those taken in a doctor's surgery, for example, where blood pressure and stress may rise because of the environment.

In addition, participants will have their stress and blood pressure measured during the day in relation to sleep patterns, exercise, and diet. This information will likely prove valuable to researchers but may also help users learn more about their own wellbeing.

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"This study could provide the largest dataset yet on stress, daily emotional experiences, and blood pressure," said Wendy Berry Mendes, professor of psychiatry at UCSF and Director of the Emotion, Health, and Psychophysiology Lab. "Our partnership with Samsung could help people all over the world improve their health by managing stress."

My BP Lab will be available to download from the Google Play Store on March 15, but will only be available to adults in the United States.

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