e-Health: Monitoring Physical Reactions

On the road towards constructing a Voight Kampff machine, the first stop has been the Cooking Hacks e-Health Arduino shield. This has proved a great success, and has provided us with simple and effective data collection from a number of biometric sensors.

We have implemented the tool to report either directly to a computer via USB, or to a web server via the internet (with the addition of an ethernet shield – see below) so that data can be either processed locally, or visualized remotely.




The sensors that we can collect data from using this equipment include:

  • Position
  • Blood Sugar
  • Temperature
  • Blood Pressure
  • Pulse
  • Oxygen in Blood
  • Airflow
  • Galvanometric Skin Response (GSR)
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Electromyography (EMG)

This enables us to monitor a wide variety of physiological activity relating to individuals, allowing us to attempt to profile emotional reactions from individuals. One simple implementation inflates and deflates the circles in the interface shown in the below image, visualising real-time changes in the physiology of an individual as they are exposed to different stimuli:


Sketchy Interface


Of most interest so far (in terms of detecting empathy) seems to be the interaction between pulse, GSR and temperature (visible attached to the board below), but only time and experimentation will tell…




We are also currently developing a smartphone app that is able to log data from the sensors as well, permitting even more flexible approaches to data collection to be taken. More news to follow soon!


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