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Episode 108 - Anders Olmanson - REMplenish Myo Nozzle - Reducing Snoring while Drinking Water


Hey there, it's Emma Cooksey here and I'm your host.

So if you're not on Instagram and I posted a real little short video yesterday with a clip of Wonder Woman.

Spinning round like, starting off in her, like work clothes and spinning round and coming out transformed as Wonder Woman, which I just kind of love because it makes me think of my childhood.


And if you're younger than me, you probably don't remember anything about Wonder women.


And I just thought it was a really cute clip.

And so I kind of put something about before and after sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment.


And then a bunch of.

You sent me messages just basically saying that's not what it looked like for me.

I don't feel better on CPAP or and you know, I feel a bit better, but I don't feel like Wonder Woman.

And so yeah, it's just one of those things where you're trying to do things on social media using like a 10 second clip and it just isn't like, you know, you just can't get the nuance that you need to really.


Have that big discussion.

So I did a a short Live Today where I just kind of explained you know that there are so many different experiences of this and all of them are normal and there's lots of other people going through the same thing issue.


So there are some people who you know, get diagnosis and start CPAP or another therapy and they feel much much better and.

You know, they go about their day, but there's a lot of us who, you know, we feel significantly better but not, you know, well rested and like we don't have daytime sleepiness and there's other people that just really struggle, right.


And all of those experiences are very much normal and and you know, I definitely want all those people in my community.

So if anybody kind of felt a bit.

You know, either put out or just a little bit.


Like it didn't really speak to them.

Like I'm really sorry.

And so I think I feel like with that life, hopefully people all get, you know, where I'm coming from.

So that's kind of why I think the podcast is so much more helpful than just, like, really short clips on Instagram.


Because we actually have, you know, enough time to have a nuanced discussion about all the different experiences.

So anyway, so on to today's episode with Anders Allmanson.

And Anders is a passionate medical innovator who spent nine months traveling and studying healthcare in Asia and Africa to understand health needs around the world.


Previously, he worked as a mechanical engineer at Medtronic and has a master's degree in medical device innovation and a bachelor's in biomedical engineering.

So and Anders and his team came up with this thing called a My Own Nozzle, where it essentially puts your tongue through a workout and builds your the strength and tone of your tongue and the different muscles it uses to.


Swallow as you drink water during the day.

And the idea is to It makes it easier for people to kind of do my functional therapy type exercises without thinking too much about it because it just fits in with their life.

So I thought it was a super interesting interview.


And without further ado, here's my conversation with Anders.

Almanson, so thank you so much for joining me, Anders.


Thanks for having me.

So did you wanna start just by telling people a little bit about your background and how you got into malfunctional therapy and sleep and that kind of thing?


Yeah, for sure.

So, yeah, my background's in biomedical engineering.

I used to work at Medtronic as a mechanical engineer and then I did a Masters of Science and Medical Device innovation.

It was really during that program, you know, we're doing clinical immersion.

And we're going to different sleep clinics and that was the first time you know, saw severe obstructive sleep apnea, patient just outright refused CPAP therapy.


So that was like really eye opening for us.

You know, cuz definitely Cpaps like the gold standard for obstructive sleep apnea.

And so we started digging into it.

You know, 80% of cases are undiagnosed.

You have a 20 to 50% outright refusal rate.

And then you've got a 40 to 50%, you know, compliance rate with CPAP.


So most people are being diagnosed and they're not being treated right.

So that's kind of like how I started my journey into the space.

Which I think, I think when you are in this like even just like as a patient and especially when you interview a bunch of patients all the time, you just kind of accept that that's the way it is.


But when you look at those numbers, it's quite shocking.

Oh, it's it's really shocking.

And we and we have like, so we interact with, we've done a lot of like, you know, patient interviews.

And so we've kind of like heard a lot of different journeys of, you know, So it's kind of like there's either, you know, lack of awareness or, you know, kind of people just accept like, Oh yeah, you know, I snore or I'm tired every day.


That's just normal, You know, Like it's kind of like just kind of accept that it's normal, but it, but it's not, you know, and then also like.

