A study done with Dartmouth students has helped create an app that can measure stress levels in college students. The app, StudentLife, uses passive and automatic sensing data and requires little user interaction. The app gathered data 24/7 for 10 weeks to figure out the student’s mental health including stress levels, depression, loneliness and more. The app collects data from the student’s phone and their usage and from the data and sensors can keep track of when the student goes to sleep and wakes up, how many conversations they have in a day and how long they last, how many social interactions they have, their stress levels and eating habits and more.
While it seems a little big-brother esque, the app is pretty informative about student life and what the average college student goes through on a day to day basis. We aren’t quite sure if we need an app to tell us we are stressed (we already kind of figured that one out ourselves) but the information it compiles is pretty interesting. The app was tested on 48 Dartmouth students, and if even more used it then the data would be even more telling.
We aren’t quite sure if we would use this app ourselves, but the plans for the future want the app to expand to to also offer intervention tactics to help cope with stress and depression. They are hoping that through improvements and expansion of the app that it will connect students to their professors and others on campus to help improve quality of life. Hey, anything that keeps us from stressing out too much about our Math midterm is good in our book.