Technology evolves fast and often with great leaps. This leads to new and interesting opportunities for both consumers and scientists. It however also presents challenges. One such opportunity is the availability of small and wearable sensors that provide easily accessible physiological measurements. These range from smartwatches to medical grade heart-rate monitors. A challenge posed by these sensors to scientists is how to evaluate their measurements. Are they reliable? Furthermore, are they valid? Moreover, how does one determine this? This very question was studied in a recent paper by Hendrika (Erika) van Lier, a PhD candidate at the department of Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics (CPE). We are proud to share her work with you.
Erika worked together with colleagues from the University of Twente, Tactus addiction treatment, Ziekenhuisgroep Twente and the Netherlands Organisation for applied science (TNO) on this study. They studied two main subjects. First of all, they developed a standardized protocol to validate the measurements of new physiological sensors. Second, they evaluated the measurements of the Empatica E4 wristband sensor supplied by the BMS lab. More specifically, they studied the validity of the electrodermal activity and cardiovascular activity measurements on three levels. As a result, they had an excellent test case for their protocol. Other devices can likewise be evaluated on the same levels and with the same protocol.
The results of the study support both the use of the wristband in scientific studies and the applicability and value of their protocol. Furthermore, through their study they created valuable instructions for future evaluations. Their work was recently published in the journal of Behavior Research Methods and we are thus proud to share it. It can be found using the link or reference below.
The referenced article:
van Lier, H.G., Pieterse, M.E., Garde, A. et al. Behav Res (2019). https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-019-01263-9