FreeView in iTunes
This app walks you through a breathing and calm down sequence using clear visuals and instructions. The app also lets you measure your heart rate.
What we think
Yes – controlled breathing can help lower heartrate when experiencing stress or anxiety. Reachout Breathe includes a heart rate sensor, so you can measure your heart rate before and after using the app. We know that people with autism often find visuals helpful for identifying and managing emotions, and these visuals help support the use of calming strategies for emotional regulation.
Yes, there are only 2 main buttons – one for measuring heart rate, and one to begin the breathing sequence. It is intuitive and simple to use.
The app is intended to be used as a tool to help reduce heart rate from big emotions. While the targeted goal is emotional regulation, the app can also be used as a teaching tool for mindfulness and for understanding how heart beat and breathing is related to emotional regulation.
During the breathing sequence, clear visuals show when the user needs to hold their breath, and how long they should breathe/in and out for. A yellow circle expands/contracts during inhalation/exhalation. This real time visual is great as the user can follow along and stay focused throughout the exercise.
Yes, the app is intuitive and easy to use. It would be a helpful tool while out and about as the breathing sequence can be set to a 2 minute mindfulness routine.
The breathing sequence can be altered (extending/shortening each component of the sequence) as required. Vibrations can also be set so that the device vibrates when it is time to breathe in, hold, and breathe out, so the user could shut their eyes during the breathing sequence if they wished to.
Yes, the app helps the user regulate their breathing and track their heartbeat, targeting the goal of emotional regulation and different calming strategies.
It would be helpful if the app continued to provide verbal cues to prompt breathing in, holding, and breathing out. After the first few breaths, the words stop and the pulsating ball is the only cue for when to breathe in and when to breathe out.
I like that the app is so simple – there are only two buttons on the main screen, which make it easy to use when having big emotions. The background of the screen is blue and visually calming, and the yellow circle expanding/contracting is a really easy way to follow and make sure that you‘re taking slow deep breaths.