But then you also have people on the other end of the the spectrum where they know they have an issue, but then they kind of look at what is in the future and they're like, I don't know if I want to go down this path of like, you know, so it's, yeah, definitely there's a lot of, there's a big need in this space to help people, you know, eat better, sleep better, you know, live their life to the fullest.


So yeah, that's kind of kind of what got, you know, us excited, you know, how can we help people?

And really, that's kind of like.

In our background, we're medical innovators.

So, you know, how do we help people live better lives?

And so when in that process did you come across like this whole myofunctional therapy thing, Cuz it's not very like a lot of people aren't familiar with that when it comes to sleep apnea, yeah.



We weren't familiar with it either.

So we're kind of coming from like the medical device side and kind of like coming that way into it.

And really it was this study where playing the didgeridoo, kind of just like we're like, Oh yeah, playing the didgeridoo they had is in Switzerland.


They had like, I forget the number of people, but they had, you know, people play the didgeridoo five days a week for 20.

Was it the British Medical Journal or school?

I'm not sure it was British.

It was like the University of Zurich.

Maybe it was the British.

It's been a while since I've looked at it.

It was like a five study.


Yeah, I'll have to like.

Look back at it.

But yeah, the so, but they, you know, showed reduction from, I think it was like end .3 ahi or something like that, just by playing the didgeridoo every day.


So we're like, OK, this is wild, you know what's going on?


And it seemed very different than what we were looking at.

Before, almost like I interviewed somebody about like a didgeridoo instructor who helps people with sleep apnea and and what we were talking about with him was just that.

If it was a surgery or a medical device, I think people would be like all over that.


But I think because it's like a didgeridoo and people can just buy one on Amazon and there's not really as much interest in it, right?


Well, part of, yeah, part of that and I think there's also, so we did a lot of customer interviews on like different the solution space as well cuz after we found that we're like okay.


You know, what do people think of this as well as milfunctional therapy?

So I guess I'll kind of like circle.

Yeah, just a second.



But, yeah.

So then we start coming across the studies, coming out, the University of Sao Paulo and Brazil where they're doing targeted exercises and they're showing like as good or better results in some cases, you know, targeted exercises, which is what we call milfunctional therapy, they call oropharyngeal exercises.


We're like, OK, this is wild, you know?

That showed a drop in hi that was.

Really pretty significant.

Yeah, just by doing exercising mouth and throat muscles, which it's like a wild concept at first.

But like we tell people and they're like, yeah, that makes sense.


Like it has other body parts, like I can exercise my mouth and throat muscles so they're not gonna be as flabby or vibrate as much kind of a little bit.

But yeah, I was kind of like, so coming back to that, did you redo part?

So we did a lot of like interviews in the space of different like concepts cuz we we're trying to figure out a way for people to actually use the therapy.


Cuz when we interviewed them about these different exercises or playing the did you redo like, yeah, there's the stuff you can do.

It's awesome.

Like what do you think?

And we had, you know, some people are like, yeah, sign me up, this is awesome.

But a lot of other people are like, yeah, it's hard enough, like working on my normal body, like every day, you know?


Let alone, like, working out my mouth and throat muscles, like, that's kind of weird, you know?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

So that's where we're like, okay, Let's find a way to get people to actually make it easy for them to do the therapy daily and consistently.

So we're like, coming up, we have like 6 different, like, concept areas.


And it was like, one of them was like instruments.

And so we started interviewing people and for like, the customer.

You know, desire for it.

Some people that would give that a 10 out of 10, they're like, yeah, if I can play an instrument every day.

I love instruments, I love music, I'll play the redo every day.


That's awesome.

But then other people are like, yeah, I had to play the recorder or whatever, the trumpet or I had to play this in school.

I don't really like playing instruments.

It's not really my thing.

I don't think I can do it every day.


Like, you know, people who you know.


It's all well and good for people who have a standalone.

Single family home.

But most people you're in an apartment with thin walls.

Like I don't know that didgeridoo planes gonna work in that scenario.

It's cuz we had our different solution space.


