If you deal with challenging body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) or disorders like Trichotillomania or Dermatillomania, there is an innovative new tool to help you! We’re pleased to share the story of HabitAware by inviting its Co-Founder Aneela Kumar. Join us to hear her story, learn more about Trichotillomania or Dermatillomania and ways to manage it with their new device, Keen!
An estimated 44 million US adults will put on a wearable health device at least once a month this year--that's 12% more adults than in 2016. The gadgets go beyond heart monitoring now, but they have yet to be studied at length. We tried new trackers in three categories to see how they perform.
Translated: In addition to drugs that can be used with the treatment to help OCD patients, a Fitbit-like smart bracelet, Keen by HabitAware, helps users quit unwanted habits. It is able to detect the trained behavior and send a vibration to the user as a reminder to stop the behavior. The price is only about 100 US dollars (about 780 HKD) to 200 US dollars (about 1,560 HKD). Even if it's not for OCD patients, Keen can also help if you want to quit biting pens or other similar behaviors.
Once my Keen arrived in the mail, I charged it for a couple hours and was ready to go. I fiddled a bit with the settings—you can customize how sensitive the device is to your behavior, which makes it vibrate more or less often, and change the intensity and duration of each vibration.
Aneela was 12 when she first started plucking out her eyebrows and eyelashes. Hormonal changes at puberty and stress arising due to her father suffering from leukaemia meant that the subconscious action of twirling and pulling hair soon turned into a habit, one that eventually became compulsive, repetitive behaviour that led to relief from stress.
We knew from the beginning that a smart bracelet would make the most sense but we first tested with “low fidelity” ideas. One prototype we made was a slap bracelet with bells on it paired with a chunky blinged out bracelet. Another prototype used magnets.
HabitAware’s sleek Keen bracelet resembles a sports activity tracker. Using Bluetooth technology, it can be customized to deliver a vibration to alert the wearer of their often subconscious compulsion. Available in a variety of colors and sizes including one for children, it sells online for $149.
While this sounds super intriguing to a perpetual nail biter like myself, it could mean even more to someone suffering from trichotillomania, which is the obsessive-compulsive disorder in which people pull out their own hair (including brows and lashes, too). It affects about 4 percent of the population and can be embarrassing and problematic for those with the condition.
OK, so what is the Keen? Its a bracelet that looks much like a fitness tracker, but what it does is recognise when you are pulling, and give you a little vibration to bring your unconscious pulling action into your conscious mind, so you can break the habit.
Aneela Idnani Kumar says the genesis for Keen—a Fitbit-shaped device that aims to stop nervous habits like nail-biting and skin-picking—came when her husband, Sameer, confronted her about her disappearing eyebrows. For more than two decades, Aneela had been suffering from trichotillomania, a disorder more commonly known as hair pulling.
The problem with quitting a compulsive habit isn't that it's impossible for people to stop it in the moment — few would be have any problem refraining from biting their nails if someone noticed them doing it. Rather, the issue is that these compulsive habits become reflexive, so people don't even realize they're doing them.
HabitAware Inc., a Minneapolis-based startup that created Keen, a wrist-worn device designed to stop nervous ticks like nail biting and skin picking, announced the closure of a funding round on Monday.
Co-founded by husband and wife duo Aneela Kumar and Sameer Kumar with partners Kirk Klobe and John Pritchard — HabitAware’s Keen bracelet is designed to stop bad habits from happening.
Enter the couple’s new invention — Keen, a vibrating “smart bracelet” for ages 5 and older from their company, HabitAware. Keen bracelets (starting at $129) recognize when a user is engaging in a body-focused repetitive behavior and vibrate to alert the user.
Aneela and Sameer (her husband and co-founder) saw an opportunity with this particular condition, to “raise awareness” in an entirely different way. As tech-savvy individuals, they had the idea to use haptics to draw a sufferer’s attention to their repetitive behavior, making them aware of it so that they could choose to stop.
Aneela Kumar counts herself as one of those people, desperate to find a way to stop the habit specifically called trichotillomania. Left with eyebrows and eyelashes so thinned they were barely visible after 20 years, she looked for a device she could lean on to wean herself from the behavior, finding none. So she invented one.
Compulsive behavior? Bad habits? Habitaware with its smart wearable bracelet Liv is here to help you. Most of the time we are not even aware of these habits, they are some subconscious behaviors that we might stop doing if we were aware of them.
Compulsive behaviors, particularly those that started in childhood, are notoriously hard to kick. These behaviors are stubborn because they’re performed unconsciously. But wearables have the potential to force people to become aware of their compulsive actions.
Liv est un bracelet connecté qui va vous faire passer la vilaine manie de se ronger les ongles ou toute autre habitude que vous souhaitez abandonner. Un moyen idéal de commencer à changer efficacement.
The wearable technology revolution has come to our aid! A new company called HabitAware has developed a smart bracelet, called Liv, that can actually help you stop skin picking, hair pulling, nail biting or similar unconscious behaviors.