In a quest for better meditation, one company has developed a portable EEG machine that supports sleep health and emergency healthcare.
If you’ve ever wondered what your mind sounds like, you might want to learn more about Muse. The brain-sensing headband was initially designed as a meditation tool but soon found a secondary following as an effective non-medicinal sleep aid. Muse headbands give users real-time feedback on their meditation practice, including body movement, heartbeat, breath, and brain activity. This gives individuals a holistic view of their efforts, enabling them to make adjustments and improve.
“Muse can create an auditory experience where you can actually hear the sound of your mind during your meditation experience,” says co-founder Ariel Garten. “It lets you come closer to yourself, as opposed to having the technology take you away from it.”
With successful meditation came better, more restorative sleep, and soon, a new class of consumers. Muse headbands offer features that help users fall asleep and stay asleep, and recent iterations of the product provide guided exercises that are available by subscription through an app or smart home assistant. Muse’s sleep tracking technology is the most precise available on the market today, according to Garten.
Muse was co-founded in 2009 by Garten and business partners Chris Aimone and Trevor Coleman. The Toronto-based company now employs dozens of individuals and has an advisory board composed of experts in both medicine and technology. Muse wants to help people live happier, healthier, and more connected lives, and it all starts with a moment of quiet relaxation.
Garten credits Aimone for being the team’s technical and spiritual lead, calling his work an extraordinary achievement. “The level of innovation at Muse is off the scale,” Garten says. “We took a clinical-grade EEG that only worked in a hospital setting with goopy gel, wires, and a technician, and went to something small that uses a dry sensor. You can put it on anybody’s head and get a clinical read in three minutes.”
Muse uses a tiny EEG machine to read brainwaves and provide immediate feedback. “It essentially is a home sleep lab. It’s the only way you can properly score sleep,” Garten says.
In addition to supporting users with meditation practice and sleep health, Muse has unlimited potential in the medical field. Research indicates that Muse can be used to detect strokes in a matter of minutes, making it invaluable in an emergency room triage setting. There are additional uses in pain management and pain intervention that are currently under trial, and Muse is on the path toward FDA approval for several clinical applications of the device.
After just over a decade in business, Muse has close to half a million users around the world and is available in French, Spanish and German as well as English. More than 200 medical studies have been published using Muse as a meditation tool or EEG machine, and researchers in both Canada and Israel are investigating the product’s use for rapid stroke detection. With so much on the horizon, Muse is poised to keep growing and thriving — just as they hope their users will, too.