- Year: 2012
- Award: WSA-Mobile
- Category: Health & Well Being
- Producer: Prof. Giuseppe Riva (Design and Scientific Supervision), Dr. Danilo Marco Campanaro (Technical Development)
- Country: Italy
Positive Technology App (PTA) is a telehealth tool allowing self-management of stress and enabling mobile-based treatment. Stress is the second most reported work-related health problem, while stress-related conditions caused by work are on the increase and significantly affect an organisation’s bottom line. Reducing work-related stress is not only a moral, but also a legal and business imperative. Research indicates that the use of mobile phones enhances clinical approaches to stress management. Within the context of the Interstress EU project, a mobile app was developed to help people cope with stress. Using an engaging 3D virtual reality island, the user can practice effective relaxation techniques. The Positive Technology app also offers biofeedback training to control heart rate variability, thus helping to counter the physiological changes induced by stress. The biofeedback approach used has two outstanding merits. Firstly, heart rate variability is one of the most effective biofeedback techniques. Secondly, the treatment is situated in a virtual environment, the medium of choice for giving users feedback, by being more intuitive and making learning easy. The biofeedback section of the app exploits progress made in the field of wearable low-cost biosensors to allow effective interventions in daily situations.