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Samsung S5 Reports Stress Levels Through Heart Rate Variability Measure

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the just-happy-to-see-you dept.

Cellphones 62

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 phones are better than Apple phones (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47099471)

Just sayin'.

Re: Samsung phones are better than Apple phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47100479)

They're all stressed because the store was sold out of iPhones hmm?

Re: Samsung phones are better than Apple phones (1)

Leslie Satenstein (3475117) | about 6 months ago | (#47115197)

Your comment reminds me of the saying, There is security in numbers, said the fly, as he landed on the fly-paper. Draw the analogy.

Re:Samsung phones are better than Apple phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47101189)

Just sayin'.

And here I thought iNerds were addicted to their brand when the Samsung slaves are getting wet over a mood ring on their phone.

Have fun in the smartphone wars. I guess I'm not looking too hard these days for bullshit features that track even more data about me since privacy is basically gone on smartphones anyway.

I can already see this database being scoured by Obamacare to help "fine tune" your personalized insurance rate. Why bother with diet and exercise questionnaires that everyone lies on when you can access data on millions in damn near real-time. Goes along the same lines of the real-time monitors plugged into OBD-II ports in cars while driving to reduce your insurance rates.

Re: Samsung phones are better than Apple phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47101315)

Now that they are turning the S5 into a medical device...

Ask your doctor if samsung St is right for you.

great news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47099491)

now google can use this to tailor marketing responses

ads ads ads!

and under GOP health care plan (1, Troll)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#47099537)

use it to get you black listed

Liberal Liars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47099627)

You're the ones who decided to double down on Romneycare. It's not insurance if everyone is "insured"

Re:Liberal Liars (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#47099745)

It's not insurance if everyone is "insured"

Wait, what? I suppose it's not housing if everyone is "housed", and it's not food if everyone is "fed" as well?

Re:Liberal Liars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47100987)

Slashdot gone wild. I moderated this as insightful, and instead /. gave it a troll.

Fox news running Dice now?

Re:Liberal Liars (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47099837)

It's not insurance if everyone is "insured"

No, then it becomes the sensible thing to do.

Only in America would people defend the idea that if you're too poor to pay for health care you deserve to die.

Re:Liberal Liars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47100093)

It's not insurance if everyone is "insured"

No, then it becomes the sensible thing to do.

Only in America would people defend the idea that if you're too poor to pay for health care you deserve to die.

Everyone dies. Pretending otherwise is childish. Turning that into some anti-US rant is, at best, name-calling and lends you the intellectual depth of an August puddle in a dilapidated Florida strip mall.

The question is how to allocate limited healthcare resources.

Given the games we've seen the VA play in performing just that, how can you make a claim government-controlled health care is BETTER? It's just using different criteria - bureaucratic whim - to deny care. Which is exactly how any government-run health care system rations care.

People are going to get screwed and die either way. Why is dying at the hands of an uncaring government bureaucrat any different from dying at the hands of an uncaring insurance flunky? Neither one gives a damn about you, they only care about their numbers.

Re:Liberal Liars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47100483)

It's simple. If you have not succeeded in life, and are not rich, you do not deserve to live. People need to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps and provide for themselves. The minute you stop providing for yourself is the minute you become a drain on society and deserve to die.

Re:Liberal Liars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47101175)

Everyone dies. Pretending otherwise is childish. Turning that into some anti-US rant is, at best, name-calling and lends you the intellectual depth of an August puddle in a dilapidated Florida strip mall.

The question is how to allocate limited healthcare resources.

While everyone goes into their favorite political mode, the health care system was teetering under it's own weight. Contrary to popular opinion, many of the uninsured in the US are not denied healthcare, nor do they just die because they are poor or uninsured.

In fact, they get some of the best, and definitely the most expensive healthcare in the world.

Since they do not have GP's they go to Emergency rooms. For some pretty simple stuff at times, but there isn't much choice.

During the runup to my father's demise, he made some trips to the Emergency room at our local hospital. Most of the patients in there, were obviously poor, often coming in for something their baby needed, or an infection or cold. All three of the visits, most which lasted the better part of a day, there were just not that many actual emergencies.

I'd mentioned that to the ER doctor, and he told me That's how the poor get healthcare. Further discussion noted the great expense and how it was just getting sent up the food chain.

So yeah, that's how we get 50 dollar band aids.

Coupled with the huge expenses of people in their last years of life (my demented Mother in law racked up around 600 K in her last two years) the system was getting creaky.

The next problem was that the insurance rates were in a positive feedback loop. As the rte increases were kicking more and more people off the ranks of the insured (my SO's work had health insurance costs double three separate times in a one year period) it is very obvious - or should be - to even the most politically fixated observer that the system was going to come apart at the seams.

