Inspiration and Introduction

The ever increasing competition among businesses, makes today’s workplaces to face a consistent challenge of being efficient while keeping low costs. Sounds contradictory to keep up efficiency while reducing cost, but there are always strategies as well as solutions. These can alter your approach towards a problem and help solve it without putting excessive burden on your business goals.

One of the biggest problems is due to high stress and high pressure at work. According to Harvard: Emotional turmoil triggers the release of stress hormones, which act on the same brain areas that regulate cardiovascular functions such as heart rate and blood pressure. (1)

There is a correlation between stress and Heart rate (2), a study made by NIH, showed a relationship between stress and heart rate. Repeated-measures showed that HR mean, increased significantly in response to the speech task. Moreover, repeated-measures showed that the respiration rate was not accounting for these effects.

Harvard Business Review presented a case where performance is compared with the stress level. It is important to notice that is required a certain amount of stress in order to get the right performance. Very low stress also shows that performance is also very low. (3)

In the same article, they present a Stress scale in order to get the best performance and the table with the best outcome.

And yes, we have to remember also that heart diseases are the first cause of death worldwide:

I think we can twist this a little bit and generate a health-related solution for Business professionals where the Health info is right next to their work.

Solution and What it does

We developed an Air table block which is able to see and analyze the HR of the employees in real time and with this we can analyze if the employee needs to take a moment to clear himself, stop working or other use cases. When the employee begins to suffer from anxiety and has been inactive for a long time, the system will send him a notification that he needs a break.

At the same time we have a block that works as a widget and as an application, if we only have the widget on our side we can see that only our steps and our hr appear, however if we enlarge the screen, we can see our HR of the day in a broad way and our averages. All of this in real time.

The Hardware used was:

  • RaspberryPiZero w.
  • MiBand 3.

How we built it

Connection diagram:

We used a RPi Zero as the bridging mechanism between a regular Smartband (in this case a MiBand3) and our MQTT broker which in turn we hanged to the React backend of an AirTable block.

Step by step build process:

For step by step instructions go to our Github where all the documentation is heavily Expanded:

https://github.com/altaga/AirHerz

DEMO (in case you missed it):

Please CLICK on the picture as Markup cannot embed videos.

Demo

Or if for whathever reason open this link:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1WkGXhseU3pF4ZtmfHXYDEBM_r0aoQZeH?usp=sharing

https://airtable.com/invite/l?inviteId=inv2709vKk2l2zxkw&inviteToken=2b54fbf400e74450ab0068d1d723ae3dcef4504958673709cf95ef02eef6de0b

Test the block:

If you don't have the hardware available, you can still test the block as follows.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For a production block it is necessary to use a private MQTT broker due to the sensitive data that can pass through it and above all to use secure protocols such as MQTT-TSL. In addition, the topic changes randomly each time you open the block in order to avoid duplication of topics in the broker and that we always have a unique topic.

0.- First accept the invitation for our block:

https://airtable.com/invite/l?inviteId=inv2709vKk2l2zxkw&inviteToken=2b54fbf400e74450ab0068d1d723ae3dcef4504958673709cf95ef02eef6de0b

1.- Open an MQTT Websocket and place the following credentials, in our case we will use a public one like the one below.

http://www.hivemq.com/demos/websocket-client/

  Host:test.mosquitto.org
  Port:8081
  ClientID: ANY_RANDOM_STRING

  Topic:YOUR_BLOCK_TOPIC
  Message:{"Device":"Device 1","hr": 80,"step":900,"meter": 1024,"rec":"ANY MESSAGE"}

If everything works correctly you can see the data (and any data) you entered in the HR Monitor.

Here is a real time demo without Hardware:

https://youtu.be/HXszdwnjgqg

Challenges we ran into

The first challenge we faced, learning how to code on this platform, unfortunately, we didn’t know about it, and getting to know how to code and hack inside was a good challenge. The second one was to try to connect the platform in order to get data from the IoT devices (MQTT protocol with Airtable), which was quite challenging. And last but not least, make the block in Airtable platform responsive.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The main accomplishment we succeeded on was able to code with the Air Table platform. Communicate IoT devices inside the block in order to display the information to the user was straight forward as we already have in depth experience doing this same thing and just migrating to Air Table was easy. And a small accomplishment was that we were able to participate and get to know this kind of technology that are improving people’s lives.

What we learned

We learned a new platform, the Air Table platform is an interesting way to create and innovate. It’s an easy way to code to develop technologies fast and it is very useful. At the time we were working on the project we realized that the Air Table Platform is the right tool to improve management for companies.

What's next for Air-Herz

We want to take Air Herz to the next level, first, we will change the Raspberry for a better gateway. Thinking more of a company, create a gateway for each department, so the management gets clear and the data showed become valuable. We will integrate Machine Learning to provide data from each worker, department, and company. We know how important are the employees of the company. With this we can take care of them and their performance.

References:

  1. Harvard, https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/calm-your-anxious-heart
  2. ncbi, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2653595/
  3. Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2016/04/are-you-too-stressed-to-be-productive-or-not-stressed-enough

  4. https://www.m2sys.com/blog/workforce-management/the-top-15-reasons-to-use-biometric-technology-in-workforce-management-and-retail-point-of-service-reason-2-increase-productivity/

  5. https://www.mitrefinch.co.uk/blog/workforce-management/5-ways-that-biometrics-can-improve-your-workforce-management/

  6. https://www.intercorpsolutions.com/knowledge/productivity-analysis-companies-biometrics-changing/

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