Mental Health Wearables Will Change How We Think Of Mental Illness
September 01, 2016
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.
Through a study funded by the grant award, HabitAware will evaluate the feasibility of Keen as an official treatment for trichotillomania. Simultaneously, Keen will be further developed into a tool for self-administration of Habit Reversal Training (HRT), one of few verified treatments currently in existence.
You, she reminds, are who’s really in control. And that’s where Keen comes in. When the bracelet vibrates, it’s bringing the picking compulsion from the subconscious into the conscious — giving you the ability to then consciously say to yourself “my hands are not where I want them to be”.
Aneela Idnani hid her stress-induced hair pulling for 20 years. So she founded a company, HabitAware, to create one. Its flagship product: Keen, a sleek, smart bracelet that users program to pick up on repetitive motions, such as hair pulling, skin picking or nail biting.