Big Ideas: “A smart bracelet that can help you break your bad habits” with HabitAware Cofounder, Aneela Idnani
February 23, 2019
As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change the World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing Aneela Idnani. Aneela is Cofounder & President ofHabitAware. HabitAware created its Keen smart bracelet to help people “Retrain the Brain” from unwanted behaviors, like hair pulling disorder (trichotillomania), compulsive skin picking (dermatillomania) & nail biting to healthier behaviors. Having grown up hiding her hair pulling disorder in shame, Aneela is now an outspoken mental health advocate, raising awareness of these very common yet unknown conditions. HabitAware is partly funded by a research grant from the NIH and was named a TIME Magazine 2018 Best Invention.
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.