Obesity and related conditions reign as the number one U.S. health threat. According to the Centers of Disease Prevention and Control, in 2014 36.3% of the U.S. adult population was obese, up from 30.4% in 2002. Losing weight and keeping weight off are separate challenges. So far, no single solution for obesity works for everyone.
In January 2015 the FDA approved the first use of neurostimulation for weight loss: the Maestro Rechargeable System. This is a surgically implanted device that stimulates the vagus nerve, which is the signaling connection between the stomach and the brain. We’ve written about the use of neurostimulation to relieve migraine pain, for back pain, and to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms. Scientists and medical researchers do not all agree about the use of neurostimulation or even its safety. We also wrote about a conference last fall that explored noninvasive applications of neurostimulation.
Neurovalens was founded by neuroscientists in 2013 to focus on using neurostimulation to improve people’s lives. Modius, the company’s first product, raised more than $300,000 from backers in a few days in an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, far exceeding a $50,000 flexible goal with a month to go. Modius indirectly stimulates the hypothalamus with a low-level electrical pulse, according to Neurovalens. The headset-style device has small extensions that are stuck to the skin with replaceable adhesive pads just behind each ear. The Modius regimen calls for using the device for 45 minutes either daily or every other day. According NeuroValens Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder Paul McGeoch, users should see significant body fat reduction, “particularly if they combine it with a fit and healthy lifestyle.”
The Modius device, scheduled to ship in September 2017, currently costs $349 in a limited availability Early Bird deal. That price includes a carrying case and a 12-week supply of adhesive pads and wipes. NeuroValens states that anyone who buys Modius during the crowdfunding campaign will receive a full refund if they are not happy with it. No plan or device works for everyone and any plan or approach that includes “living a fit and healthy lifestyle” has an advantage, as that common qualifying compliance condition can often help on its on.