By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – In the world of wearable technology, tracking fitness activity is typically the main goal. But now there’s also a product that wants to help people manage their stress every day. And stress is something Liz Scheufele knows all too well. So, we asked this busy working Newton mom of three young kids to try out Spire. Her first impression, “it’s probably one of the cutest wearables I’ve seen in a while.”

Users just clip Spire to their pants or bra and the device tracks the pattern of your breath to determine if you’re calm, focused, or tense. If the breathing speeds up too much Spire will buzz and a message will be sent to your iPhone reminding you to take a deep breath. “That simplicity of the feedback is what makes it so applicable and what makes it so actionable in daily life,” explained Spire co-founder Neema Moraveji. “You can take a deep breath without stopping what you’re doing, without distracting from what you’re doing.”

While technology may add to modern-day stress levels Moraveji says there’s no realistic escape. “The question became: ‘how could technology change and improve our state of mind?'” Along with alerts sent, as needed, users can track and compare their activity levels and state-of-mind day-to-day. As a doctor, Liz recognizes how important the right kind of breathing can be, “the exercise of deep breathing, to bring you out of that tense state, I think that’s highly valuable.”

“I think it’s great.” Peter Kazanjy is a faithful Spire user. He says it has made him more mindful of his breathing and daily stress levels. “You kind of notice things like maybe I’m hunched over and I’m not doing as deep breathing through my diaphragm as a I should be.”

Liz told us it seemed that some of her breathing alerts seemed to be false alarms. She also found that she was more in control of her breathing than she realized, according to the device. There were, of course, some exceptions, “there were a couple of times [it buzzed] usually involved watching all three kids at one time.”

Spire may help guide your breathing but the babysitter is not included. It costs about $150 and it is not considered a medical device.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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