About this project
Stress is a part of modern life, but its long-term effect on our health and productivity can be dramatic. Chronic stress can literally kill you, increasing your risk for heart attack and stroke by up to 50%.
Lief tracks and optimizes your resiliency to stress by increasing your natural heart rate variability (HRV), a biomarker of your physical and psychological health. A low HRV score is linked with anxiety, distraction and poor performance - things we'd all prefer to avoid.
The good news is, you can improve your HRV and train yourself to stay focused and in control throughout your day. The device's scientifically-validated HRV biofeedback exercises have been used by doctors, psychologists and coaches for decades. It's safe, drug-free and has improved stress, mood and focus for thousands of people.
The shape of the Lief is designed to comfortably fit and bend with your torso. The patch is just 6mm thin and sits under your clothing discreetly. Lief uses stickers for all-day wear without restrictive straps.
Put Lief on in the morning, then forget about it. When your body needs a reset or it’s time to train, Lief's quiet vibrations make sure you're the only one that notices. You don't need a screen to understand what's going on, or what to do next. Just notice the vibration and follow along with your breath.
Lief uses short 3-minute biofeedback exercises or “doses” as a central training tool in building long-term results. By practicing throughout the day, you can maintain your physical and emotional resiliency while staying focused and balanced.
Developed with Stanford and UCSF clinicians, the Lief support app helps you record your thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and sensations. The app combines with Lief to uncover and untangle thinking patterns that are negatively affecting your body.
- Thought Records
- Progress reviews
- Self-regulation toolkit
- Audio exercises
- Mood rating
Simply follow the in-app instructions, choose your training schedule and start. It’s that simple.
The Lief Pro device is for the data lovers, professionals, and coaches. The Pro can sync your continuous HRV data to a web dashboard where you can analyze, graph and export your data into other 3rd party programs.
Your Pro also comes with more memory (128 MB vs 64 MB) so it can record without syncing to the app for up to a month. Never lose your data!
The Lief measures your heart rate variability (HRV) to recognize your stress patterns with clinical-grade accuracy. HRV is the healthy variation in your heart rate, and it can act as a robust biomarker of stress and psychological health.
High HRV is generally highly desirable, indicating a calm, focused state. Extremely low HRV, by contrast, is a clue something may be off with your autonomic nervous system.
When your mind and body are relaxed, your heart naturally speeds up on each inhale, and slows down on each exhale. This creates high HRV, and a gentle wave pattern in your heart rate known as respiratory sinus arrhythmia.
The Lief allows you to improve your HRV by breathing with your heart's intrinsic rhythm. This resonant breathing exercise, known as HRV biofeedback, is a simple and safe way to amplify your HRV wave.
Listen to a brief explanation of HRV and the benefits of HRV biofeedback from a pioneer in the field, Dr. Richard Gevirtz, Ph.D.
You can learn more about HRV and HRV biofeedback here.
Lief’s journey began in Harvard and Stanford neuroscience labs studying meditation’s effect on the human brain. After discovering first-hand that meditation techniques truly did have a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing, we spent nearly a year trekking through the Himalayan mountains to measure the brainwaves and heartbeats of meditating Tibetan monks.
The journey was profound, discovering first-hand the power a trained mind can have over the body, and how deeply the heart is connected to our minds. These masters demonstrated their ability to change the temperature of their body, speed up and slow down their heart at will, and perhaps most profound was their clarity and empathy.
Eventually we returned to San Francisco to use our personal, scientific, and data learnings to turn over a new "Lief" and build the product we have today.
Our team went through dozens of prototypes, from a bulky chest strap vibrating to our heart beat to our final sleek patch form factor. Much of our exploration has been guided by these design goals:
- Maintain highest signal quality to give true insight
- Develop the right form factor, comfortable, flexible
- Finding an interaction modality that's discreet without "broadcasting"
- Develop a training methodology that works in daily life, without sacrificing signal quality and experience.
Risks and challenges
We’ve worked for years to bring you Lief, iterating through dozens of prototypes and manufacturing techniques. Today Liefs are being locally manufactured, tested and shipped to our early beta users in the San Francisco bay area.
But even with lots of early user feedback and great manufacturing mentors (thank you Hax and ZeroDiff) building hardware is hard. We want to be clear about the major remaining risks to shipping on time: our flexible design and creating production tooling.
Most electronic products are encased in hard plastic shells to protect their components. The Lief is packed with sophisticated electronics, but has the added design challenge of flexing to fit your body. We’ve come up with some innovative techniques to ensure manufacturability of a product as unique as the Lief, but it’s possible that we will still need to tweak our processes on the factory floor. We are mitigating this risk to the schedule proactively by engineering reliability testing at multiple points to catch errors quickly.
All our prototypes were initially made with plastic molds. To make devices at larger quantities, we are designing a production steel mold or “tool” with the help our manufacturing partner. It’s possible that this process may require one or multiple re-designs of our tool. Delays with the factory can add days to the timeline. Days can become weeks. To mitigate this risk, our technical team will be on-site at the factory during critical periods. Additionally, we have built an extra buffer into our production schedule to account for most reasonable setbacks. We feel confident you'll receive your Lief on time and we'll continue to be transparent and timely in our communication and manufacturing updates.
It is also important to mention that Lief is not a medical device, and it's currently not designed to diagnose or treat any medical conditions.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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