Since it is morally and ethically repugnant to just tell a person they have to die because they can't afford simple inexpensive medicine, they get treated. Then as the insured pool continues to shrink, eventually almost everyone is uninsured, only the very wealtiest have health insurance, and they would be faced with the equally repugnant task of funding everyone elses healthcare.

Re:Liberal Liars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47101691)

>Only in America would people defend the idea that if you're too poor to pay for health care you deserve to die.

It's only our worthless conservatives that have that kind of attitude. Normal, modern Americans tend to have a lot of compassion for our fellow man, as seen in the passage of the Affordable Care Act. If not for these awful conservatives, we could have done even better and set up a single-payer system like all the other western nations have. We don't have to be the west's dumb cousin, all we have to do is get smart people out to vote to offset the stupid people that vote based on their superstitions.

We're unfortunately more like Pakistan than western-Europe, with our rural areas filled with ignorant, superstitious, violent, gun-fondling nitwits just like Pakistan's tribal areas.

Re:and under GOP health care plan (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 6 months ago | (#47099673)

What? If you have a pulse you're blacklisted?

I suppose it explains a few things.

Nice Ad (4, Insightful)

2ms (232331) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Nice Ad (2)

qval (844544) | about 6 months ago | (#47101741)

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?

Re:Nice Ad (1)

Dajhan (1294718) | about 6 months ago | (#47121509)

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..

Is this HIPAA data? (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#47099565)

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.

Re:Is this HIPAA data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47099759)

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

That never happens. It's amazing that a post as paranoid and clueless as yours gets up-modded, but that's the new, super-dumb Slashdot. All paranoia, all the time.

Re:Is this HIPAA data? (1)

DroolTwist (1357725) | about 6 months ago | (#47101841)

That never happens

The data was never collected/available before. Now that it is, it's just a matter of time before the first demand.

Re:Is this HIPAA data? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 6 months ago | (#47099779)

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.

Re:Is this HIPAA data? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 6 months ago | (#47100315)

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 course, given how secure Samsung code is, I wouldn't be surprised if someone finds a way to extract and upload it to a third party server...

Re:Is this HIPAA data? (0)

westlake (615356) | about 6 months ago | (#47099815)

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.

Re:Is this HIPAA data? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 6 months ago | (#47099973)

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.

Re:Is this HIPAA data? (3, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Is this HIPAA data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47101255)

Unless you're dead - the ultimate insurance cost cutting measure.

Re:Is this HIPAA data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47100149)

You are a karma-whoring moron. Go fuck yourself.

Re:Is this HIPAA data? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#47100743)

You are a karma-whoring moron. Go fuck yourself.

LOL, how sweet.

My alternative explanation: the tin-foil hat response is my natural first response, because that's how I roll bitches.

Re:Is this HIPAA data? (1)

GTRacer (234395) | about 6 months ago | (#47100843)

(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 said, I'd love to see more and better medical monitoring tech in phone accessories. As mentioned below by mythosaz, wellcare almost always costs less than illness care. And that doesn't even take into account the personal costs of time to see the doc, missed work, lowered quality of life, etc.

Re:Is this HIPAA data? (1)

fortfive (1582005) | about 6 months ago | (#47101119)

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 easier for the shepherds to corral us according to their algorithms, and ensure the red-bloods don't mix with the blue's.

Perhaps it is my age, but I have to admit this kind of really personal data gathering makes me a little uncomfortable. Ignorance is more comfortable, too. I noticed that the terms of my health insurance coverage require my consent to let my provider turn over HIPAA data to various third parties, with no stated requirement that my provider ensure HIPAA awareness (let alone compliance) of said third parties. I figure if I am not going to go "dark," (which at my age, I'm too slow to pull off), I best learn to accept the death of privacy. Old age is the ultimate indignity . . .

Re:Is this HIPAA data? (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about 6 months ago | (#47101225)

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.

Re:Is this HIPAA data? (1)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about 6 months ago | (#47102083)

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

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

Thanks obamacare!

~~

Nice to know... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47099573)

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

Panic-A-Tech (tm) (2)

Destoo (530123) | about 6 months ago | (#47099621)

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.

Re: Panic-A-Tech (tm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47099791)

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

Even an EKG can't tell many times if you are about to have a heart attack (or even having one), so what is your point?

The point of a heart rate monitor is to measure your heart rate. That's all. There is only so much information you can get from that. It is not reliable information either because intermittent contact with skin (ie. dry skin or loose strap) will result in faulty information.

Also, HR Variability measure has been used by many heart rate monitor devices (ie. watches) for over a decade now. It's not a novel measurement.

Re: Panic-A-Tech (tm) (1)

westlake (615356) | about 6 months ago | (#47099885)

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

In either case the sensible response would be to call 911.

