March 15, 2018

UCSF and Sage Bionetworks announce stress research study leveraging new sensor technologies on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

UCSF and Sage Bionetworks announce stress research study leveraging new sensor technologies on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Study marks a groundbreaking use of a smartphone sensor capable of measuring body signals for blood pressure estimation

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Sage Bionetworks announce the launch of “My BP Lab”, a research study that uses surveys and sensor data collected from participants’ phones to quantify and understand their daily stress. The study leverages an optical sensor embedded in the newly-released Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphone to derive estimates of heart rate and blood pressure. With My BP Lab, participants can track variation in their blood pressure relative to daily experiences over the course of the three week study.

“This study potentially will provide the largest dataset ever obtained on stress levels, health behaviors, and physiological responses during the course of one’s daily life,” said Wendy Berry Mendes, UCSF Professor and Principal Investigator of the My BP Lab study. “By collecting subjective experiences, behaviors like sleep and exercise, and blood pressure levels across a three week period, we can identify the most important triggers of stress physiology.” Blood pressure, along with contextual information, can provide individuals with insights as to how their daily activities affect their stress levels and overall wellbeing.

“Integration of health sensors into consumer smartphones provides a powerful opportunity for researchers to understand the impact that our surroundings can have on our health,” said Brian M. Bot, Principal Scientist at Sage Bionetworks and co-investigator of My BP Lab. “In My BP Lab, we are able to explore the impact of stress on measures of health outside of a clinical setting.” The study utilizes ResearchStack, an open source software framework designed to support researchers interested in launching studies through smartphones that use the Android operating system. This is the second Android-based study supported by Sage Bionetworks.

“The use of smartphones to distribute studies provides an easy approach for interested individuals to get actively involved in health research.” said Dr. Lara Mangravite, President of Sage Bionetworks. “Participants not only contribute to science but have the ability to immediately learn about their own health.”

Sage Bionetworks is a nonprofit research organization that supports participant-centered research studies. Sage Bionetworks entered mobile health research in March of 2015, providing data governance and technical infrastructure to support remote enrollment and secure data management. Sage has supported over two dozen separate studies in partnership with a number of academic and industry collaborators that have collectively engaged more than 100,000 participants.

My BP Lab is open to participants over the age of 18 living in the United States with a Samsung Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+. The research is being conducted under the supervision of Professor Wendy Berry Mendes at UCSF and uses optical sensor technology from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. The My BP Lab study app will be available starting March 15, 2018. Information is available on the study website and the app may be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

About Sage Bionetworks (

Sage Bionetworks is a nonprofit biomedical research organization founded in 2009 to promote innovations in biomedicine by enabling a community-based approach to scientific inquiries and discoveries. In pursuit of this mission, we have combined science, technology, and governance structures to assemble an information commons for sharing resources and insights. The commons is used to support open research collaborations and innovative crowd-sourced analytical Challenges; it also empowers citizens and patients to partner with researchers through mobile health technologies. At Sage Bionetworks, we work to make science more open, collaborative, and inclusive.

About University of California, San Francisco

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland – and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area. Please visit

Contact:  Brian Bot
Sage Bionetworks
Tel: 206 667-2102