Before they are born, babies in the womb are comforted by the familiar vibrations of their mothers’ heartbeats. We’ve written about Team Turquoise in the past, and their “doppel” wristband that is designed to reduce stress response for the wearer. Company researchers have now published research results Scientific Reports on Nature.com that show the effect of this technology.
The researchers told test subjects that they were going to give a presentation in front of a group of people. The subjects were told that they would wear a wristband that would monitor their blood pressure as they prepared their talk. All subjects wore the doppel device, but for half of them, the device was turned off. Their stress levels were measured before they were told the details of their task, and then again after they had completed preparation for their speech. (They never got to deliver their speech; they were debriefed after the second stress level measurement.)
The results indicate that a slow heartbeat rhythm delivered by the doppel was effective at reducing stress. The task of preparing the speech raised stress levels for all subjects, but those that received the heartbeat vibrations showed lower levels than the control group. This points to a new function that could be added to wearable devices from fitness bands to smartwatches, many of which already contain haptic functions that could deliver the heartbeat vibrations. It could be helpful in reducing anxiety and stress, which have been shown to lead to secondary health problems.