JAN 16, 2020 9:10 PM PST

New Wearable that Helps the Body Adapt to Stress

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Physicians and neuroscientists at the University of Pittsburgh have developed Apollo- a wearable they claim helps the body adapt to stress, improve sleep quality, increase energy levels and more. While other wearables simply track the body, Apollo is the first to actively change how it functions. 

Dr. David Rabin, co-inventor of Apollo and Chief Innovation Officer at Apollo Neuroscience said, “Chronic daily stress can have a profound, disruptive effect on our bodies and result in harmful symptoms including insomnia, anxiety-disorders, chronic pain, cognitive dysfunction, and cardiovascular disease...Apollo is the only technology that actually improves HRV and accelerates your body’s recovery from stress so you can feel energized, focused, and sleep better.”

Wearable much like a watch, Apollo works by sending gentle waves of vibration that engages the parasympathetic nervous system, eventually leading to improved heart rate variability, the intervals between heartbeats, something that has been correlated to performance under stress. 

Working in tandem with a phone application, users can choose from a variety of programs to modulate their mindset. For example, they can choose vibration setting to feel more relaxed, have more energy or enhance mindfulness as well as get into a ‘sleeping’ state and feel more adept in social situations. 

Having been clinically evaluated by university-led trals, the device has reportedly undergone successful pilots to prevent burnout in the workplace. Having had over 2000 users to date, over 90% of its users have reported higher productivity, focus and sleep after using the device. 

More than this, nurse practitioner Amy Edgar at the Children’s Integrated Center for Success in Pennsylvania noted its success during a year-long trial on over 100 children aged between 6 and 17. Reporting that 100% of the children using APollo liked the experience, she added that over 70% of them also felt that it was helpful and wanted to use it again. 

With the device having potential applications for multiple disorders from PTSD to ADHD, anxiety and burnout, Rabin likens the mechanics of the Apollo to the effects of different rhythms from different types of music. He said, “Music has a rhythm that helps nudge our bodies into a state of higher energy or lower energy — the music changes the body...We basically mathematically figured out what these rhythms had in common.”


Sources: Next Pittsburgh, Business Wire and Wearable Technologies

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
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