I’ll admit I was skeptical at first. Can wearing two vibrating devices really reduce stress? That’s what TouchPoints claims to do, and as I found out this week

The company was co-founded by neuropsychologist Dr. Amy Serin as part of her effort to help people who suffer from PTSD. During the course of her research, she discovered that wearing a pair of tiny pulsing gadgets can also help gifted children or stressed-out adults. In fact, she told me that the product is most popular among women ages 35 to 55, who are typically dealing with the stresses of managing family life and making sure the kids get from A to B with everything they need. TouchPoints can also help with things like night terrors or other sleep-related issues.

The devices are tiny squares about the size of a watch face. There’s a single button for turning them on and off, and they’ll automatically pair with your phone — if you have Bluetooth turned on, of course. From there, a companion app will ask you a series of questions to determine your stress level before suggesting a preset. And yes, you can always switch to a new one or dial in the intensity and rhythm settings manually. TouchPoints can be placed on your wrists, in your pocket or anywhere you can feel the vibrations. However, you do have to wear two of them, since the soothing effect is creating by a pulsing back and forth. For that reason, I opted for the in-the-pocket method rather than slapping them on my wrists.

As a demonstration of how well TouchPoints work, the company offered brain scans here at CES. The first part of the test includes thinking about something super stressful and allowing a neuroscientist to take some detailed images of your brain activity. After that, I was handed a pair of vibrating TouchPoints and asked to think about the same stressful thing again, and more images were taken.

As you can see in the image above, the left is the first scan and the right side is the second. The beta frequency is associated with stress or overactivity in the brain — as illustrated by the red dots in the first scan. Once I was handed the TouchPoints, though, I was never able to stress myself out to the same level as the first time around. Trust me, I tried. What’s more, the pulsing sensation was quite soothing throughout almost a full day of wear. I had to remove them to charge in the early evening, otherwise I would’ve kept them on from morning until evening (more than eight hours). It was a lack of planning on my part, not due to any battery-life issues.

Sure, they work well, but there are a couple downsides to wearing TouchPoints. First, the vibrations are quite loud if you find yourself in a quiet room — similar to the buzzing of a phone. I had to turn them off during an audio demo later in the day after some dirty looks from fellow show attendees. The second, for me, is the price. At $240, they’re not something you’d purchase without some consideration. However, if they work for the masses as well as they worked for me — and TouchPoints has plenty of research that says they do — that’s a small price to pay for drastically reducing your stress levels, being able to sleep better at night or getting helping with a range of neurological issues you might be facing.

Article By: Billy Steele/Engadget

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Dr. Amy Serin interviews with the Clark Howard Show of WSBT 2 News of Atlanta Georgia at CES 2018 live.

Clark’s takeaway: The fact that this tackles stress in a non-invasive way without pharmaceuticals is a big plus, Clark says. He also appreciates that the  company is dedicated to the wellness of veterans and those who have served the country. “How great that someone was inspired to do something for our brave men and women in our military.”

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Finding another female-founded tech startup with ambitions to scale in Arizona is like looking for the mythical unicorn, said Vicki Mayo, cofounder of TouchPoint Solution, a wearable technology that reduces the stress response.

So when she heard about Project Entrepreneur’s Summit in Los Angeles, where women entrepreneurs had the chance to connect with one another and workshop their ideas with investors, she jumped for joy. Project Entrepreneur is a partnership between Rent the Runway co-founders Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss and UBS. Both companies are on a mission: to break traditional barriers women face in growing their companies big.

It Pays To Ask

Mayo was brought back down to earth when she tried to sign up. The event was sold out.  A very determined woman, she  called the organizers to ask if there was any way to make an exception and allow her to attend. She was put on a wait list. Then, a week later, Mayo was told she could attend.

Find A Cofounder With Complementary Skills

Mayo’s 4-year-old daughter suffered from night terrors. One night, after being up all night with her daughter, Mayo called a friend, Amy Serin, a neuropsychologist. As it turned out, Serin was working on technology that helps people reduce their stress and anxiety levels.

Mayo’s daughter tried it that night. Within 30 seconds, she fell asleep. The next day she awoke happy and refreshed.
Mayo told her friend that everyone needs to know about this product. But, as a clinician, this was out of Serin’s area of expertise. Fortunately, it was within Mayo’s skill set since she already had a successful IT company.

Together, they formed TouchPoint Solutions. It uses the the technology Serin developed —  Bi-Lateral Alternating Stimulation Tactile (BLAST) stimulation to give users a gentle vibration that affects the brain and alters the body’s fight, flight or freeze response. In addition academic research substantiating the efficacy of the technique, Serin has case studies and her her own research to support her claims about the device.

