Mobile stress tests for your smart phone

Our mobile phones may soon be able to measure how stressed out we are using some clever new technology.

It is has been reported that mobile phones, laptops, and televisions can cause stress, and that we need to find a way to switch off from the connected world. However, some researchers have developed a system that can connect with a smart phone to give on-the-spot stress level readings, showing that handheld tech could be used to treat stress related illnesses.

It can be useful in some psychiatric treatment to know a person’s level of cortisol, a stress hormone that is present in the saliva, as it can be beneficial in diagnosis and monitoring of certain conditions, such as psychotic depression.

Unfortunately, current tests are expensive, and can take up to a week for a clinic to generate the results. This new technology should shorten the cortisol salivary test down to under 5 minutes, whilst being portable.

This means that cortisol tests could be carried out on the spot and give immediate results, something incredibly value for outreach health workers.

The test would include a case, light pipe and lens, in addition to an app to run the program, and it will work with phones running Android, iOS, Windows and BlackBerry.

By utilizing the flash of the smart phone and directing it at a saliva swab inserted into the case, the camera seems to be able to detect the presence of different chemicals through the lens due to colour alteration.

Research and evidence is being gathered to submit to the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S.A., where the research was undertaken and the design was created.