Non-Invasive Monitoring of the Autonomic Nervous System for Real-Time Assessment of Human Stress

Case ID:

This innovative research uses video thermography and a novel algorithm designed to analyze changes in sweat pore activation (SPA). This technology can rival pupillometry in understanding physiological responses under various stresses and circumstances. This is a real-time, non-invasive way to detect sweat pores’ response to stimuli, both physical and emotional. In society today, mental health is acknowledged perhaps more than any other time, as universally important to an individual’s health. Physiological markers accompany certain disorders, for example PTSD, but those markers are difficult to measure or evaluate. This technology can improve how professionals evaluate some of those physiological markers.

The American Psychiatric Association claim that 3.5% of American adults suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but only 11 people are diagnosed. As a society, we are understanding the effects of mental health problems on concrete physiological responses to the human body. The novel steps in this technology allow for a new way to evaluate stressors like PTSD in, for example, candidates for positions where understanding of one’s mental or emotional stressors are required.

Furthermore, in the realm of professional and amateur athletics, athletes would have the ability to test their response to emotional and physical stressors and adjust accordingly. While other methods of evaluating the Automatic Nervous System (ANS) exist, they can be difficult to operationalize and often require wearing multiple sensors and complicated equipment. This method frees the individual from those inconveniences, allows the user or researcher to test a wide variety of situations, and does so in a non-invasive manner.

Aside from improving athletic performance and screening for appropriate candidates, there is a growing market for diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. This study explored the possibility of identifying physical markers, such as sweat gland response, to physical and emotional stimuli to perhaps indicate triggers for PTSD. There is a research grant market, and a market for healthcare treatment of these conditions. This technology fills the need for innovative and versatile ways for detecting stressors and treating individuals who suffer from disorders like PTSD.


  • Candidate evaluation
    • Pilots
    • Warfighters
    • Police
  • Understanding where stressful stimuli would moderate ANS changes (e.g.: elite athletes)


  • Noninvasive
  • Versatile
  • Inexpensive
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Garrett Edmunds
Licensing Manager, UAHS-TLA
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Jacob Hyde
Johnny Runyon
Mohammad Majdi
Jeffrey Rodriguez
Esther Sternberg