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Cellphones Handhelds Medicine

Samsung S5 Reports Stress Levels Through Heart Rate Variability Measure 62

Posted by timothy
from the just-happy-to-see-you dept.
oztechmuse (2323576) writes "Samsung has just released an updated version of its health software for the Samsung Galaxy S5 that measures stress levels. Using the heart rate sensor on the back of the phone, the S5 will calculate a measure of stress from low to high. Although this may seem far-fetched to some, the phone is actually using a measure of the heart rate to calculate something called 'heart rate variability' or HRV. HRV has been shown to be related to a range of clinical conditions that include problems with the heart but also mental issues of stress and anxiety. Athletes have also used HRV as a measure of over-training and so use heart rate monitors to check if they need rest days. Samsung seems to be claiming the ground in terms of innovation in health-related sensor technology. In addition to the built-in pulse oximeter sensor used for the HRV measurements, Samsung phones now support direct connections to heart rate straps using the Ant+ protocol as well as through Bluetooth. Apple and others have a long way to go to catch up."
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Samsung S5 Reports Stress Levels Through Heart Rate Variability Measure

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  • Nice Ad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 2ms (232331) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @10:01AM (#47099499)
    And of course, we all know that this incredible breakthrough means that any health monitoring capabilities in future devices from a certain American company from Cupertino will only be late copies of awesome Samsung technologies like the Galaxy Gear and so many other wonderful innovations from this wonderful leader in consumer electronics.
    • by qval (844544)
      Not to counter an ad with another, but has anyone here tried an emWave2, as blogged about here: http://www.bulletproofexec.com... [bulletproofexec.com] It seems like it's the same thing the S5 is claiming, but as a separate device for $200. It'd be nice if phones could provide the same info for free/much cheaper. It looks like some HR bluetooth accessories can be paired with cheap apps to get a similar measurement. Any experience about their usefulness for stress management?
    • by Dajhan (1294718)
      LOL, not an apple fan boy, but I think google can be a good source...There's a lot of iOS apps from before who supports HR. And there are accessories that can be used to pair with ANT+ too, and it has been existing for a long time already. The problem with that is...aside from getting exited and testing it...will you use in a long run? I might not even bring my expensive phone when I go cycling..
  • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @10:13AM (#47099565) Homepage

    Or will Samsung try to monetize it?

    What happens when your insurance carrier demands Samsung hand over this information?

    Sorry, but, there comes a point where I think having your phone have more and more of this information is going to become more of a problem than a benefit.

    And this is one of them.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      I would be very surprised if Samsung even planned on collecting this data; when Nokia were shipping phone models with sports biometric sensors about five years ago, they had every opportunity to develop a huge database of useful information, but lacked the resources, knowledge and will to do so. It's a cute little value-added gizmo like everything else they build in to their devices.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        I would be very surprised if Samsung even planned on collecting this data; when Nokia were shipping phone models with sports biometric sensors about five years ago, they had every opportunity to develop a huge database of useful information, but lacked the resources, knowledge and will to do so. It's a cute little value-added gizmo like everything else they build in to their devices.

        Well, I presume the phone collects and records the data, if nothing else than to offer the user a historical baseline.

        Of cours

    • by westlake (615356)

      Sorry, but, there comes a point where I think having your phone have more and more of this information is going to become more of a problem than a benefit.

      If you have diabetes, respiratory problems, heart disease or anxiety disorders severe enough to warrant routine monitoring, chances are quite good your employers, insurance carriers, pharmacies, etc., already know about the problem.

      If the Samsung smartphone could read blood sugar levels non-invasively, a diabetic and his insurance company could say goodbye forever to glucometers, lancets and test strips --- saving more than enough money to cover the cost of the phone.

    • Your insurance company doesn't give the northbound end of a southbound rat about your pulse oximeter readings.

      The ONLY thing they care about is your medical bills. You want to be be hypoxic if you shuffle up a flight of stairs - go ahead. Smoke 4 packs of cigarettes per day? Fine.

      Just don't go to the doctor's office. They hate that.

      • by mythosaz (572040) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @11:43AM (#47100363)

        ...except that's the opposite of the truth.

        Your health plan knows that it costs less, overall, to pay your bills if you regularly see your doctor and get your illnesses and maladies treated early. It's much, much easier to pay for the pills to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check than to pay for your open heart surgery - even at their negotiated rates.

