SEOUL, May 26 (Korea Bizwire) – KAIST (the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) is measuring its students’ biosignals in an effort to prevent suicide.
According to the university’s KI Health Science Research Institute, wearable devices that can measure biosignals were distributed to 350 students, starting in April. The institute is operating a pilot project that can predict certain health symptoms based on the devices’ signals.
The university ethics commission approved the project, and the participating students signed consent forms to provide location and biometric data.
The sensors on the wearable devices, such as smartwatches, smart shoes and shoe soles, and smart buckles, detect students’ biosignals, and the data is sent to a main server for consolidated maintenance. Biosignals include sleep state, heart rate, ECG, temperature, weight, and activity level.
The data collected from the devices allows for the remote diagnosis of the students’ health. Cross-referencing school grades may even allow the institute to determine potential symptoms prior to suicide. The institute plans to compile a database using the information, which it plans to collect for the next two years.
The school’s efforts to manage its students’ health mainly derived from a series of suicides that took place in 2011. The school has since opened an in-house stress clinic offering mental health examinations and counseling.
However, continued incidents, including the suicide of graduate students last June, pushed the university to establish a system that may help to prevent such tragedies from reoccurring.
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)