Technological advancements have certainly pushed the growth rate of companies in the healthcare space and they have evolved rapidly in the past few decades. It started with the introduction of widespread applications of AI and ML, gradually adapting to AR and VR, blockchain applications, and many more software-based hardware enhancements. Further, research and development has led to revolutionary innovations like brain sensing, neuro-feedback, and mind-controlled computing-related human-centered technologies.
The development of products such as Muse—the brain sensing headband, is a result of these ongoing innovations. It is the product of Interaxon—a Toronto-based technology innovator with a history of designing memorable brain-powered experiences. Ariel Garten, Chris Aimone, and Trevor Coleman co-founded the company in 2009 with the hope to develop mind-controlled computing technology.
“We wanted to empower people to be able to understand and change what goes on in their own minds,” says Ariel, the Chief Evangelism Officer at Muse.
Genius Thought Leader
It’s a founder’s role to be involved in every role initially while establishing a team to manage the different verticals of the business. The three founders Chris, Trevor, and Ariel collaborated and implemented their individual skills and niches together to grow Interaxon initially. Ariel served as the CEO for 6 years and was involved with building the team, identifying partnerships, creating the scientific validation for the technology, and raising capital for the company. Presently, as the Chief Evangelism Officer, she is responsible for promoting Muse’s technology, and the value of meditation and sleep cycle in life.
Today, Muse and Ariel have become highly recognized. The company has been featured in over 1,000 media articles, have received numerous awards, and have also been published in over 200 scientific papers. Muse has been used as both a clinical-grade EEG for applications from rapid stroke detection to large-scale real-world neuroscience, and as a meditation tool providing a validated intervention in the healthcare field.
Aiding Mental Peace
Muse is Interaxon’s first consumer product that was launched in 2014. The tool helps maintain brain fitness by revitalizing sleep and meditation which helps its users find calm, increase focus and reduce stress. Muse further empowers the company’s mission to enable happier, healthier, and more connected lives with leading human-centered technology.
Muse is essentially a training tool that offers real-time auditory feedback to help improve sleep routine and meditation practice. Its EEG-powered headband and app help the user to learn to relax the mind and body with guiding soundscapes that drive focus and calm. While a wrist wearable also records data on sleep stages, Muse measures brain activity as it is a more accurate method to track sleep.
Additionally, Interaxon also offers an extensive library of guided meditations and courses led by expert teachers on topics including sleep, mindfulness, stress, pain, and more. “From day to night, Muse is a personal sleep and meditation assistant offering a variety of educational tools to fit anyone’s wellness goals or needs,” explained Ariel.
The Muse team meets virtually for group meditation sessions on a weekly basis. These meetings are then followed by business updates from across different teams. It offers opportunities for cross-collaboration, learning customer evolution, and staying connected and motivated as a team.
Muse involves the whole team in the strategic planning process and welcomes ideas, assesses projects, prioritizes goals, and lays out the roadmap for the future. The concerted effort gives the employees at Muse a chance to collaborate during the decision-making process.
Muse can be part of people’s well-being routine—it is built to help people find peace of mind. During the pandemic, with more time spent at home, stress, anxiety, declining mental health, and poor sleep became significant concerns for most people. As a result, many sought new self-care practices like meditation. In 2020, the company created and offered free meditation content that was specific to the issues people were facing during the pandemic, like dealing with uncertainty and finding focus while working from home. Another collection of free guided meditations was also launched called ‘Healthcare Burnout’ in support of frontline healthcare workers.
Some healthcare organizations also used Muse with their physicians in the ER to help them manage stress. With telehealth on the rise as healthcare turns towards the digital domain, Muse also serves as a remote monitoring tool for meditation, sleep, and EEG—allowing clinicians to provide intervention and monitor their patient’s progress from a safe distance.
Dedicated to Growth
Muse has continued to grow during the pandemic, expanding its product features, connecting with customers, and hiring talented individuals across Canada, the US, and South America. Muse made the move to remote work, finding ways to stay connected and support each other virtually. Presently, the company is poised to make steady growth with plans for the enhancement of services.
Muse is set to use its biofeedback with external content and has recently launched Biofeedback+. The subscribers will be able to layer real-time biofeedback on top of their favorite music, meditation, podcast, audiobook, or other content, and receive a post-session report of the mental and physical responses. Muse can also be paired with other apps to allow high-level customization and feedback. The company is also set to make more such software-related updates including a revolutionary update to the responsive go-to-sleep algorithms.
Finally, the company has organized corporate wellness programs using Muse in corporate organizations to improve sleep and teach mindfulness to employees. “We are in the midst of a 300 person study demonstrating the effect of Muse in a corporate environment to improve cognitive function and decrease stress,” mentioned Ariel. The company is constantly working on iterative product improvements to meet current customer pain points. When it comes to other larger functional changes, Interaxon has planned a few exciting plans after some time in 2021.
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