It's all like what can you do that'll you know, make it easy for people.

Cuz it's kind of like if you're really motivated, you know you're willing to do different things for a period of time, but as that like changes your motivation can kind of like drop off like.

Who's trying to do a workout routine or a diet or whatever?


And a lot, I think a lot of it is people being so tired all the time that they just are trying to just do the basics of like looking after their family and working and that's they don't have any leftover, you know, energy to put into some of these things sometimes.



No, that's that's exactly right.

So it's like.

Yeah, putting this one, you know this extra thing on top of everything else that they have and and you're sleep deprived and you know like not not feeling well.

So really yeah, it's all it kind of comes back to this like motivation desire kind of thing.


So we're like OK we don't like this you know factor like it's kind of like it's too much variation because we're we're also targeting.

So most people that have obstructive sleep apnea up to 95%, they also snore to some degree so.

So for us we're like okay, most people aren't being diagnosed but we want to help as many people as we can.


You know, we also have to go after people that snore because they're never unfortunately maybe in the future they'll be, you know more people will be going through the medical system but most people aren't going through the the channels that they need to to get help.

So it's kind of like and we also have to go after snorers and so but but snorers.


So that's like from a motivation factor you have the the partner or we know you have the snore who creates the problem.

And the partner who experiences the problem?

So, so the OR the snorers?

And sometimes the the, the, the thing I like, I spent so much time talking to spices and partners of people who are, like, very motivated to figure this out, you know?


And like, sometimes the person who's actually snoring, I mean, sometimes they have the daytime sleepiness and they don't feel good and all that.

Other times they're just like.

Yep, I snore.

I'm asleep.

You know, like, and we know that that's not great.

But like, yeah, sometimes the motivation is the partner saying you have to sort the site.



And that's like, so when we're doing like our interviews with people, you know, it's like it was almost like couples therapy of, you know, Yeah, yeah, cuz at first we like some first people we interviewed.

We interviewed the snore and they're like, yeah, you know, here you snore.


Can you tell us about your condition?

Like I don't snore.

You know, you're like, well, that's not what we heard from your partner, you know, No, no, no.

I don't start.

And then you have to like.

So we realize you have to, like, interview them both at the same time.


Well, you keep me up an hour every night with your snoring and it's like, you know, and then then it kind of starts like coming out, you know, so.


And there's all sorts of layers of that.

There's also so often times you see partners of men being really frustrated because the the man's snoring and all that.

But there's also, like me and my husband, where and.

My husband overheard me interviewing somebody and I was saying, well, I never really snored that much And and after the interview he was like, Oh yeah, you've always snored a lot.


And I'm just like, why wouldn't you like, does that not affect you?

You know, and he was just like kind of, but he just doesn't want to make me feel bad for snoring or something.

So there's different dynamics and, but I think that that's really smart to.

Actually interview the the couple because yeah, it's really like different from couple to couple I think.


Yeah, it's kind of like you could have someone with small snoring, but it really bothers their partner.

And maybe they have like, you know, they're not that high stress jobs or whatever else or they have kids and so it's more, maybe more has bigger impact or you have people that snore a bunch, but their partner sleeps through it just fine, so they would never even know.


So it's this whole like dynamic of you know?

How do they both How do both partners get the best sleep that they can?


So snorers like they keep, it's a range of either they're very unmotivated or motivated.

Like if you have obstructive sleep apnea and you're tired, you probably have more motivation because it's affecting you.

But if you're a snorer, it's like less motivation.

So we're like, OK, how do we get, how do we develop something that isn't as based on motivation, so something that anyone can just pick up?


Not have to add something extra to the, yeah.

Not learning an instrument from scratch, yeah.

So that's where we're like brainstorming and kind of we came across this.

The idea was kind of like we call it a celery ball.


So it was like this how?

Many if you were there.

There's, I think.


All engineers like do y'all have a similar background or yeah like.

Kind of cool.

Innovators so like, paint the picture for me like a big white board.


Or is it?


So, OK, back then we were, so we, you know, we're startup, don't have like very much capital or anything.

