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  1. Ryckman, Kelli K (Ed.)
    Background Technology enables the continuous monitoring of personal health parameter data during pregnancy regardless of the disruption of normal daily life patterns. Our research group has established a project investigating the usefulness of an Internet of Things–based system and smartwatch technology for monitoring women during pregnancy to explore variations in stress, physical activity and sleep. The aim of this study was to examine daily patterns of well-being in pregnant women before and during the national stay-at-home restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland. Methods A longitudinal cohort study design was used to monitor pregnant women in their everyday settings. Two cohorts of pregnant women were recruited. In the first wave in January-December 2019, pregnant women with histories of preterm births (gestational weeks 22–36) or late miscarriages (gestational weeks 12–21); and in the second wave between October 2019 and March 2020, pregnant women with histories of full-term births (gestational weeks 37–42) and no pregnancy losses were recruited. The final sample size for this study was 38 pregnant women. The participants continuously used the Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch and their heart rate variability, and physical activity and sleep data were collected. Subjective stress, activity and sleep reports were collected using amore »smartphone application developed for this study. Data between February 12 to April 8, 2020 were included to cover four-week periods before and during the national stay-at-home restrictions. Hierarchical linear mixed models were exploited to analyze the trends in the outcome variables. Results The pandemic-related restrictions were associated with changes in heart rate variability: the standard deviation of all normal inter-beat intervals (p = 0.034), low-frequency power (p = 0.040) and the low-frequency/high-frequency ratio (p = 0.013) increased compared with the weeks before the restrictions. Women’s subjectively evaluated stress levels also increased significantly. Physical activity decreased when the restrictions were set and as pregnancy proceeded. The total sleep time also decreased as pregnancy proceeded, but pandemic-related restrictions were not associated with sleep. Daily rhythms changed in that the participants overall started to sleep later and woke up later. Conclusions The findings showed that Finnish pregnant women coped well with the pandemic-related restrictions and lockdown environment in terms of stress, physical activity and sleep.« less
  2. Background The physical and emotional well-being of women is critical for healthy pregnancy and birth outcomes. The Two Happy Hearts intervention is a personalized mind-body program coached by community health workers that includes monitoring and reflecting on personal health, as well as practicing stress management strategies such as mindful breathing and movement. Objective The aims of this study are to (1) test the daily use of a wearable device to objectively measure physical and emotional well-being along with subjective assessments during pregnancy, and (2) explore the user’s engagement with the Two Happy Hearts intervention prototype, as well as understand their experiences with various intervention components. Methods A case study with a mixed design was used. We recruited a 29-year-old woman at 33 weeks of gestation with a singleton pregnancy. She had no medical complications or physical restrictions, and she was enrolled in the Medi-Cal public health insurance plan. The participant engaged in the Two Happy Hearts intervention prototype from her third trimester until delivery. The Oura smart ring was used to continuously monitor objective physical and emotional states, such as resting heart rate, resting heart rate variability, sleep, and physical activity. In addition, the participant self-reported her physical and emotionalmore »health using the Two Happy Hearts mobile app–based 24-hour recall surveys (sleep quality and level of physical activity) and ecological momentary assessment (positive and negative emotions), as well as the Perceived Stress Scale, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Engagement with the Two Happy Hearts intervention was recorded via both the smart ring and phone app, and user experiences were collected via Research Electronic Data Capture satisfaction surveys. Objective data from the Oura ring and subjective data on physical and emotional health were described. Regression plots and Pearson correlations between the objective and subjective data were presented, and content analysis was performed for the qualitative data. Results Decreased resting heart rate was significantly correlated with increased heart rate variability (r=–0.92, P<.001). We found significant associations between self-reported responses and Oura ring measures: (1) positive emotions and heart rate variability (r=0.54, P<.001), (2) sleep quality and sleep score (r=0.52, P<.001), and (3) physical activity and step count (r=0.77, P<.001). In addition, deep sleep appeared to increase as light and rapid eye movement sleep decreased. The psychological measures of stress, depression, and anxiety appeared to decrease from baseline to post intervention. Furthermore, the participant had a high completion rate of the components of the Two Happy Hearts intervention prototype and shared several positive experiences, such as an increased self-efficacy and a normal delivery. Conclusions The Two Happy Hearts intervention prototype shows promise for potential use by underserved pregnant women.« less
  3. Background Assessment of sleep quality is essential to address poor sleep quality and understand changes. Owing to the advances in the Internet of Things and wearable technologies, sleep monitoring under free-living conditions has become feasible and practicable. Smart rings and smartwatches can be employed to perform mid- or long-term home-based sleep monitoring. However, the validity of such wearables should be investigated in terms of sleep parameters. Sleep validation studies are mostly limited to short-term laboratory tests; there is a need for a study to assess the sleep attributes of wearables in everyday settings, where users engage in their daily routines. Objective This study aims to evaluate the sleep parameters of the Oura ring along with the Samsung Gear Sport watch in comparison with a medically approved actigraphy device in a midterm everyday setting, where users engage in their daily routines. Methods We conducted home-based sleep monitoring in which the sleep parameters of 45 healthy individuals (23 women and 22 men) were tracked for 7 days. Total sleep time (TST), sleep efficiency (SE), and wake after sleep onset (WASO) of the ring and watch were assessed using paired t tests, Bland-Altman plots, and Pearson correlation. The parameters were also investigated considering themore »gender of the participants as a dependent variable. Results We found significant correlations between the ring’s and actigraphy’s TST (r=0.86; P<.001), WASO (r=0.41; P<.001), and SE (r=0.47; P<.001). Comparing the watch with actigraphy showed a significant correlation in TST (r=0.59; P<.001). The mean differences in TST, WASO, and SE of the ring and actigraphy were within satisfactory ranges, although there were significant differences between the parameters (P<.001); TST and SE mean differences were also within satisfactory ranges for the watch, and the WASO was slightly higher than the range (31.27, SD 35.15). However, the mean differences of the parameters between the watch and actigraphy were considerably higher than those of the ring. The watch also showed a significant difference in TST (P<.001) between female and male groups. Conclusions In a sample population of healthy adults, the sleep parameters of both the Oura ring and Samsung watch have acceptable mean differences and indicate significant correlations with actigraphy, but the ring outperforms the watch in terms of the nonstaging sleep parameters.« less