Tuesday 12pm, 26 February 2019

Designing Stress Management "In the Wild"

Pablo Paredes

Director, Pervasive Wellbeing Technology Lab - Stanford University


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. I discuss the need to design stress management interventions that are embedded in this new - human-made - wild, as part of a new ecology. I discuss the necessity to focus more research on interventions to improve stress recovery and to do it online, i.e. as close to the stress onset as possible. I propose non-obtrusive sensors that could make possible the constant monitoring of stress coupled with recommendation systems of micro-interventions, such as breathing exercises for the car commuter. I propose the need to explore interventions that force change and those that influence change in an imperceptible way. As a special case, I discuss the commute, as an ideal moment in the day to engage users and a special scenario for instrumenting this technology.


Dr. Paredes is the founder and director of the Pervasive Wellbeing Technology Lab, as part of the Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics Center (PHIND). His lab matches directly the vision of PHIND, which is to understand what it means to be healthy and how to keep people this way. Dr. Paredes received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from UC-Berkeley, with an emphasis on Human-Computer Interaction, and focused his entire career in search for technologies to improve mental health and stress management. His research puts a strong emphasis on enabling affordable, widely deployable technology that can be used by many. He purposefully likes to put emphasis on research associated with interventions, as he finds this a strong necessity in the field.