We're going to like public libraries and renting space and like finding a white board and we're getting like, no, it's wrong just like, OK, let's brainstorm how do we like solve this problem?



Were like going and going and that and the kind of the one that stuck out to me was this like celery ball one.

And for me so kind of like I've noticed whenever I because your brain kind of solves things before like you actually solve it like and I was trying to like figure out this like puzzle piece for a while and it's kind of like this.


I was like there's something there and the celery ball like the concept was doing something healthy while also getting exercise.

So it's kind of like a dual purpose kind of thing.

But it's like okay, you know obviously a celery ball is not gonna.

I don't know if that's gonna help you at all but like you know, so but that was like the concept.


So and at the time, you know my brother, my younger brother, he's in medical school now but he was you know we're driving home from the library and we're like okay, you know there's this celery ball concept.

I think like that's the thing.

And he's.

Salary ball.


A celery ball, You know, like eating celery, you burn more.

That's the whatever the saying is you.

Burn more like you burn more calories than it takes to digest the celery.

So it's like Healthy plus?

OK, got it.

I was like I was trying to make it into like, is there a workout thing called a celery ball?


I don't know what it is.

OK, got it.


Yeah, so then it was kind of like a few weeks later and I'm watching my parents dog.


And she's sitting there, She's eating peanut butter out of a peanut butter con.

Just doing this like, tongue motion and feel like, huh, she doesn't even realize that she's like, putting this extra work into getting this peanut butter, you know?


So it's kind of like that was like the big, like, light bulb moment for me.

So I was like, OK, what do people do every day?

They drink water out of a water bottle.

Sounds kind of like how how Replenish was born.

And then from there was a lot of like.

Did you have a Eureka moment where you like?


Called everyone and said, Yep, I've come out with it.


Yeah, there's a tax.

I was like, Yep, this is it.

Got it.

But then we still did customer interviews.

So Okay, let's continue our customer interviews and we added that concept in and that was like the one that ranked the highest out of the different ones.


So, but yeah.

I wish we could go back in time so that I could have been in the room with y'all trying to figure this out because I spent my whole time trying to figure out for myself.

So then you came up with the idea, and then so explain to people listening what the basic idea behind the remplenish straw thing.


I don't know what you're calling it like.


So, Yep, Remplenish, what we call it like a Remplenish myo nozzle.

So yeah.

And really, what it is, it's it.

It's kind of like.

You know you're trying to drink water out of a straw.


It's not like that where like you're using a straw motion.

It kind of like doesn't let you get water if you use it incorrectly.

So when you drink out of it, you're doing these tongue exercises to get water out and it guides you to do the motions.

So it's kind of yeah, and it punishes you if you don't use it correctly.


So, so it requires you like we we've talked a lot, done lots of episodes of my functional therapy, but it I've used it, I I got one.



And so it requires you to kind of like push your tongue up to the roof of your mouth, which is what we want to try and do.

But like, in order to kind of do that repeatedly, you're almost doing like push ups with your tongue, almost with.


That's a great way to explain.


So and kind of, yeah, basically, you know you have your tongue tip in the spot.

So for people that struggle with like a tongue thrust or other things like, that's like.

Therapist will use it to reinforce, you know, proper swallowing habits, but you first need to figure out the tongue tip portion so that that's something where an easy way to do that is.


If you just stick the tip, the tip of your tongue to the spot and just anchor it there as you're drinking out of it, it makes it slightly more difficult, but you have a lot more control while using it.

So you use your tongue tip and then you can just use the middle of your tongue to draw the water in and what what that's doing is 1 you're getting the back of your tongue up.


So a lot of people struggle with.

Good tongue posture.

And when you have good tongue posture, it's less likely for your tongue to fall back in your airway.

It also falls nasal breathing naturally for people that struggle with that, really helps them get that back of the tongue up.

And then you just do these little tongue push ups with the middle of your tongue.


And every time you're doing that, you're activating your Genu glasses every time you're swallowing, activating most of your mouth and throat muscles, your soft palate.

So it's kind of like this.

You know, exercise of many these small repetitions with resistance.

