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case study: Bioself Technology

Using wearable technology to regulate the nervous system’s stress response.

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BioSelf is a technology startup based in London and Los Angeles that specialises in wellbeing. Their aim is to provide a solution to the growing stress and anxiety our society is facing by tapping into our natural physiology and increasing the efficiency of the autonomic nervous system. The vagus nerve is the main component of this system: it is humans’ longest cranial nerve, and one of its roles is to initiate the body’s relaxation response.


the goal

Thrive’s role was to produce a wearable technology product which causes beneficial effects to the user, similar to long term meditation, by toning the vagus nerve. Through this, the user of BioSelf’s product can build long term mental resilience.

Thrive also had to consider the size of the device in order for it to be user friendly and portable. This meant that internal electronics had to be simplified and compacted.

Bioself also had limited funds when we began our project meaning the costing across the services had to be kept low and accurately forecasted before further funding was secured.

the challenge

Within the wellness industry, meditation has been identified as a compelling solution to the stress and burnout that are so commonly experienced in our fast-paced lives. But it can be time-consuming to learn and difficult to do, meaning that people miss out on the benefits of long term meditation.

The subconscious brain can be affected in a similar way through non-invasive methods of neuromodulation. This results in a rapid reduction of stress activity in the brain, allowing the user to feel a deep sense of calm and relaxation, which over time, has very similar effects to long term meditation. Thrive was tasked with turning this research validated technology into a wearable product with a form factor that is accessible, portable, effective and displays excellent user experience.

the solution


Thrive worked on the details of BioSelf’s idea with the product visionary, carefully identifying the value proposition. 


This allowed the teams to gain a deep understanding of the product’s users, as well as the needs of the business team that could be fulfilled by Thrive. We established the best mix of core technology and the functionality they intended the product to perform before prototyping various Form Factors.


Technology Strategy 

Feasibility Prototype

Concept Prototype

Engineering Validation


Firebase| User testing and validation | UX design | UI design| Native android development | Interface design  | Interaction design | Vibration & haptics | 

form factor

Chest based wearable

The Thrive team has taken my vision through a rapid and systematic evolution from idea to sales traction and investment. Their knowledge of the wearables space is unrivalled.

Stefan Chmelik, BioSelf Technology

project lead

Dave is our Director of Innovation and the Project Lead for Sensate. He is an expert innovator, with over 20 years of wide-ranging experience creating value through design and delivering new technologies to market.  He has created and built intellectual property portfolios totalling over 70 granted patents to date. His specialism lies in hands-on, fast, iterative development, working with talented creative and technical teams to take great new ideas to market. 

Dave Sandbach, Director of Innovation

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