Amid the COVID-19 pandemic’s intense anxiety, Dr. David Rabin and Kathryn Fantauzzi open the door to effective stress relief and personal optimization with Apollo Neuro.
By John Lavitt
Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 11/10/2020 – The Apollo wearable device for stress relief is a perfect addition to our ongoing series on new technologies and inventions that can help people survive the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Since you are not spending money on concerts or events, doesn’t it make sense to invest in devices that make your everyday lives at home and work that much better? In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Times, the married founders of Apollo Neuro, Dr. David Rabin, and Kathryn Fantauzzi describe the origins and usefulness of this revolutionary wearable.
In a time when the stress-activated sympathetic nervous response of “fight or flight” unfortunately seems to happen every time a person leaves their home, the Apollo wearable device addresses this challenge. After all, too much stress is taxing on the human body. It leaves anyone feeling overwhelmed and distracted, making it difficult to focus during the day and sleep at night. By delivering a novel form of touch therapy, the Apollo breaks through the distance created by pandemic quarantines.
Instead of human touch, the Apollo wearable’s rhythmic and gentle vibrations promote calm and restores the body’s natural balance. As Dr. David Rabin explains, “The goal of Apollo was to take what we had learned in scientific studies out of the lab and into the real world. By addressing stress in people’s day-to-day lives, Apollo improves recovery and performance and promotes wellness.”
Together, Dr. David Rabin and Kathryn Fantauzzi are a 21st-century power couple of wellness realized. Dr. David Rabin, MD, Ph.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist and neuroscientist who specializes in the treatment of chronic stress. Working by his side as Apollo’s CEO, Kathryn Fantauzzi specializes in bringing discoveries out of the lab and into the real world. She was happy that Apollo’s realization and the successful clinical studies happened well in advance of the 2020 COVID -19 pandemic.
As Kathryn Fantauzzi expresses, “When you think about the pandemic and the intensity of the stress, you realize this is a marathon of uncertainty. People are working from home while also schooling their children. This is hard for everyone. When people feel out of control, it becomes hard to engage in meditation and yoga practices that would make them more resilient. They ask themselves, ‘How am I going to find the time to meditate?’ As a result, a wearable device like Apollo makes it easier to deal with high levels of stress. We did a lot of research to make Apollo a truly useful wearable device that would help people recover.”
After using the device for several weeks, this reporter was surprised to experience positive results. Although many new wellness devices claim to relieve stress or improve focus, Apollo worked when used consistently. Trying out a number of the different settings on the smartphone app proved to work both as a form of relaxation while also improving concentration and focus. Ultimately, it depends on the setting chosen. The question remains, however, what is the science behind Apollo?
The key focus behind the science of Apollo is heart rate variability or HRV. As Dr. David Rabin describes, “Heart rate variability is a biomarker that many current wearables detect like the Apple Watch or the Whoop. Unlike these, Apollo is the first scientifically-validated wearable to improve HRV. From the field of biofeedback, which directly inspired the development of Apollo, HRV is shown to be the best predictor of recovery from stress. A high HRV is consistent with having a low resting heart rate. It predicts the ability to perform at peak levels under stress while maintaining consistent positive performance over time.”
Continuing his description, Dr. Rabin goes on to say, “In contrast, low HRV indicates that a person is under physical and mental strain, and is commonly caused by chronic stress, poor sleep, and believe it or not, alcohol consumption. Poor sleep and drinking alcohol are two of the biggest reasons healthy people have low heart rate variability. This matters because low HRV is associated with an increased risk of getting sick and we often see low HRV in those with conditions that are worsened by stress like PTSD, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, and the list goes on.”
Given that the pandemic has worsened so many of these disorders, Apollo is a prime example of a wearable device that can help address such concerns. Kathryn Fantauzzi illuminates this goal, saying, “We live in challenging times. Everything in our environment is telling us to be afraid right now. Addressing this difficult environment, Apollo helps train your body to be calmer. Over time, by using the wearable, your body learns to have a better response, and you become more resilient. Such progress leads to your body being in a more balanced state. Thus, you learn to avoid the unnecessary manifestations of the fight-or-flight response or fear state that result in the damaging impact of stress.”
In the harsh light of how detrimental stress is on a person’s health, it makes sense to employ modern technology to reduce this unnecessary damage. In the end, stress is not a requirement for being alive or being human. If you are being chased by someone waving a big knife or if you are a human ancestor on the plains of Africa hunted by a saber-tooth tiger, stress is necessary for survival. If you don’t run away or fight the threat, you are going to die. However, in the modern world, the stress of apocalyptic news reports and hostile social media is not needed. Still, it is hard to escape such stressors without the help of meditation, friendship, loving touch, and, maybe now, wearable technologies that bolster our natural resources.
Since he couldn’t package a human hug or even a pat on the back, Dr. David Rabin is proud to have invented a device that mirrors the healing effects of human touch. As he explains, “When we consider that lack of human touch and interaction as an ugly side effect of the pandemic, the Apollo could be a partial antidote to this loss. Soothing touch increases all of the neurotransmitters and hormones in the body like endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. Instead of taking another medicine to stimulate these neurotransmitters in the body, Apollo addresses the issue by focusing on the regenerative nature of touch.”
Connected to an app that can be downloaded and used on a wide range of modern smartphones, including iPhones and Androids, Apollo is easy to use. Non-invasive and comforting, Apollo is a wearable device that this reporter will continue to use for years to come. The gentle rhythms of Apollo are both practical and positive.