So some malfunctional therapists will actually use it to increase or or decrease therapy time so they can get results quicker than if they were just doing other other things.


So I was saying that that is one of the things with my functional therapy.

I worked with my functional therapist for like a number of months before I had a tongue tie release and then afterwards and stuff.

And like, I think one of the things about it is that if you just show up and do that 30 minutes or an hour once a week, it's not going to do anything.


Like it's really about that repetition and working on it and being aware of your tongue posture all the time.

So I think one of the genius things about having it linked up to drinking water is that something you're doing all the time during the day anyway.


So yeah, and I suppose it is kind of a salary thing in the sense that people need to be more hydrated as well.

So they're kind of like 2 for one.

Yeah, there's people who like, they don't normally drink water and kind of gives them a reason to also drink water.


Like, OK, I got to get my 1 bottle or two bottles of water and I'm also like hydrating as well as getting the exercise.

So it's yeah.

So it's kind of like trying to do a dual benefit for sure.

And then you all did all the engineers in the room do myofunctional therapy, like with a myofunctional therapist to begin with to figure out how this is going to work or?


So I'll start.

I'll start before we got to that phase.



Or before that we were just looking at the studies, right?


Is we just picked apart every exercise that they had?

Or like, OK, why are these exercises like in the Brazilian study?

Yeah, in the Brazilian, yeah.

So we took them and we would do it to the point of fatigue.


So we would like overdo it and just see where we felt fatigue.

OK we're like OK, this is targeting this area.

OK, this is targeting that area and it takes like a couple days for like the fatigue to go away.

So it's kind of like we're like alternate who's doing what exercises and kind of just took notes.


Then we were also do we have a didgeridoo too.

So we're like practicing A didgeridoo.

OK what is the did redo doing?

We're looking at like other research you know, where what are the theories of what's happening here?

And then that was like one part.

So that's like what's happening that we know works, but then we're looking at the anatomy and Physiology and pathophysiology, like why do we think or what are the things that are happening when an airway collapses and what are possible ways to help improve that or strengthen that.


So we're looking at it from that angle too.

It's like okay.

Well, one thing we definitely want to strengthen anything that's collapsing, we want to get the good tongue posture all these different, like we want to help the soft palate because that's what's vibrating, you know.

So we're kind of like picking our our gets that we're looking at that the fair, the exercise.


And back then there was like, I don't know 15 exercises that they're doing.

So it's like there's a lot, you know and that's a lot.

So we're like picking all that apart.

We're like okay, we think if we did these things.

This might help Okay.

Now what's a natural motion for people because we don't want to like, introduce something that's weird into like what they're doing every day.


So now we're looking at Okay.

You have like breastfeeding and kind of the motions of breastfeeding, but not like the the infant one, but kind of the next mechanism of when it transitions more to adult motion.

So you're kind of doing more vertical motion.

So like kind of the suction and compression we're like trying to then put into a natural motion.


So that's kind of like how we develop the therapy.

But it's also now we're like, okay, how do we develop it with then the kid now?

Now we're starting to talk with like malfunctional therapists and speech therapists.

We're like shadowing them and stuff and getting, you know, just understanding, like working with them through the exercises.


But then also Okay, what's the problems that they face and kind of the problems that you just outlined of Okay.

People have to go and do these exercises every day and they're not, you know, doing it.

So we're like, okay like, oh, if we just had someone who could give to people and we know that they're going to do the therapy.

We're like, yeah, awesome.

So a year later, after we developed it, we kind of came back.


We're like, hey, we have this thing you guys asked for, and we're also working with speech therapist, malfunctional therapist while developing it.

So our very first prototypes were pretty rudimentary, so we're sending it out to speech there, he told us later.

He's like, yeah, the first ones you sent us was like, yeah, what are these guys?


You know, what are they doing?

You know, like, but then we kept developing and iterating like, OK, what if we did, what if we did that?

And we kind of kept developing it.

So we've gone through like, probably hundreds of prototypes of testing different things.

