Wearable tech to provide insight into mental health in the construction sector

Pagabo and Moodbeam have collaborated to aid mental health and wellbeing and improve working conditions in the construction sector.
By Sara Mageit
04:23 am
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Credit: Moodbeam

With the aim to improve how sites are managed and to promote wellbeing in the construction sector, national framework organisation Pagabo has partnered up with health tech company Moodbeam to launch a wearable device called Moodbeam One, enabling construction workers to capture mood in real-time.

The wearable wrist band will allow workers to log how they feel by pressing yellow when they’re feeling good and blue when not so good. They can connect to the Moodbeam App to synchronize their moods and understand more about mood patterns and trends, as well as access other related information such as learning how activity and sleep affect how you feel.

WHY IT MATTERS

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Several studies have shown that mental health is a key concern in the construction sector. According to the Office of National Statistics, between 2011 and 2015, more than 1,400 construction workers took their own lives.

Workers will be able to discreetly and anonymously give feedback through the push of a button. The data will be used to pinpoint overall difficulties and challenges on-site and will give insight into the triggers and patterns that shape workers' daily moods. This initiative will create a dashboard for managers, who will be able to access their employee’s mental health data.

The wearable band will also capture when things are going well, collating the overall highs and lows of the site.

THE LARGER CONTEXT

Moodbeam One will be trialled across a number of construction sites, and will reach a wide representation of the industry including the sub-contracted workforce, site project teams, off-site manufacturing teams, and teams working remotely.

COVID-19 is expected to bring about a spike in people needing to seek the support of mental health services, whether as a result of isolation, dealing with loss without a support network, or anxieties around returning to a life outside of lockdown.

With a health system already under strain before the pandemic, co-founder and director of Moodbeam, Christina Colmer McHugh, believes that health tech can be a valuable solution when waiting times are likely to lengthen, as well as addressing the historic problem of those already in the system being periodically left between appointments without monitoring or support.

In the last month, other companies have launched wearable technology to prepare employees return to work safely in a post-COVID-19 environment.

ON THE RECORD

Gerard Toplass, executive chairman at Pagabo, said: “It was already crucial that we all begin to work together in the construction industry to foster a more positive environment – and future – for all, but in the wake of coronavirus it’s even more critical.”

“Through use of Moodbeam on-site, construction companies will be able to keep track of how its workforce is feeling and will be able to adjust accordingly – thereby continually working to improve overall wellbeing and in turn, site safety.”

Christina Colmer McHugh, co-founder and director at Moodbeam, said: “Moodbeam is already being used within health and social care, education and workplaces, but this is the first time that Moodbeam has been used on live construction sites.”

“The benefit to wearable tech, rather than just trying to make current approaches virtual and digital, is that it allows for more constant and more informed analysis of individual patients. As a form of simple data collection, it is also a more accessible and usable type of support.”

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