Interview with Moha Bensofia, CEO of Mendi, Regarding Their Mindfulness Technology

The Mendi headset is of clinical quality and may be used by users to engage in mental workouts. It was developed to provide easy access to neurofeedback in a manner that was also fiscally responsible. Gamification is used by wearable devices as a means of improving mental capacity and increasing concentration.

After putting an early prototype product through its paces for a few weeks, I discovered that it functions very well. There are three sensors located on the inside of the headband. These sensors each emit red light and read the amount of blood flowing through the frontal brain. You are increasing the flow of energy (oxygen and nutrients) to this region of the brain simply by managing the game on your smartphone. Your mental fitness will gradually increase as a result of doing this. The idea behind the entire affair is one that is fascinating and entertaining.

Now that the firm is trying to build awareness of the product, they have resorted to Kickstarter. Within a few short hours, the campaign’s fundraising target of $50,000 was completely obliterated, and the total amount raised is currently around $900,000. Considering there are still 16 days left until it is over, it should surpass one million dollars.

A brief question and answer session took place between Moha Bensofia, CEO of Mendi, and me.

My experience with Mendi taught me that it is a real one-of-a-kind wearable, unlike anything else I have ever encountered. The ease of use and the fact that it can be played like a game are two of the aspects that I like the most. Could you please provide us with any background information about the product?

Mendi was born at a facility that provides neurofeedback. Sammy and Rickard, the company’s founders and both engineers, have substantial experience working in the field of neurofeedback. In February of 2018, they were discussing how they might possibly provide this sort of training approach to more people. The basic idea that led to the conception of Mendi was to condense the essential components of the clinic’s equipment into a wearable device that could be used at home. That’s when the idea of making brain training accessible to a wider audience came into existence, and that’s also when the first prototypes of Mendi were developed.

In what way exactly is the activity in the prefrontal cortex measured by Mendi? According to what I’ve been told, it’s a collection of sensors that measure blood flow and oxygenation by using infrared light in some way.

The technology known as functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) serves as the foundation for the Mendi hardware. Your activity in the frontal lobe of your brain is analyzed by the infrared light that is emitted by the headset. Your prefrontal cortex will see an increase in activity as a direct result of using the app’s cognitive training activities, which require you to maintain attention and composure in order to play the game. Even while the headset is what tracks your progress, the software is what really does the work to stimulate your brain and get you the desired outcomes.

During the period that I used the headband, I conducted my own personal study in which I split my attention between the game and something else for part of a session, and then switched gears and focused really hard on it for the subsequent session. When I did this many times, I saw that each time I completed the task, the score I received on the app was higher, and in some cases, it was much higher. This leads me to believe that the wearable lives up to its claims of being effective.

It has been brought to my attention that there is independent research that vouches for the effectiveness of Mendi. Could you possibly elaborate on this topic for us a little bit more? Are there plans to conduct any more studies?

Yes! Our first study, which was conducted in collaboration with Lennart Hogman, who has a PhD and works as a senior researcher and professor in the psychology department at Stockholm University, has come to a successful conclusion. Based on the findings, it was determined that Mendi’s measuring capabilities are comparable to those of research-grade equipment. The findings have been sent in for publication at this point, and they will be accessible later on in the month.

In order to further research and better knowledge of the effects of neurofeedback on a variety of diseases, we will continue to perform studies with Mendi and share what we have learned with the wider scientific community. At the moment, our attention is being directed to the next piece of research that will investigate the impact that Mendi has on a variety of specialized cognitive capacities.

It is essential for us to be able to carry out investigations on a broad scale and make use of aggregate data in order to identify patterns since our ultimate goal is to contribute to a deeper knowledge of the brain. We are delighted to provide a user-friendly and reasonably priced product that will make this objective a reality.

Someone informed me that you are planning to add more games to the app in the near future. Could you kindly expand a little more on the types of games that will be available and when we can expect to see this?

Definitely! This is something we hope to offer later this year or early next year, and we are currently developing new training game concepts that make use of various visual representations of your brain activity.

In the long run, our goal is to develop training games and exercises that are tailored to certain kinds of brains and functions in addition to providing more individualized forms of training. This will be possible as we get further insights from data and studies. The idea behind Mendi is to bring together the top game designers in the world with subject matter specialists (physicians, neuroscientists, and so on) in order to develop games that are tailored to certain conditions and ages.

Who do you consider to be your primary rivals? There is also Muse, which offers a meditation headband in addition to other stress-oriented wearables. However, these two products are not identical. At this particular price point, there is no genuine direct rivalry in the market that you are currently operating in. Is that what you mean?

To answer the question of who Mendi’s competitors are, it is reasonable to say that as neurofeedback research continues to advance, a variety of products are appearing on the market to treat a variety of conditions. The most popular of these products are those that are centred on relaxation or sleep. Mendi is one of these products. Mendi is not limited to a single category or use case, and we are delighted to keep working on developing a solution that replicates the effectiveness of neurofeedback clinics in the comfort of one’s own home.

Is the ordinary person your goal, or do you have involvement with professional sports teams and sportsmen in mind? Depending on the activity, I can see how the wearable might be modified to fulfil a variety of roles and requirements.

Of course! It is essential to keep in mind, however, that clinical-grade neurofeedback technology has been accessible to sportsmen, executives, and astronauts for a considerable amount of time. It is either prohibitively expensive or inconveniently located for everyone else.

Because we are aware of the positive effects that greater mental fitness may have on both our day-to-day lives and our health over the long term, we are committed to developing a product that can be purchased by anybody. Mendi is already being used by elite athletes and sports programs with remarkable results. One example of this is the basketball team at the University of Cincinnati, as well as members of the Swedish Olympic teams.

The Mendi project’s Kickstarter campaign is meeting and exceeding its funding goals. Were you taken aback by the overwhelming amount of interest? Do you have any intentions to run a second campaign on Indiegogo or any other site that supports crowdfunding?

We couldn’t be happier with how the Kickstarter campaign has been received; it’s very evident to us that there is a growing community that is eager for Mendi to become available for purchase! Because we want to make Mendi accessible to the greatest number of people possible, we are planning to increase the amount of work we put into this endeavour and provide further information in the weeks to come.

Where do you anticipate this kind of technology going in the next four to five years, in your opinion?

Since fNIRS is a relatively new technology in the field, the process of adopting it might take some time. In the field of detecting and researching brain activity, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is now the holy grail. Nevertheless, it has serious drawbacks that make it prohibitively costly and unscalable. Neuralink, which is developing the next generation of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), is one example of the many synergies and applications that may be found in this field. This is one example of how technological advancements are increasingly having an impact on biological research.

If you are interested in participating, it is not too late to sign up. There are still sixteen days left for you to back Mendi on Kickstarter. If everything goes as planned with the manufacturer, you could have the device delivered to your door in September for a pledge of $299, which is 40% less than the RRP.

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