Lief Therapeutics

Client: Lief Therapeutics


I joined Lief Therapeutics founding team, a hardware company that retrains your natural stress response through biofeedback.

Lief is a smartpatch that continuously measures heart rate variability, a rich biomarker with correlations to both physical and emotional wellbeing. I worked with the small team from simple prototype to a polished hardware product,  app dashboard, and behavioral system that’s being used around the world. A few highlights include developing our own proprietary biofeedback technique, and designing a new ecosystem with multiple touchpoints and stakeholders under the guiding principle of “self-care management”.

We also launched a very successful Kickstarter, raising over $400k and becoming the number #1 wearable on the site.


Designing an “invisible interface” and behavioral feedback loop. 

To create an ongoing behavior shift and intervention that stays contextual and brings awareness back to the body, we explored haptic modalities and settled on vibration.

  • Range – What can humans easily notice through tactile sensation?
  • Complexity – How much can be communicated through vibration?
  • Profiles – How to categorize body types?
  • Efficiency – How to communicate without disrupting attention?

We learned a few things. Simplicity is key, body types can make a huge difference, and the external factors like environment make a huge impact. We’ve iterated countless times to bring a discreet experience.


Our wearable and brand was designed as a deep impact tool without getting the world involved.

“Lief” is originally an Old English term that appeared in the original Beowulf, meaning “Beloved, friend.” You can see this word in the root of relief  or “coming back to the beloved.”

We needed the device and experience to handle anxious moments in the same way a best friend would. Designed to be both soft and flexible, the Lief sticks discreetly on the torso and uses discreet vibrations to keep the user aware of their body. By using a somatic modality (touch), we help bring the experience from the mind, back to the body, and help disrupt the negative feedback loop.