Re: Panic-A-Tech (tm) (1)

Destoo (530123) | about 6 months ago | (#47101451)

Sorry, forgot to put quotes and mention this was from an episode of Silicon Valley.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

cool (-1, Flamebait)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47099659)

That's a great innovation. Unfortunately Samsung made the corners of the icon used for their new application rounded so Apples filing for an injunction.

Re:cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47101651)

Give it a fucking rest you unoriginal dipshit.

- Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note 3

"Reports"? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 months ago | (#47099671)

Reports to whom?

Re:"Reports"? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 6 months ago | (#47099789)

The end user.

Not interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47099731)

Apple doesn't have a long way to go...a simple addition of the ant+ protocol to there chipset and this is not-news. And measuring heart-rate...old-news. I've had a Garmin watch that has done this for almost a decade.

Re:Not interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47099833)

So you have a specialty device that does what this phone does and that makes it old news? Technically true but this will put that functionality in the hands of many people and it's pretty high end devices that measure HRV, so it could save someone $100+

Re:Not interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47100627)

Practically every old flip phone played games, music, and videos - and there's nothing needed to be added!

Smartphones are not-news, but some people think it is.

Apple has had heart rate sensor support (5, Insightful)

Morty (32057) | about 6 months ago | (#47099783)

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.

Re:Apple has had heart rate sensor support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47099945)

It wouldn't be a good slashvertisement if it were factual.

Re:Apple has had heart rate sensor support (3, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Apple has had heart rate sensor support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47100745)

This is pretty interesting as most fitness sensors are indeed ant+

Heart rate is popular, but for cycling you can also have speed (More accurate than GPS, especially at low speed), cadence, and if you dish out a lot of money power.

Ant+, though, is really seen as old tech at this point. Most new products are moving to the low power bluetooth (Bluetooth Smart) that was introduced in 4.0. This way your fitness sensors can talk to that powerful internet-connected computer that you carry around with you anyway. Your smartphone.

Re:Apple has had heart rate sensor support (1)

psyclone (187154) | about 6 months ago | (#47101479)

But pairing the bluetooth smart (bluetooth LE or low energy) can suck with the current Android release. Almost always need to re-sync the HR monitor before a workout. Perhaps a software update can make it better, or devices need a firmware update.

FM Radio? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47099785)

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

Re:FM Radio? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47100023)

What is this "FM Radio" you speak of?

Re:FM Radio? (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 6 months ago | (#47101843)

Obsolete technology, ruined by a few corporations buying up most of the stations and turning them into pop crap.
Maybe the AC above you is extremely old and has never heard of Pandora or Spotify. They could also be so super-cheap that they'd rather listen to crap than pay a few dollars a month for a quality service.

just the basics please! (1)

anthony_greer (2623521) | about 6 months ago | (#47099961)

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 that have a decent enough screen and just enough ram and CPU for text, talk, music, email and the occasional netflix. The Lumia 520 is an example of such a phone. Paying $500+ (retail unsubsidised) for a phone is stupid and wont last much longer.

Re:just the basics please! (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 6 months ago | (#47104765)

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.

Off-label use: (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about 6 months ago | (#47100139)

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

flash/camera heartrate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47100889)

How accurate are the heart rates you get from the flash/camera apps? I have been using them for a while now and, while not instantaneous, they do seem to be a good measure of my heart rate. I'm not sure I'd care about anything more accurate... +/- 10% is fine. After all you can change your heart rate by 10% just by releasing your breath slowly.

Athlete overtraining.. what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47101029)

Athletes have also used HRV as a measure of over-training and so use heart rate monitors to check if they need rest days.

That may be true at very high levels of training, but the other 99.999999% of us that work out for endurance sports (read: 7+ hours of weights/swimming/cycling/running per week) only need to measure our resting heart rate in the morning every morning to determine that. No need for a heart-rate monitor.

Apps and Sony closed the gap a long time ago (1)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | about 6 months ago | (#47101457)

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 accurate. So maybe it's reporting variability in your heart rate, but it may just be reporting variability in the phone's ability to detect your heart rate.

And, of course, third party HR straps have been available for iPhones for a while. I'd like to see them add an ANT+ sensor into the iPhone because I'm a cyclist and have ANT+ gear already, but if I went insane and wanted to use my expensive phone as a cheap bike computer, I could've bought an HR monitor without any problems.

Useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47109725)

I own an HRV sensor from HeartMath which I have used to measure heart coherence during meditation. It's rather cumbersome because I have to plug it into my computer. I know they make handheld versions as well, but the phone version could be really convenient. As human beings we are generally very poor at determining our own stress levels. It's too bad this isn't getting any attention. A lot of people could greatly benefit from a bit of bio-feedback from their heart.

Seriously, Nice Ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47110389)

I could hack together something similar using public sources of information over the weekend. Apple and others will put this feature on their phones the instant they decide they want to.

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