Dealing with the stress of everyday life can be rough, and that’s outside of the added pressure of a global pandemic. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our sense of daily normalcy, countless Minnesotans are facing uncertainty, isolation, and fear.
Have you heard of trichotillomania? How about dermatillomania? Both are known as “body-part repetitive behaviors”—in this case, hair pulling and skin pulling. To help break habits like these, Minneapolis-based HabitAwaredeveloped a smart bracelet called Keen that detects repeated motions and issues a vibration to alert users to their actions.
Now, in the age of coronavirus, the Keen bracelet has found a new way to help.
Habitaware is a smart tech bracelet that let's you know where your hands are at all times. Aneela Idnani joins Dave Lee to talk about how this could help others during the Coronavirus.
HabitAware, a Twin Cities tech company, creating a bracelet to make users aware of behaviors like nail-biting has found a new mission during the COVID-19 outbreak: getting people to stop touching their faces.
The HabitAware team hopes the situation will help more people empathize with those fighting body-focused repetitive behaviors.
“For me, the silver lining is that we as BFRBers finally have something that the world can relate to,” said cofounder, Aneela Idnani, “I think this will help us be more comfortable in seeking support from friends and family, and shift from hiding to healing.”
Good money for good causes is something we can certainly get behind, and the latest news from HabitAware definitely fits the bill. The St. Louis Park-based company announced in a blog post that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $224,795 by the National Science Foundation. This marks the second grant the company has received; it was awarded a $300,000 federal research grant from the National Institute of Mental Health in 2018.
Founders Aneela and Sameer Kumar of HabitAware with the "Keen" behavior-alerting bracelet.
HabitAware, a 2018 Minnesota Cup entrepreneur sweepstakes grand prize winner, has been awarded a $225,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by the National Science Foundation to improve its “real-time” awareness solution for those who suffer from body-focused repetitive behaviors, such as nail biting, skin picking or hair pulling.
It's important that Keen fits snugly. Here's a quick guide to help you decide which bracelet size to order: