Emotion-management tools join the health tech market

Wearables that help people track and analyze their emotions have been emerging as the quantified-self movement undergoes a makeover for the mind. The latest players in the space are going a step further than some of their predecessors by helping people manage their moods—not just track them—and take a more proactive approach to wellness.


London-based startup doppel is bringing its wearable technology, which helps users stay alert or calm down in real time, stateside. Making its U.S. debut at CES, the doppel wristband helps change the wearer’s mood by using their body's natural response to rhythm, similar to an upbeat or downbeat in music. The device emits a vibration that feels like a heartbeat, and the wearer either taps or strokes the device to regulate the rhythm. A faster one makes them feel more alert, while a slower one calms them down as the brain responds to the beat.


Digital health company BioBeats unveiled the next iteration of its current stress and wellbeing app, Hear and Now, hailed as “Mindfulness meets the Sciences”, at CES. The app allows users to discover their stress triggers and then, using biometric feedback, it teaches a clinically proven deep-breathing technique to reduce stress and help the user understand how to maximize effectiveness. The project is part of a $150 million venture capital investment fund by Samsung NEXT (formerly Samsung Global Innovation Center) to increase the brand’s support of software and services.


Developed by Stanford and UC San Francisco clinicians, Lief is a discreet bio-sensing patch that measures the wearer’s heart and breathing, then teaches the wearer to control the body's natural stress response through gentle biofeedback exercises. The company hopes to help people improve their self-regulation—the ability to monitor and positively control behaviors, emotions, and thoughts in-the-moment. Users set a routine to train the mental and physical skills needed to improve self-regulation through short daily sessions that can be done anywhere at any time.