And then finally, you know, kind of got to the point where we're like, OK, you know, And they're like, yeah, we really like this, Like, got the thumbs up from the speech therapist and malfunctional therapist.


Then we did a a study like a internal, kind of like preliminary study, just with snores.

Like, hey, use this for a month.

You know, we'll kind of collect, you know, we had bad partner snoring surveys at the beginning and we're like, oh, you just kind of marked like what happens before and after.


So you kind of like pretty basic study.

So we had, I think it was 37 people, you know, use it for a month and it was just like the results were like crazy, you know, for what people are saying like oh so much better.

Yeah, cuz we're asking like, oh, you know, and this is something we weren't even, like originally measuring.


You know, but we're like, oh, what changes have you noticed?

And they're like, huh, Well, you know, some people are like, well, I used to wake up every hour or two throughout the night, and now I'm not waking up.

You know, it's like 5 or 6 hours.

Like, yeah, OK, that's pretty like, which is huge.

When you think about people's, you know, like fragmented sleep and all of that, like just having people stay asleep is huge.


Yeah, Yeah.

And that's like, and they're saying that they're, they're feeling more well rested.

They're not like one person, you know, he was talking about like how you drive into work every day and every morning is just this blur of like, you know, just kind of he's out of it like headaches every morning.



And some, if you're familiar with obstructive sleep apne and some tiletail signs.

Also, he's probably one of the people that's like.

Yeah, I know what the path is.

If I get a sleep study, like, I'm pretty sure I have it.

But I don't want to sleep study.

I don't want to sleep.


And so, but he's like, yeah, I'm like, which is so many people like I.


That's why, I mean you know the numbers of people undiagnosed, like some of it is awareness, but some of it is people who are perfectly aware and like basically think that the only options for them are like sleep study followed by CPAP and they want no part of CPAP.


So they just don't even get tested.


And I'll just say, like, we love CPAP or like, if you need it, definitely use it.

But it's also like, yeah, people, that's what they their uncle had, you know, CPAP or their dad had a CPAP or whoever.

And they're like, yeah, I don't want that.


You know, like that's kind of and I think though like so.

The thing is, though, unless we talk about that, we're not getting to the root.

I feel as though, like I've used CPAP every night for 15 years or whatever, and I honestly think I would have died in a car crash, falling asleep at the wheel if I hadn't have had that.


Like I have severe sleep apnea.

I'm all about like CPAP for people that need it, but also we have to have the conversation about the people who will not do it right.

So we need to come up with more innovative ways.


Like we just need a huge spectrum of different options for all the different people because there's no one person, right?

Like I hear constantly from people.

One loves their CPAP, one hates it, one person loves the oral appliance, one hates it.


One person is like, I just had double jaw surgery and it fixed all my problems.

Another person is like, it didn't go so well.

So I think that everyone's so different.

We just need to keep innovating and just come up with new and better things for sure.


Yeah, and that's kind of what we're trying to get after when we're doing our stuff.

Really what we're looking for is like okay, something non invasive, non intrusive and that can help people our functional therapy.

It's awesome and it can help a lot of people.

I think there's.

Studies where like the Eckert studies where 1/3 of people like the primary cause or a primary cause of their obstructive sleep apnea is neuromuscular responsiveness.


A lot of people can benefit from this aspect but then you also have like your the jaws not developing as much just in general.

In general we're not eating as like you know hard of foods reading softer things.

We're not using our mouth muscles as much our our Airways are smaller because our jaws aren't developing as much.


So it's kind of like.

You know, modern problem and so you know people aren't really like and people we we had, you know it's like how do we come up with ways to like address you know, and also like I think well, I just was interview interviewing Shereen Lim.


He's like an Australian dentist last night.

And she was talking about this like continuum right from for so many people, not everybody, but for so many people.

There is this continuum from open my breathing to snoring to, you know, upper air resistance syndrome to mild sleep apnea to moderate sleep apnea to severe sleep apnea.


And she was just saying the earlier in that you can intervene and improve things.

I just feel like, you know, if kids with open my breathing or with snoring, like start with myofunctional therapy and like any other interventions, the chances are you can build good habits that can stop them from progressing.


