Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment. - aada.org (Anxiety and Depression Association of America).
In a time of increasing stress from our lifestyles, and social life, we felt that this application and wearable addresses a need for those who are not always surrounded by an immediate means of moral support.
What it does
Mercury is a wearable device that employs a heart rate sensor and oximeter to record and monitor the users statistics. If the breathing or heart rate goes above the concerning thresholds, in situations where the user is not exerting themselves, the application on the users phone will prompt the user to confirm the situation, and then follow up with breathing exercises, and calming images to help calm the user. In a situation where the app finds that the users stats are not returning to their baseline normal, it will offer the user to connect with a trusted contact, or advise to call emergency services.
The application is designed with a workout mode status that the user is advised to switch on before beginning a workout. This mode can be set to expire after a certain time - to be set by the user.
The wearable can also take tactile input (screen tap) from the user in case they were to experience anxiety during moments of exertion. In situations like this, the application will turn off workout mode, and go straight to the calming breathing techniques. In case the user's stats do not begin to normalise, the user is prompted to either connect with a trusted contact, or call emergency services.
How we built it
We used an Arduino as the controller. The heart rate sensor and oximeter were enabled by the MAX03100 chip. Our circuit design is attached.
Challenges we ran into
Hardware challenges: We went trough a few rounds of testing with different controllers. Attempt 1 - BBC Microbit: We chose this for its built in accelerometer. Failed due to not being able to find the right support for it on Linux platform. Attempt 2 - Raspberry Pi 4B - Borrowed from MLH - After many attempts at connecting to it, we determined the SD card was broken. Attempt 3 - Raspberry Pi 3 - We were unable to discover the device on our laptops running Fedora, Ubuntu, Windows OS. The problem we came to realise was that the Raspberry Pi and the laptop needed to be on the same network and we needed to SSH into the Pi which we were also not able to accomplish.
We also tried different methods of connectivity in the trouble shooting - ethernet to USB adapter, ethernet to ethernet direct (when we acquired the Alienware laptop), and HDMI.
We did not have an HDMi or standalone keyboard and these were not available from MLH either.
Laptop Challenge: The only windows laptop we had began to crash on day 2 of the Hackathon. We had to try, and trouble shoot 3 different laptops from MLH before we found one that worked leading to time delay.
We decided to resolve this issue by emulating the Raspberry Pi in software.
We did not have the time to develop a backend (DB) for the application.
Due to limited time left after the lengthy trouble shooting process and change of strategy, we opted to create the application mockup in Adobe XD.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are a team of mostly first time Hackers, with limited programming experiences.
As a team, we are proud we did not give up despite the hardware challenges that we faced.
What we learned
As individuals, we all learnt different things from the project.
1 - Teamwork 2 - Tools like; Adobe XD, Proto.iu, Android Studio, UI/UX design 3 - Check the hardware.
What's next for Mercury
All the things we didn't do!