Monday, September 25, 2023

Questions and Answers: Using biofeedback to modify immersive experiences in real time -Dlight News

heliumwhich provides reactive virtual and augmented reality experiences that adapt to a user’s body’s neurofeedback, received $3.6 million in seed funding earlier this year and signed an agreement with Mayo Clinic to develop more immersive ones Mental health and fitness experiences.

Sarah Hill, CEO of Healium, sat down with us Mobile Health News to discuss the Missouri-based company’s offerings and its healthcare use case.

Mobile Health News: Can you tell me about Healium and how the biofeedback aspect works?

Sarah Hill: So Healium is a digital drug, a non-harmful coping mechanism for mental well-being and sleep, and it simply uses immersive media in a healing way. And just as media can be harmful when you’re looking at things on your social feed or the news and can get your heart rate up, media can also heal by shutting down your nervous system.

There are different types of wearables [Healium] use. We have two compatible wearables. One is an EEG meditation headband that is simply worn across the forehead. It is in no way diagnostic. It’s a tool for self-discovery, a pacemaker if you will. So it’s all about recognizing your brain patterns associated with focused rest. And in these experiences, your mind is actually controlling a firefly, or it could be an aura around you that turns from yellow to blue as you reduce your stress. So the media is reacting to you and your own physiology.

Or you can simply pair your Apple Watch on your mobile device in augmented reality and use your heart rate to light up the solar system. And if your heart rate is too high, the feedback is that the solar system is dimming, as gentle feedback for you to increase your breathing and try to lower your heart rate. So it’s kind of like biofeedback/neurofeedback on steroids in these immersive environments where you don’t get feedbackIt’s not just a number. It’s not just audio. It is indeed immersive media, which we in research know immersive media is more memorable. It’s more engaging than audio or even 2D interventions.

Beyond the content of Healium, our core technology allows you to generate, modify and recommend to the user XR content based on EEG, heart rate, skin conductance, blood pressure, etc. Important tools in generative AI.

MHN: What are the healthcare use cases and how do you work with Mayo Clinic?

Hill: Mayo Clinic has a know-how license and is one of the investors in our latest round.

Healium is used in areas of stress and burnout. These are drug-free escapes that can quickly shut down the stress response and quickly shut down the nervous system and trick the brain into believing you are not in a stressful situation. Actually you are somewhere else. And that is the goal of Healium Providing drug-free tools that enable people to feel better and learn to self-regulate their brain patterns and heart rate. Healium is also sold to schools and the military; Even top athletes use Healium.

We recently won the NFL Players Association pitching contest. And we were in Phoenix leading up to the Super Bowl, sharing Healium with the top athletes there. You know, this is the Stress Olympics right now, right? And not everyone is trained for it. And these are just tools that allow them to see their feelings so they can learn to regulate themselves.

MHN: There is a chair to sit on during the Healium experience. Do you need the chair?

Hill: The chair is optional, but we’re a big fan of the chair. It’s called the Revibe Chair and they’re one of our partners.

We like to combine Healium with vibration and stories. And we use a variety of inputs, not just vibration, EEG, or heart rate. But we also use aroma. And there’s another one Our partners called OVR technology, a wearable device that’s built into Healium so you can actually smell what it looks like during these experiences, which we find fascinating. That’s why we support the folks at OVR, because we know there’s value in integrating flavors with storytelling and immersion and rapid nervous system downshifts.

MHN: Is there anything else you wanted to add?

Hill: We have a free program for veterans called Honor Everywhere, which offers them free virtual tours of WWII, Vietnam, Korea, or women memorial sites. So if you know an aging WWII or terminally ill veteran, tell them about this free app. It is available on most standalone VR headsets.

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