Raise Money From The Crowd

They raised more than $76,000 on Kickstarter — 508% of their goal — and more than $250,000 on Indiegogo — 953% of their goal.

Dr Amy Serin says you got everything wrong about stress! but she has very good news for you… She will explain you the physiology of stress and emotions and offer you a simple and non invasive solutions: TouchPoints to deal with daily stressful situations and live a better life.

Q1-01:33: What inspired you to become a neuropsychologist?

Q2-02:07: Is the study different for neuropsychology vs. psychology?

Q3-02:44: Where did the original idea of Touchpoints begin?

Q4-05:15: How does it work?

Q5-11:35: Are they indestructible?

Q6-12:54: Do you have significant research to back up your claims?

Q7-13:28: Who would your product benefit the most?

Q8-13:56: Who has had the most profound emotional effect with Touchpoints?

Q9-17:23: To use Touchpoints, do you have to predict the stress or use when you have the stress?

Q10-18:47: They don’t become a crutch, correct?

Q11-21:05: How do emotions impact our health?

Q12-23:45: Why is it called Touchpoints?

Q13-24:50: Does “touching” affect our emotions?

Q14-28:25: What is the difference between moods and emotions?

Q15-31:45: How important is emotional intelligence in people’s life?

Q16-32:50: How do you shift human consciousness through controlling stress?

Q17-37:35: We have a caller, Ben from South Carolina… he struggles with OCD. He gets unwanted thoughts that prevent him from making friends, or being around groups of people for fear that his thoughts are real and that he actually does what it says he has… even though he knows it isn’t true, he still feels anxious, scared and insecure. Would this device help him control his OCD thoughts?

Q18-44:40: How can we learn more about you and what can we look forward to from you?

 

A stress-reducing wearable device developed in Scottsdale launched Tuesday with a $15,000 Kickstarter campaign.

Buzzies are non-invasive, wearable devices that claim to alleviate stress and improve performance by overriding the “fight or flight” mechanism in your brain.

Peoria neuroscientist Dr. Amy Serin, who runs the Serin Center in Peoria, discovered the new technology and partnered with Vicki Mayo to patent and develop the brand new device.

The two entrepreneurs started Scottsdale-based TouchPoint Solutions LLC in January to find a way to make the technology affordable and accessible to the masses, said Mayo, the co-founder and CEO. Serin, who has a PhD in clinical psychology with a specialty in neuropsychology, is the company’s co-founder and chief science officer.

“Anytime we feel overwhelmed, our instincts kick in and you feel stress,” said Mayo, the former chief transformation officer for the Arizona Department of Economic Security who was appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey. “This overrides that and you feel calmer. The stress goes away as quickly as 30 seconds.”

The two Buzzies coin-shaped devices, which can be worn like a watch or detached and discreetly put in a pocket, can be turned on using an iOS or Android app to give a vibrating stimulation.
The two women trademarked and patented the technology embedded in the Buzzies, called BLAST (bi-lateral alternating stimulation-delivered tactile).

Users can turn on the devices right before a stressful situation, like a presentation or meeting with your boss, or used throughout the day to improve focus. The devices are also deemed safe enough for children, who can use the devices in their socks to deal with anxiety.
“My 5-year-old daughter has night terrors and this helps her sleep,” said Mayo, who was also former vice president of Valor Global Services, a Scottsdale tech company. “After using the Buzzy you can’t get as upset because your fight or flight mechanism isn’t working.”
Buzzies are typically used for a couple of minutes to 15 minutes a day.
“This technology is so disruptive,” she said. “Everyone suffers from stress. Eighty to 90 percent of disease is caused by stress. We want to be able to offer you release in as little as 30 seconds.”
TouchPoint Solutions made it a point to use local or U.S. companies to make the devices. The electronics, programming, assembly and boxing is done at Quik Tek Assembly in Tempe. The plastics are made in Minnesota, and the app development was done in Seattle.

The Buzzies retail for $259 per order, which comes with two devices, two watch bands, a wall charger, a charging cable and a velvet carry bag.

The Kickstarter campaign was a way to test the market before the products went live, Mayo said. The company has been taking pre-orders on the devices since October through the company website.
TouchPoint Solutions had already raised more than $8,000 of its $15,000 goal by Tuesday evening. The campaign ends Dec. 20.
Kickstarter supporters are guaranteed to get their Buzzies before Christmas, Mayo added.

“We’re thrilled with how the campaign has been going so far,” she said. “It will be great to work with the backers and get their feedback.”

The self-funded company with two employees was started by both as a way to give back, not to make money, Mayo said.

