Health IT

Stanford study on stress and depression utilizes VivaLNK’s wearable devices

Study participants are using VivaLNK’s Vital Scout wearable patches as researchers examine whether there are associations between stress and depression in teenagers.

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VivaLNK, a company that provides connected healthcare devices, has agreed to loan its Vital Scout wearable devices to Stanford University for use in a study on teenage stress and depression.

Vital Scout is a patch worn on the chest under clothes. It utilizes ECG sensors and established heart rate variability algorithms to measure how the body responds to physiological impacts. The device can track stress, recovery levels, activity, sleep quality, heart rate and respiratory rate.

Researchers in Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences are studying whether there are associations between stress and depression in teenagers. Study participants wear the Vital Scout devices and are monitored over continuous 24-hour periods.

Via email, VivaLNK CEO Jiang Li said the study has already begun using an initial set of 50 units of Vital Scout patches.

He added that Stanford initially heard about the Campbell, California-based company through an introduction. After learning more about VivaLNK’s technology, the university was interested in using Vital Scout for a clinical trial on teenage depression.

“VivaLNK hopes its contribution will lead to new discoveries on the link between stress and depression in order to reduce the rate and effects of depression,” Li said. “This study is another validation point for VivaLNK’s strategy of delivering consumer wearable devices with medical-grade data.”

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In addition to being used in this study, Vita Scout is also commercially available to consumers.

Overall, Li described VivaLNK as having a portfolio of wearable sensors that track various vital signs and other health markers.

“Designed for remote patient monitoring, the devices are capable of continuous data connectivity with the IoHT [Internet of Healthcare Things] cloud,” he said.

VivaLNK is currently teaming up with other organizations to use wearable sensors for studies on topics like heart failure event detection, infection monitoring, chemotherapy patient remote monitoring and employee wellness. One study, he noted, is examining stress levels in nurses while they are on the job.

Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz, Getty Images