Pervasive Wellbeing Technology

Pablo E. Paredes, PhD, Director

Wellbeing and stress management is a growing necessity across society. 80% of primary care visits are due to stress, while only 3% advice on how to manage it. Stress for modern humans happens in the wild, i.e. in the built environment - modern humans spend 87% of their time indoors or in cars. We research how to provide stress management interventions in this new wild, and how to enable subtle interventions to improve stress recovery and to do it online, i.e. as close to the stress onset as possible. As a special case, we focus on the commute, as an ideal moment in the day to engage users to breathe, to stretch, and to have tiny conversations with micro chatbots that can deliver stress management tips to increase wellbeing.

FEATURED RESEARCH

NON-OBTRUSIVE“SENSORLESS” SENSING

By combining human-computer interaction (HCI), digital signal processing (DSP), and neuro-biomechanics, we are creating biomechanical models of muscle stiffness in the arm, correlated with mental stress, by repurposing data from a computer mouse or a car steering wheel – a method that we provocatively call “sensorless sensing". Read more on our Research page.

SUBTLE INTERVENTIONS

We are working on the development of a new science of subtle interventions “in the wild”, i.e., using everyday devices and activities to deliver just-in-time relief. Read more on our Research page.

THE MINDFUL COMMUTE

Given that stressed people report having no time to cope with it, we are fascinated with in-between moments, such as the commute, as an opportunity to break the stress “chain” between work and home. Our work is sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research as Stanford (CARS), and car companies such as Renault, Faurecia and Toyota. Read more on our Research page.

 

CYBER-PHYSICAL CONVERSATIONAL THERAPEUTIC AGENTS

Our vision is to have an ecosystem of cyber-physical therapeutic agents to help people deal proactively with daily hassles. Based on our prior work on just-in-time interventions we have built an “army of micro chatbots”, which are deployed to provide a single stress "tip,” such as somatic relaxation, and cognitive reframing. Read more on our Research page.

OPEN POSITIONS

Postdoctoral Fellow or PhD Student

February 12, 2018

Focus on the development of novel movement-based interventions. If you are passionate about using movement as a way to detect and intervene stress and other emotions, please contact us. Prior experience understanding human movement and its relationship with affect and behavior is plus.

Skills: DSP, pattern recognition, biomechanics, computer vision (desired), robotics (desired).

Background: Bioengineering, CS, EE, ME, Computational Biology or Physiology, or similar fields.

Postdoctoral Fellow or PhD Student

February 12, 2018

FFocus on the development of a recommendation system using online learning algorithms. If you are passionate about personalized interventions and like to work with machine learning (ML) algorithms contact us. Experience with online learning algorithms or personalized advertisement is a plus.

​Skills: ML - online learning, multi-sensory processing, multi-modal interfaces (desired).

Background: CS, EE, Educations, Biostatistics, Psychology, or similar fields.

Research Student Internship

October 8, 2018

Be part of the creation of the future of mental health and wellbeing technology by supporting one of the different projects being developed in the lab.

​Stanford students can work per credit for one quarter (funding not guaranteed, but possible only after second quarter). Fully funded visiting students are welcome. 


CONTACT US

Thanks for your interest in our research. Get in touch with us for any questions or comments regarding our work and publications. We’d love to hear from you.

 
 

3155 Porter Drive

Palo Alto, CA 94304