It is widely recognized that effective stress management could have a dramatic impact on health care and preventive medicine. In order to meet this need, efficient and seamless sensing and analytic tools for the non-invasive stress monitoring during daily life are required. The existing sensors still do not meet the needs in terms of specificity and robustness. We utilized a miniaturized dynamic light scattering sensor (mDLS) which is specially adjusted to measure skin blood flow fluctuations and provides multi- parametric capabilities. Based on the measured dynamic light scattering signal from the red blood cells flowing in skin, a new concept of hemodynamic indexes (HI) and oscillatory hemodynamic indexes (OHI) have been developed. This approach was utilized for stress level assessment for a few usecase scenario. The new stress index was generated through the HI and OHI parameters. In order to validate this new non-invasive stress index, a group of 19 healthy volunteers was studied by measuring the mDLS sensor located on the wrist. Mental stress was induced by using the cognitive dissonance test of Stroop. We found that OHIs indexes have high sensitivity to the mental stress response for most of the tested subjects. In addition, we examined the capability of using this new stress index for the individual monitoring of the diurnal stress level. We found that the new stress index exhibits similar trends as reported for to the well-known diurnal behavior of cortisol levels. Finally, we demonstrated that this new marker provides good sensitivity and specificity to the stress response to sound and musical emotional arousal.
I. Fine, A. V. Kaminsky, and L. Shenkman, "A new sensor for stress measurement based on blood flow fluctuations," Proc. SPIE 9707, Dynamics and Fluctuations in Biomedical Photonics XIII, 970705 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 14, 2016; Published: 17 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212866.
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