Improving personal well-being

Eric van Riet Paap and Auke de Leeuw utilize data measured by fitness trackers and smartwatches to maintain and improve personal well-being. Together they are Annovating Products and Consultancy B.V.

The idea already exists for 15 years: analyze data from smartwatches using artificial intelligence (AI) to maintain or improve the health of the person wearing it. Health can mean many things. Not only detecting a disease, but also getting up in the morning feeling happy. Applying machine learning tools can give you feedback on your well-being in order to stay happy. We only measure what a device like that can measure, like heartbeat or acceleration. The new generation of smartwatches will be able to measure body temperature, respiration, galvanic skin response (GSR). The latter basically measures how your sweat is composed, which indicates your emotional state of mind – if you’re tense, or nervous. That’s also how a lie detector works.

You wear your own detection device on your wrist. It measures what time you go to sleep, your heart rate…, if you collect that data and have it analyzed by a sophisticated computer system, it can help to find patterns in your activities and the way they make you feel.”

Finding patterns

“Some things are based on general knowledge. If you drink a bottle of wodka, the consequences the next day will be the same for most people: you won’t feel very well. But many other things apply only to you: for example your sleeping pattern. Another example is migraine. Nobody knows for sure what causes it or what happens in the body once you’re triggered. But many people know exactly which specific trigger causes migraine for them. Others don’t, and they can feel helpless. For these people, you could find out which life pattern would suit them best. Now they use diaries to find out what triggers the pain. You could supplement these with physiological data and cross-reference it with the information from the diaries. Finding those patterns, that’s how you can use AI. In that way you can personalize medical care.”

Collecting information

“With all the developments that come together in this field, it is an excellent moment to get on board. Our vision is more personalized approach for a better life. The first step is collecting the data. There are so many different fitness trackers. Hardware manufacturers collect this data in their own database. If you get a new watch, you have to start all over again. We will incorporate this in one database, even though you switch devices.”


“Within the HealthInc program, we focus on migraine to have a clear domain. It is a common disease, it makes sense to look into this segment. What we use for this subject, we also apply to different domains. If you are a migraine patient and you can notice it on time, you can take a painkiller to stop the process before it turns into a real migraine. Early interruption truly has a benefit and a smartwatch can help with that.

The number of sick days because of migraine can be reduced by using a system like this. At the moment, we are working to optimize our content and algorithms.”

Auke en Eric

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