After the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, more Black people began taking their mental health and overall wellness more seriously.
Jeffery and Oyin Antwi, the founders of the Drift Wellness app, created their app to help people better control their mental health. Now, they have updated it to help create even more customization for users.
According to AfroTech, the new measures include allowing users to check their heart rate and beats per minute, and the app creates ambient sound tailored to the user’s pulse.
The update is part of regularly scheduled updates planned by the Antwi’s. The couple wants to provide a fluid app that changes along with the mental health needs of its users.
“Mindfulness apps with the pandemic and the BLM movement in 2020 — so many apps started coming out. So, we were like, ‘What could we do that’s a little bit different?’ Early summer, there was just this idea of customizing the sound for you,” Oyin told AfroTech.
“That’s actually what it was originally. Then we thought, ‘How do we make it unique to the person?’ That’s when we started to talk about, ‘What’s the benefit of knowing how someone’s feeling well?’ And the easiest way to know is to start with their blood pressure — their BPM. I think that that idea of just being able to connect your BPM with a sound that’s custom for you was where we started to build from there last summer.”
Along with the heart rate monitor, the Drift Wellness app also features additional nature and ambient sounds and a video that helps get users to a relaxed state essential for sleep or a calm state supporting focus and a positive mood. The upgrades also include a voice command that guides users to take deep breaths during their app time.
The mental health of Black people suffered greatly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between the loss of jobs, health and wellness disparities, the digital divide in education, school openings and closures, and a lack of childcare options, Black people had reason to be worried throughout the pandemic constantly.
Making matters worse is the fact that despite cities opening up again and indoor vaccine requirements set to end in several metro cities, many in the medical community believe more variants and shutdowns will come back later in the year.