Neurovalens is looking to revolutionize the world of weight loss tech with their new Modius technology. We spoke to the company’s CEO about the new tech, crowdfunding, and the future of the Modius.
Innovation & Tech Today: Tell me a bit about the Modius technology.
Jason McKeown: We’ve discovered a non-invasive way to stimulate and activate the hypothalamus by utilizing a nerve that is very close to the skin; the vestibular nerve just behind the ear. The Modius headset works by stimulating this vestibular nerve with a gentle electronic stimulus sending a signal into the hypothalamus. With 45 minutes to an hour stimulation every day or every other day, the user will lose body fat, with some people seeing significant weight loss. While it is effective on its own, we do recommend consumers incorporate Modius into a healthy lifestyle.
I&T Today: Was there an initial inspiration for the technology?
JM: While my background is in medicine and neurology specifically, I also have a real passion for technology and electronics. I was invited over as the youngest-ever visiting scholar to the world-renowned ‘Centre for Brain and Cognition’ at UCSD under the guidance of Professor Ramachandran and it was here that the inspiration came.
I spent years looking at weight loss from a neurological perspective and testing various approaches to stimulating the brain to affect body mass. People are told that diet and exercise are the solutions – to move a little more and eat a little less. While this is good advice, two billion people are overweight or struggling with weight loss, so there has to be another answer, and I set out to find out why it’s so difficult to shed the pounds. It’s well-known that body weight, metabolism, and fat storage are all issues controlled by the brain and the hypothalamus specifically. We researched direct ways to positively influence the hypothalamus and the Modius headset is the direct result of that research.
I&T Today: How do you believe it will stand out in the world of health tech?
JM: People are quick to group this device with fitness wearables such as Fitbit or similar wearables, which complement the Modius device. However, the big difference is that Modius is part of a new breed of Careable Technologies because it actually does something for you over and above fitness monitoring. Our device addresses the fundamental problem that your brain controls body fat and metabolism, and as you use it, your appetite reduces, your metabolic hormones change, and you gradually see a reduction in body fat.
I&T Today: What attracted you to crowdfunding for the project?
JM: Crowdfunding was a strategic way to create a trial base since the goal is to be able to sell devices in retail stores by 2018. We’re not using Indiegogo to fund the company. To date, what we’ve done in the lab is all very clinical. Now we want to know what happens when a few thousand people use it in their daily lives, where their diet is not going to be perfect, they skip exercise, and they don’t wear it every day, as recommended. We want to track the journey of as many people as we can to study who is getting the best results and why.
I&T Today: Where do you see Modius expanding in the future?
JM: Since we’ve just launched Indiegogo on August 8th, we will move to a full consumer launch by the beginning of next year. Stay tuned!