And that's exactly, well, we haven't like officially announced, but that's what we're talking about.

Are we saying you're from the same hymn sheet?

But yeah, why?

Dad would say.

Cuz we're like cuz a lot of the things that we're seeing on the adult side.

So we have a product for snoring.


We're now doing a study with Mayo Clinic on obstructive sleep apnea side.

A lot of people that have these issues have had it since they were kids.

So that's kinda that's like our this year we'll be launching a product in that space to.

The health, yeah.


So that's yeah, we don't we've officially announced it, but I can write on well.

We tell enough healthcare professionals know about it.

So if you wanna pick my brain at any point, just call me favorite subject.

You developed your nozzle and your myofunctional nozzle, and so do you get an NIH grant.


Yeah, so we have.

It's amazing, dude.


Thank you.

Do you want to explain to people like the National Institutes of Health is like they award grants to all sorts of people who are looking and, well, do you want to just explain a little bit about it?


Yeah, so, so we got funded through National Institutes of Health, the National Heart Long and Blood Institute.

So really, you know, they're looking at OK, what are innovative, you know, sleep solutions.

And yeah, I know.

I, like, I attended a thing in Washington DC with Dr. Brian from NIH and yeah, yeah, yeah, she was talking.


He's probably your best.

Steve, you're doing this something I.

Bet and she was our old program officer, so we like.

So we've actually been, it took us four times to apply for the grant.

So it's like the very first.

It's a whole process as well.


So the very first time we apply and the Grant's like a small business, innovation research.


So every government agency has a set amount of their budget.

That they put towards small Business Innovation or technology translation from universities.

So it's kind of part of that, kind of like funding innovation to help solve these big health problems.


So it took us four times to apply.

The very first time we applied, we didn't have our preliminary data yet, so we had two reviewers.

They're like, this is awesome.

It has so much potential.

We're not sure if it'll work or not.

But yeah, it's worth trying.


The third one's like, yeah, there's no way such a complicated condition could have any like this could do whatever.

And it kind of just brought down the first time.

So then we got our preliminary data and we're like okay, well, it seems to be helping people, let's say more clinical studies, let's develop it more.


And so then it kind of switched from, you know, the first year like, yeah, awesome.

Then the third one, like, I think it was the same review.

I don't know, like maybe it wasn't.

But the third one went from like, OK, it can't work to like, OK, well maybe it can work.

But like, I don't like your study design which which was fair because originally like our study design was like, you know, pretty, you know, conservative as in like, OK, we'll measure snoring or like, you know, not very much.


It was kind of just like quality of life metric snoring.

But they're like, well, if you're going to do that, you might as well measure, you know, sleep study data.

And we're like.


So we're like Okay.

Well, you only get limited funds through like the grant.

It's not like you get like a ton of studies.

So we're like, Okay, how do we find how many people you're gonna have in the study is kind of a yeah.


So then we go and we do like add a sleep study and we're like moving around everything.

And then the next time we apply, they're like, well, now you need a bigger sample size if you're gonna do it.

And we're like, well, we just, we're like doing this for you guys.

Well then finally we're able to like make it work with like a big enough sample size as well as like getting the sleep study.


But still the primary outcomes are first adherence and then then quality of life.

And then the secondary is, you know, HI like S BO2, like all that kind of stuff.

How many times you stop breathing in the middle of the night?

The blood oxygen levels and then and So what?


What is the cohort of people you're looking at?

Is it people with sleep apnea of a certain level?

Or yeah, choosing who takes part.


So mild to moderate is who would be looking at.

And then the inclusion criterias includes like most people I guess like, but there's stuff if you can't use like a smartphone or if you have like some kind of if you had some kind of surgery or some thing that would prevent you from being able to do these exercises or you know like kind of like extra stuff.


But yeah, mild to moderate, so.

And that's in that study.

In the research, it seems like those are the ones that have the most clear indicator.

Like once you get to severe, there's multiple things.

Yeah, totally.

It's more complicated.

It is much more complicated.


There's a lot going on.

