Automatic Stress Tracking for Teams
heart rate / cardiovascular | stress
Matteo Lai works for Empatica, a company that is in motion tracking software. Empatica is a small team and they do both the hardware and the software and they track physiological signals and turn them into emotional states. In this video, Matteo shares progress about the company and the automatic stress tracking they do for the team.
phone | sensor
We do this on a personal level, like pretty much everybody else in the QS community. But it’s interesting because we are very social human beings, so we wanted to see what happens if you consider a group of people that work closely together and consider them as a whole.
We are a small team, and we work very closely together all the time, and it’s interesting to see we track ourselves and what are the effects and the interactions of a small group. And this of course can apply to teams, because that’s what we chose, but it could be the same for couples and families. So it’s kind of interesting to see this QS on a more collective level than a single human being.
What we did we used our technology, we basically chat physiological signals, four sensors and I’ll tell you more. We tracked location, indoor and outdoor and we tracked activities and we then turned this into emotional states. We are specifically interested into stress, so that’s what we do and the moment. So as sort of tracking tools we use our device that is several sensors and we also use the Polar H7, because it’s cheaper and it also works with our stress index that we evolved; it’s a simplified version, but it works.
And then the data sent to the iPhone and we track the activities automatically, it’s all automatic from the commander, and also the location, both indoor and outdoor.
What we basically did was to track the team all the time and see the data in a different perspective. This is still an experiment, so this is why I am also saying this to you. And we wanted to see the data themselves, the napping, and the dashboard for the summarization.
So, we started with this, which is very not nice, and it’s basically the aggregation of the data streams from the single people. But we wanted to see the team as a whole, not as the single person, so we kind of developed this concept of fingerprint for the team, so we see the maximum and the minimum for the team and then the average. The lines, the red and blue they are the commanders from the people, and so if you click on one of them you can actually see – this is actually me and I’m the most stressed one, but since I broke my ankle I laid back a little bit and usually I should be at the top; this is for the data.
Then we looked at their running and we started with a half marathon tracking our team, because we wanted our friends and families to cheer us in real time, and see us on the web how we were doing so this was live.
Then we moved to see the actual concept of the thinker print as we did for the data, aggregated for the single team. So you can see this in different ways, but it’s basically the amount of stress for all the team.
Then we moved to doing it indoors, so we basically displayed in our office and we see just basically three different stress levels; very low, medium, and high. So we wanted to correlate activities and the place we were in with the stress levels.
And then we have the dashboard and of course you can see this is the most stressful thing that we are doing at the moment by far, and if someone else is doing the same, they will know. But this is still an experiment and we don’t have the definitive insight about that.
We know that we spend a lot of time indoors and when we stay outdoors we are actually less stressed. Then there is these weird ripple effects, so they propagate from one team member to the entire team and they can be both positive or negative.
The tool is actually pretty addictive and we displayed it on one wall in the office, but nevertheless, even with threats it’s not possible to track every time.
And why I am here is that I would like to ask the QS community, which is a pretty sophisticated bunch to help and have suggestions on what we can do and how to visualize the data better. And to think about the idea of the team and a group of people that work together.