AN EXAMINATION OF HOW WRISTBAND WEARABLE TECHNOLOGIES CAN BE USED AS AN AID IN RECOVERY AMONGST COLLEGE STUDENTS RECOVERING FROM ALCOHOL AND DRUG ADDICTION

Open Access
Author:
Hatzell, John Manuel
Area of Honors:
Information Sciences and Technology
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Hobart Cleveland, Thesis Supervisor
  • Edward Glantz, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • technology
  • wearable
  • wristband
  • craving
  • addiction
  • drug
  • addict
  • alchol
  • alcholic
  • temperature
  • heart
  • rate
  • elecrodermal
  • iphone
  • application
  • recovery
Abstract:
Millions of people are affected by alcoholism and drug addiction each and every day. Many college students are constantly exposed to drugs and alcohol because of the environment that they live in. Students with drug addiction problems have found help through Collegiate Recovery Programs and other support groups. Even with the help that is available, new ways can always be found to help this population. With the development of different technologies, there may be ways to utilize new devices to help the large population of students in recovery from drug addiction. Wristband wearable devices are just some of the technologies that could help this population. By tracking physiological data, there may be a way to predict cravings for alcohol and drugs and prevent relapse. This study uses Empatica E4 wristband wearable devices to track temperature, electrodermal activity, and heart rate amongst a population of College Students in recovery from drug addiction. By combining this physiological data with survey data delivered from an iPhone application, this thesis looks to find times where participants are feeling a craving or responding to mood questions in a negative way. The research hopes to find spikes or other trends in physiological data during these time periods so that future research can trace these patterns to prevent relapse and promote well-being. To do this, three participants wore Empatica devices that measured electrodermal activity, heart rate, and temperature for a span of 21 days. During this span, participants responded to 5 surveys a day that were delivered to their phones via an iPhone application. These surveys asked a number of mood and cravings questions. At the end of this 21-day span, the physiological data was grouped with the survey data to see if any of the physiological data could predict mood changes or changes in cravings levels. Based on this particular study, these physiological measures could not accurately predict negative mood or cravings amongst the participants of the study.