“We follow the Toms model. For every two devices we sell, we give away one to whoever is in need, children or adults,” she said. “We’re really just committed to women entrepreneurs and we wanted to give voice to this women’s movement and keep our philosophy front and center.”

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Dr. Amy Serin is a Neuropsychologist at The Serin Center and Inventor of Buzzies, who is a recognized national leader in applied neuroscience. Her success is inspiring to women globally, so we are proud to say she was raised in Arizona! Learn more about Amy Serin…

Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona

First job: My first job was a summer intern at a law firm. It was fascinating because I was able to read the case law I was copying and I learned quite a bit. The experience made it difficult for me to choose between law and psychology and psychology ultimately became my first choice.

Favorite AZ restaurant: Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant in Ahwatukee and I grew up there and have so many fond memories there. Also their lasagna literally melts in your mouth.

Person who has impacted your life the most: I can’t pick one person because I feel I have benefitted most from the collective sacrifice of pioneering women over the centuries who came before me and created the conditions for women like me to be successful and achieve our highest purpose.

Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes: I’m happy.

The biggest obstacle you have overcome: The status quo is an obstacle that I feel I’ve overcome, but its constant presence requires me to stay diligent. Most people are wired to maintain the status quo. I am not. Being a woman change agent has required me to blaze a trail in spite of scrutiny from those who don’t want to accept change.

Someone who inspires you: Edith Kaplan, pioneering neuropsychologist.

Favorite quote: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” -Rumi, 13th century philosopher

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do:
Start with solid science and current practices and then innovate beyond that to provide the best patient care possible. Work to advance the field beyond where it is when you entered it. Pursue knowledge and excellence with purpose and passion. Pay fierce attention to your intuition.

What makes someone fabulous: I have two answers. 1) fabulous people spend their time supporting and elevating others, and 2) I’m not sure but I think there’s a lot of glitter involved.

Learn more about Amy Serin’s new invention Buzzies at thetouchpointsolution.com.

 

“Winning is such an honor because it solidifies our game-changing BLAST (bilateral alternating stimulation) technology as a top neuroscience based solution to lower stress and improve the human condition,” said Dr. Amy Serin.

Dr. Serin is a neuropsychologist and inventor of TouchPoints, the company’s wearable devices that lessen anxiety and are said to improve productivity and sleep due to a calming effect that can lower stress by 71 percent in as few as 30 seconds.

The TouchPoint Solution had 10 minutes to pitch their company’s products and mission, which were judged for novelty, scalability, research and intellectual property, impact and financial sustainability. Dr. Serin’s pitch won in the category of workplace productivity and resilience. The judges Included Charlie Hartwell, the operating partner at Bridge Builders Collaborative and Associate Vice President Health & Productivity at Nationwide Insurance Kathleen Herath.

“Although TouchPoints can be used to improve general stress, well-being and sleep, there is an enormous need to address workplace productivity because employee stress and lack of sleep cause performance problems and missed work, said Dr. Serin. “We see a huge opportunity for corporations to include TouchPoints in their wellness programs as a device that actually lowers the stress response instead of simply tracking data. We think if companies are going to spend money on wearables, they should demand more from them.”

The TouchPoint Solution will receive formal recognition, ten hours of consulting time from judges and SharpBrains staff, complimentary access to SharpBrains market report on pervasive neurotechnology, a profile in SharpBrains’ website and e-newsletter, and support in outreach to media, partners, clients and investors.

For more information about The TouchPoint Solution and TouchPoints, please visit http://www.ilovetouchpoints.com.

About TouchPoint Solution
Neuropsychologist Amy Serin, Ph.D., and child advocate Vicki Mayo founded The Touchpoint Solution in late 2015 with the mission of bringing relief to the millions of people who suffer from stress and anxiety. Over the last decade, Dr. Serin’s work in therapy and neuroscience led to the discovery that a component of successful PTSD treatment could be used as a stand-alone product for a range of individuals whose stress and intensities hamper performance, relaxation, sleep, and their ability to cope with sensory stimuli. Dr. Serin recognized that this method was too powerful to be confined to doctors’ offices and partnered with long-time friend and entrepreneur Vicki Mayo to bring TouchPoints™ to the world. For more information, please visit http://www.ilovetouchpoints.com.

About SHARPBRAINS
SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and well-being applications of brain science, with special emphasis on non-invasive neurotechnology digital brain health assessments, diagnostics, therapeutics and educational/ wellness applications. The company maintains a biannual state-of-the market report series, produces an annual global and virtual professional conference, and maintains a consumer-facing guide, The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness. SharpBrains.com, the company’s blog, is one of the most popular brain blogs, full of information, resources and also brain teasers for adults of any age.