New wearable devices applied in psychosocial risks identification and assessment procedures

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Days ago, I read an article [1] on a device that “helps lower stress at work”. Its name is Spire and belongs to the emerging range of wearable technology applied in health, in this case also in the field of work as a cause of stress.

It presents itself in this way:

Based on real-time breathing measurements and analysis shown throughout a smartphone, the device alerts depending on your state of focus, tension or exhaustion. You can check out more info in its webpage.

spireApart from the appealing design and the curious information this devices raises, Spire aims to go a step further, by means of the theoretical use at work.

So, going strictly to technical aspects, I tested whether the data given by the device may or not be incorporated to the procedures of identification, assessment and the preventive and corrective measures established within companies and organizations.

To his end, I got as a sample one of the practical tools for managing stress and psychosocial risks available in the EU-OSHA´s HWC site, this HSE management standards indicator tool”, a questionnaire that each worker must fill. The result is that the device provides valuable information in 7 of the 35 items of the form, regarding breaks during the working time, work intensity, demands of tasks or the pressure on the worker.

Besides the additional figures to those given by the worker in the questionnaire, the information from the device may be useful to establish quick and prior measures regarding, for example, breaks, working rhythm, tasks demands and organizational pressure on the employee. All this information may also be the starting point of further comprehensive studies.

As a conclusion, this is not the sort of device I should use to  check my stress rate before passing a polygraph test (that I hopefully expect not to pass), but they provide a practical information at a affordable price, which technology and technical solvency evolves by leaps and bounds.

Little by little, this family of “wearable” products in which Spire is included will be useful also in the professional field. An issue worth to follow up.

[1] FAST COMPANY. This new wearable device says it helps lower stress at work. July 23, 2014. Consulted 26.07.2014.
MAIRAL, DAVID. 30 july 2014. Integrating new technologies into stress management. EU-OSHA - Healthy workplaces. Consulted 31 july 2014.