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Tech-enabled wearable aims to tackle COVID-related mental health issues

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A UK neuroscience firm has launched a new device which aims to combat feelings of worry and stress whilst boosting mental health and promoting the importance of wellbeing.

The MindWatch Company, headquartered in Rothwell, Leeds, developed the tech-enabled wearable device as a solution to the UK’s lockdown blues.

The mindfulness tool is designed to make it easier for those in self-isolation to care for and protect their mental health, both during lockdown and in a post-COVID-19 future.

While government regulations have been introduced to protect physical health, the mental health implications of isolation are anticipated to have a lasting effect on the UK population.

Mindfulness – a meditation technique used to increase awareness of the present and prevent spiralling thoughts – is being recommended by a number of UK charities and organisations as an effective coping mechanism during the pandemic.

Organisations that have endorsed the technique include The Brain Charity, Together, Anxiety UK and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

The Mindwatch Company says the sentiment behind its product was inspired by a quote from New York Times bestselling author Sharon Salzberg, who said: ‘mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it’.

The Mindwatch is worn on the wrist, vibrating at regular intervals throughout the day to remind the wearer to take a moment to focus on present moment.

The technology behind the watch is based a concept known as focus-repetition; the idea that consciously taking action and repeating behaviours can facilitate the building of positive habits. 

Paul Musgrove, company founder and inventor of the MindWatch said: “Focus-repetition is one of the most important advancements in personal development. It takes scientifically proven techniques such as mindfulness, meditation and positive thinking and derives even greater value from them by encouraging repeated action.

“By incorporating affirmation and visualisation with repetition, it becomes easier to communicate clearly with the subconscious and maintain a healthy and positive state of mind.” 

Developed during the UK lockdown specifically to address growing mental health concerns that have arised during the pandemic, The MindWatch Company says the wearable is designed to be simple and easy to use.

The IP65 splash-proof device features a two-button operation and can be charged directly from a USB.  Users can customise their device with 16 different interval options offering 4.5 second vibration duration.

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