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Embrace2 by Empatica Used by NEC in Revolutionary Employee Health Study

MIT spin-off and AI pioneers Empatica have partnered with NEC Corporation, the Japanese multinational information and network technology company, to use their wrist-worn medical device, Embrace2, in a revolutionary initiative to allow employees to monitor their stress levels using AI and smart wearables.

Embrace2 is a smartband that is currently widely used as a research device, and for the monitoring of tonic-clonic seizures in people suffering from epilepsy. It was cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2018. Embrace2 looks like a small smart watch, but its main function is to continuously collect physiological data, including sleep, physical activity and autonomic arousal (acute stress), and send it to the Cloud. NEC uses the device’s sensors in a study to estimate chronic stress by analyzing the physiological signals of voluntary participants.

Workplace stress has chronically been a large issue in Japan’s culture, with over 60% of workers in Japan reported experiencing intense worry or stress related to employment, while up to 45% are reported to have insomnia due to work-related stress. Stress due to overwork is also one of the main reasons behind a decline in productivity and an increase in mental disorders in the Japanese workforce, while suicide rates due to work-related issues have been on the rise.

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The goal of the initiative is to create a safe work environment, where employees can physically and mentally thrive, both within and outside the workplace.

Empatica CEO, Matteo Lai, stated:
“We are very excited about the partnership with NEC on this project, which has set an ambitious goal to impact the lives of millions of workers in Japan and beyond. Poor wellbeing in the workplace is a worrying epidemic, and NEC is stepping up to the challenge. We are committed to supporting this important endeavor with our expertise in medical devices, software and AI for healthcare. This is what Empatica was started for, to build products that can help improve people’s lives.”

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As one of Japan’s largest employers, NEC’s involvement in such a pioneering initiative paves the path for other leading corporations to start utilizing AI in creating a better, healthier workplace.


Empatica Inc is an MIT spin-off, with offices in Boston, MA, USA and Milan, Italy. It is a pioneer in offering continuous, unobtrusive patient monitoring using physiological and behavioral biomarkers. Empatica’s research products, Embrace2 and E4, have been sold to thousands of institutional partners for research purposes, for studies in Stress, Sleep, Epilepsy, Migraine, Depression, Addiction and many other conditions.


NEC Corporation is a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. The NEC Group globally provides “Solutions for Society” that promote the safety, security, efficiency and equality of society. Under the company’s corporate message of “Orchestrating a brighter world,” NEC aims to help solve a wide range of challenging issues and to create new social value for the changing world of tomorrow.

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