Let’s get Physiqual – an intuitive and generic method to combine sensor technology with ecological momentary assessments

F. J. Blaauw, H. M. Schenk, B. F. Jeronimus, L. van Der Krieke, P. de Jonge,, M. Aiello, A. C. Emerencia.

Oct 1, 2016 • 10.1016/j.jbi.2016.08.001

Abstract

The emergence of wearables and smartwatches is making sensors a ubiquitous technology to measure daily rhythms in physiological measures, such as movement and heart rate. An integration of sensor data from wearables and self-report questionnaire data about cognition, behaviors, and emotions can provide new insights into the interaction of mental and physiological processes in daily life. Hitherto no method existed that enables an easy-to-use integration of sensor and self-report data. To fill this gap, we present ‘Physiqual’, a platform for researchers that gathers and integrates data from commercially available sensors and service providers into one unified format for use in Ecological Momentary Assessments (EMA) or Experience Sampling Methods (ESM), and Quantified Self (QS). Physiqual currently supports sensor data provided by two well-known service providers and therewith a wide range of smartwatches and wearables. To demonstrate the features of Physiqual, we conducted a case study in which we assessed two subjects by means of data from an EMA study combined with sensor data as aggregated and exported by Physiqual. To the best of our knowledge, the Physiqual platform is the first platform that allows researchers to conveniently aggregate and integrate physiological sensor data with EMA studies.