Wearable Tech for Health
Rosaland Picard SM ’86, SCD ’91, Faculty
Picard, founding director of the MIT Media Lab’s Affective Computing Research Group, explores ways that technology can monitor and analyze human biological and emotional states. As chief scientist of startup Empatica, she helps to design devices that use medical-quality sensing and smartphone apps to track personal health data. One product with its genesis in her Media Lab group’s stress-sensing research: a sleek wristband that uses embedded AI to monitor for multiple indicators of epileptic seizures. In 2018 the device, Embrace—which has the potential to save lives by alerting caregivers when a wearer needs aid—became the world’s first smart watch to be cleared by the FDA for use as a medical device.