Remote Anger and Stress Management (M-SAT)

Posted August 29, 2017

David Jones, Design Interactive, Inc.

Approximately one third of individuals globally will experience mental health disorders in their lifetime. An especially vulnerable population is military Veterans. In the U.S., approximately 1/3 of Veterans suffer from psychological distress, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), physiological stress, and anger. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has emerged as standard practice for reduction of mental health symptoms. However, standard CBT for stress and anger does not offer the provider information regarding therapy progression outside of office visits, nor does it provide objective information about individuals’ triggers such as location, time, or severity. Under Defense Health Agency phase I and II SBIRs, Design Interactive Inc. (DI) developed a quantitative, mobile health (mHealth) approach to reducing symptoms of psychological distress in Veterans. The mobile stress and anger management tool (MSAT) consists of a wearable wireless device capable of assessing stress biometrics in real time, a mobile patient application to classify, time-stamp and location-stamp stress events with integrated stress reduction techniques, and the patent-pending operational stress index (OSI) algorithm, which is capable of detecting stress in an ambulatory environment with greater than 90% accuracy. In a clinical sample, patients who used the MSAT system were significantly less likely to discontinue therapy, and significantly improved on clinical measures of stress, anxiety, and anger as compared to Veteran’s receiving standard CBT. Given the large number of individuals that experience mental health disorders, and the unmet need for treatment, especially in developing nations, such mHealth approaches have the potential to provide or augment treatment at low cost in the absence of in-person care. Current work is focused on transitioning the OSI for use in training environments with DHS first responders under a phase II enhancement effort, as well as real-time stress quantification with U.S. Special Forces.


Winslow, B. D., Chadderdon, G. L., Dechmerowski, S. J., Jones, D. L., Kalkstein, S., Greene, J. L., & Gehrman, P. (2016). Development and Clinical Evaluation of an mHealth Application for Stress Management. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 7, 130.

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Last updated Thursday, May 26, 2022