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Research project on AI-supported stress intervention in the workplace launched by Deep Care and Fraunhofer IGD

December 19, 2023
Research & development project Fraunhofer IGD and Deep Care

The modern world of work not only brings new opportunities, but also challenges for the health of employees. The annual health reports published by major health insurance companies show an increase in mental stress in the population. In this context, the Ludwigsburg-based healthtech start-up Deep Care and the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD have initiated a new research project aimed at developing an AI-supported stress intervention at the office workplace. With the help of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection The aim of the project, which is being funded by the German government, is to use AI-supported sensor technology to recognise stress at desktop workstations so that an assistance device can be used to guide individual, targeted preventive measures.

(Ludwigsburg/Rostock, 24/08/2023) As the recently published DKV Report 2023 shows that a lack of exercise and stress in particular represent a high and constantly growing health burden. For example, Germans currently spend an average of around 9.2 hours a day sitting - half an hour more than during the pandemic. With regard to mental health, the report shows that one in four employees already has "critical mental well-being". In addition, more than one in two people fail to deal with stress in a healthy way.

Cooperation for innovation: focus on workplace health

The cooperation with Fraunhofer IGD promises pioneering developments in the field of workplace health and stress management. The starting point for this is the "AI-Sensing" technology developed by Deep Care, which has already broken new ground in the prevention of physical health risks with its first product "ISA" (Intelligent Seating Behaviour Assistance). The research project aims to expand the system (ISA) with additional, also non-invasive sensor technology so that emerging stress while working at a PC can be recognised early on based on vital parameters such as breathing rate, heartbeat or blinking eyes. In addition to existing ergonomics and movement data, these will also be incorporated into the AI model in order to map a holistic stress profile of the user.

Stress detection through data analysis by Fraunhofer IGD

The data specialists at Fraunhofer IGD bring their Years of expertise The system also incorporates a wide range of vital parameters in the recording, processing, analysis and visualisation. Based on the resulting individual stress profile, the system is designed to initiate targeted measures to reduce mental stress levels in addition to measures to reduce physical stress. Traditional approaches to stress reduction such as breathing or meditation exercises are conceivable, but high-intensity interval training (HIIT) also appears to be an option According to recent studies a time-efficient method to be.

AI sensing technology from Deep Care as Technological basis

An essential part of the existing AI sensing technology is a depth sensor originally developed for space travel, which precisely records movement and ergonomic data without jeopardising the anonymity of users (e.g. through facial recognition). Using the AI algorithms developed by Deep Care, this data is analysed to create individual stress profiles. Based on these profiles, the AI suggests targeted measures that are presented via ISA's integrated screen. Currently, these include targeted movement exercises or ergonomic posture corrections that office workers can carry out at the workplace. By integrating new methods for analysing vital data based on the research work of Fraunhofer IGD, immediate measures to promote physical health could be added in the future.

Potential for employee health: AI-based stress intervention

The research project on AI-supported stress intervention in the workplace by Deep Care and Fraunhofer IGD could represent an important step towards a more targeted approach to promoting employee health in the modern workplace. Dr Milad Geravand, co-founder and CEO of Deep Care, explains: "Several well-known health insurance companies and many large companies are already using our AI sensing technology in the context of workplace health promotion and have expressed great interest in AI-supported stress intervention in view of the high prevalence of mental stress."

Press photos (© Deep Care)

Movement and ergonomics analysis using Intelligent Seating Behaviour Assistance (ISA)

About Deep Care:
Deep Care is a high-tech start-up from the healthcare industry founded in Waiblingen in 2020. Deep Care GmbH has been based in Ludwigsburg since 2022, where it currently employs 18 people. Our goal at Deep Care is to use innovative technologies and artificial intelligence to develop smart solutions for occupational health and safety. We want to empower people to work healthily and minimise health risks in their working environment in the long term. Our focus is on increasing individual well-being and creating a healthy and productive working environment.

About Fraunhofer IGD:
Since 1987, the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD has been setting international standards for applied research in visual computing, image- and model-based computer science. We transform information into images and images into information and support industry and business in their strategic development. Keywords include human-machine interaction, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, interactive simulation, modelling, 3D printing and 3D scanning. Around 190 researchers at the three sites in Darmstadt, Rostock and Kiel generate new technological application solutions and prototypes for Industry 4.0, digital healthcare and the smart city. Our products are internationally relevant thanks to our collaboration with our sister institutes in Graz and Klagenfurt. With the help of our matrix organisation, we serve our customers from a wide range of industries with relevant technical and competition-oriented services. To this end, we have cross-functional teams of experts with industry experience who also take on the planning, management and evaluation of projects of all sizes.

Press contact:
Frederik Blohm | Head of Corporate Communications
Deep Care
Königsallee 43| D-71638 Ludwigsburg
Phone: +49 176 544 16987| 

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