Dutch healthtech company NOWATCH closed $8.7M in Series A funding for its stress-predicting wearable, set to launch this fall.
NOWATCH, No Worries
The NOWATCH is a biometric tracker that measures and predicts stress.
Using electrodermal activity (EDA) sensors developed with Philips, its wrist-worn wearable reads cortisol levels on the skin in real time. The device also tracks breathing and heart rate, temperature, SPO2, and movement, as well as sleep activity.
Screenless. As its name implies, there’s no clock or screen on this wearable. Instead, NOWATCH goes the ultra-luxe route, offering interchangeable magnetic faces made of semi-precious stone (like amethyst and lapis lazuli), multiple finishes (gold, rose gold, or silver), and vegetable-tanned leather straps.
Awareables. Like interface-free wearables Oura and WHOOP, the hardware is secondary to the data. In NOWATCH’s case, the company hopes to provide insights beyond mainstream fitness trackers.
Dubbed an “awareable,” its algorithmic software uses machine learning to generate an up-to-the-minute “state of being” report—determining whether you’re overstimulated, balanced, or understimulated—using your body’s sensory data inputs.
Learning from how stress uniquely affects users’ personal physical and mental states, the app delivers insights on how to address and optimize.
As we covered in Issue No. 185, stress is wreaking havoc on our health. But, with advances in biometric cortisol sensors, wearable makers believe they can become an effective self-management tool.
Speaking in a recent interview, WHOOP CEO Will Ahmed asserted wearables can be used to train users to operate under stress, pointing to the performance of elite athletes:
“It’s not necessarily that they don’t feel stress at all. It’s that they’ve learned how to cope with it.
And the first generation of stress-serving trackers has already arrived:
- WHOOP’s “Unite” corporate wellness program aims to manage employee burnout and stress.
- Epicore Biosystems is scaling its stress and hydration-sensing sweat patch.
- Apollo Neuro raised $15M for its therapeutic wearable that increases resilience to stress.
Takeaway: Sleek, screenless, and stress-focused, NOWATCH hopes to stand out in a crowded wearable landscape as device sales slow.