Things that help out: designing smart wearables as partners in stress management

We propose an approach to designing smart wearables that act as partners to help people cope with stress in daily life. Our approach contributes to the developing field of smart wearables by addressing how technological capabilities can be designed to establish partnerships that consider the person, the situation, and the appropriate type of support. As such, this study also contributes to healthcare by opening up novel technology-supported routes to stress treatment and care. We present the results of a phenomenological study conducted with three war veterans who suffer from chronic posttraumatic stress disorder. We describe how their experiences of dealing with their stress informed our design approach, and discuss the implications of these results on smart wearables and stress management in general. We conclude by reflecting on the limitations of this study and directions for future work.