    • by GTRacer (234395)
      (Obligatory IANAL here, however I do work in healthcare)

      So far as I understand HIPAA, you can voluntarily disclose all the protected health info you want. Got diagnosed with something awful and can't help updating your Facebook status? That's perfectly legal. And your interactions with your phone don't constitute any kind of healthcare relationship (yet) so I don't see the legal angle on Samsung doing something with the data. I have to assume using the app requires agreement to share the data.

      That s
    • by fortfive (1582005)

      HIPAA only applies to protected healthcare information disclosed to a statutorily defined health care provider. I doubt Samsung or your carrier qualify.

      The issue you raise is important, however.

      Most of us have traded away much of our privacy, sometimes for services (gmail), sometimes by happenstance (nytimes.com), so that I doubt heart rate information will matter much.

      But if we are entering a techno-dystopian future, and as our phones become more capable of registering our biological condition, it becomes

    • by Ravaldy (2621787)

      When data falls into the wrong hands it's always a problem. Unfortunately when it comes to profit what is morally correct takes a hike.

      Making the phone unusable through touch while driving would be a much more valuable feature. I don't know how one would make that happen but from a feature standpoint it will save lives and many injuries.

    • by dpidcoe (2606549)

      What happens when your insurance carrier demands Samsung hand over this information?

      I just drop that carrier and find anoth... oh wait...

      Thanks obamacare!

      ~~

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @10:14AM (#47099573)

    So, now I can see exactly how much stress the bloatware apps on my Samsung phone are causing me. Thanks!

  • by Destoo (530123) <destoo&gmail,com> on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @10:19AM (#47099621) Homepage Journal

    But will it be able to tell you the difference between a heart attack and a panick attack?

    Would you be interested in a device that links to your smartphone and lets you know, even before it happens, whether you're having a panic attack - or a heart attack?
    - Yeah, yeah.
    OK, here's how Panic-A-Tech works.
    You wear this on your finger all day and it tracks your vitals.
    Or if that's too embarrassing, there's also a Bluetooth suppository and that goes right where you think it goes.
    And that comes with a retrieval kit.

  • Reports to whom?

  • by Morty (32057) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @10:37AM (#47099783) Journal

    The comments in the summary "Samsung phones now support direct connections to heart rate straps using the Ant+ protocol as well as through Bluetooth. Apple and others have a long way to go to catch up." imply that Apple does not support third-party heart-rate sensors. The opposite is true. Apple has supported third-party heart-rate sensors for a while; see, for example:

    http://www.heartratemonitorsus... [heartratemonitorsusa.com]

    My former phone was a Galaxy S3. When I went hunting for heart rate sensors about 1.5 years ago, I could find plenty of heart-rate sensors that supported iphones, but none for Android. A newer release of Android (4.3, IIRC) got support for Bluetooth heart-rate monitors.

    • by mspohr (589790) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @11:02AM (#47099989)

      This is just a Bluetooth monitor which is supported by all current model Android and Apple phones.
      What's really news here is that the Samsung phone supports the ANT+ technology which is used by a lot of sports sensors plus they have some nice software to analyze the data.

  • FM Radio? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I'd rather have the FM radio back, thanks.

  • I think smartphones are really just grasping at straws now. Most people, including me, just want to text, talk and maybe do email or Facebook and take quick pictures once in a while. For the once advanced but now basic tasks that 99% of cell users do now, these devices are basically like using a flame thrower to light a cigar. I probably use about 1/5 the horsepower of my current HTC One and the thing sucks battery like a leech.

    The next big thing in smart phones will probably be the $99-$250 phones

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      You want a basic phone then buy one. There are plenty non flagship models on the market just like there are plenty computers on the market without an 8 core Xeon processors. I for one have been waiting for a phone with an ANT+ radio in it.

  • So, the real application of this monitor is to train yourself to beat a polygraph test, right?

  • Sony phones have had ANT+ built in for quite a while. I'm sure they'd be surprised to hear that they have a long way to catch up.

    I've been able to take my heartrate on my iPhone 4 for a long time using the camera and the flash. The HR apps are plentiful and free. I haven't seen any evidence that the S5's HR monitor is, in fact, any better than that low-tech solution, or actually even reliable at all. Most of the reviews I read when it came out said that the HR monitor was clumsy and never actually terribly

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