Instant Automated Inference of Perceived Mental Stress through Smartphone PPG and Thermal Imaging

21 Dec 2018  ·  Youngjun Cho, Simon J. Julier, Nadia Bianchi-Berthouze ·

Background: A smartphone is a promising tool for daily cardiovascular measurement and mental stress monitoring. A smartphone camera-based PhotoPlethysmoGraphy (PPG) and a low-cost thermal camera can be used to create cheap, convenient and mobile monitoring systems. However, to ensure reliable monitoring results, a person has to remain still for several minutes while a measurement is being taken. This is very cumbersome and makes its use in real-life mobile situations quite impractical. Objective: We propose a system which combines PPG and thermography with the aim of improving cardiovascular signal quality and capturing stress responses quickly. Methods: Using a smartphone camera with a low cost thermal camera added on, we built a novel system which continuously and reliably measures two different types of cardiovascular events: i) blood volume pulse and ii) vasoconstriction/dilation-induced temperature changes of the nose tip. 17 healthy participants, involved in a series of stress-inducing mental workload tasks, measured their physiological responses to stressors over a short window of time (20 seconds) immediately after each task. Participants reported their level of perceived mental stress using a 10-cm Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). We used normalized K-means clustering to reduce interpersonal differences in the self-reported ratings. For the instant stress inference task, we built novel low-level feature sets representing variability of cardiovascular patterns. We then used the automatic feature learning capability of artificial Neural Networks (NN) to improve the mapping between the extracted set of features and the self-reported ratings. We compared our proposed method with existing hand-engineered features-based machine learning methods. Results, Conclusions: ... due to limited space here, we refer to our manuscript.

PDF Abstract


  Add Datasets introduced or used in this paper

Results from the Paper

  Submit results from this paper to get state-of-the-art GitHub badges and help the community compare results to other papers.