So are you looking to find people for your study or have you already find everybody?


So we're just about to start like recruitment and it's at Mayo Clinic, Rochester.

So if you're in Minnesota near Rochester, like that would be a great thing.


And we've had people reaching out.

So like our clinical coordinator is like, yeah, you know, people have been reaching out about the stuff.

Yeah, I'm happy to share it with my e-mail list and stuff.

They'll totally be people in Minnesota.

Yeah, that would be awesome.

All over the place.

That's something.

Like more, Yeah.


The more people we can get.

Like, yeah.

Cuz we just want to like, yeah, let's get this study, cuz we've been waiting for it for like so long this, but it's been like 30 years that we've been wanting to do this study.

So yeah, that's awesome.

And so how long will it take once you start?

So we so traditional like the malfunctional studies out there usually do three months, we're doing two months just because at least for us we've seen people get pretty good benefit within like a month or or even like.


For some people are weak, but those people are like it's more I think tongue posture related or like neuromuscular retraining.

We're not exactly sure why and that's something we want to study more but we have our theories.

But yeah, so we people seem to get benefit pretty quickly.

I think that's due to the resistance aspect.


So people can, I think that's one factor.

So we think two months is plenty of time to get like at least a noticeable signal.

But yeah, yeah, three months, you probably get a stronger signal.



Two months is kind of what we're we're kind of trying to be like this is quicker than maybe some other things if, yeah, yeah.


But this is just initial study too.

We want to do like a million studies and there's so many other like benefits that we've had people report to us like just having good, like a strong tongue in general, like whether it's speaking or whether it's eating or swallowing.


Like there's so many other benefits that people like, report, even like.

So there's like, we have our like snoring, obstructive sleep apnea side.

And then there's like a long list of like things we want to study because we have like researcher using with like Down syndrome patient, you know, like kids.

And we have like another one using it with like like TMJ stuff.


Or we have like other people.

So it's like these long lists of things are like okay, maybe there's some more benefits that we're trying to study more.

So it's like, yeah, it's.

So if any, if there's any like researchers out there that you know are listening to this podcast, like we're looking for people.

We just don't have the time or resources to go after all these things.


But there we think there's a lot of potential, you know, whether having strong tongue or good tongue posture.

So maybe like people who do research into, you know, speech and speech therapy and that kind of thing, and maybe there could be an opportunity to so interesting.


So are you just going to keep working on ideas?

To help us.

Yeah, well, so my, I guess, like my what I wanna do, like kind of my mission in life, is to just solve as many health problems as I can.

But the one we're solving right now is so big and fundamental, Like breathing and sleep.


Yeah, are just so instrumental to all different parts of health that right now.

You know, there's so much more potential that like, even just the technology we've invented, like, we're always like innovating and improving it.

Yeah, but it's also like such a big need, such a big like, yeah, I want you to keep going and figure it all out for.



So definitely, at least, you know, as long as I can like keep innovating and helping people and making my own unique impact like in this space, like this is what I wanna be doing.

So I could like see myself doing this for at least like another like five years in this.

Position, you know, definitely.


But if at some point if there's like, OK, we're we're no longer like solving new needs or whatever else, then maybe it's like, OK, maybe there's other opportunities.

This is going to be like this could be your your life's work though.

Like really like the need is so much and there's just a lot of patients around this who their voices aren't really being heard because they're going to doctors and CPAP doesn't work for them.


And then they just kind of go, Oh well there's nothing to be done when actually we should be talking all about all the different things they can try.

So I think well done and keep going.

Well, thank you.

It is how I would like to sum everything up.

So is there anything else you would like to share?


Do you want to share a bit about how people can find out more about what you're doing and maybe the website and that kind of thing?

Yeah, yeah.

If you go to, so we have, you know, great website we're trying to add like right now we've got this whole like trying to educate people on airway health and like what are the different factors and what are other things.


We're just like structuring our blog stuff.

So we have some initial blogs, but we're like trying to really build out like Okay if you're we want to own like the intro to Airway health space cuz a lot of people kind of what you mentioned you like go into it.

You have no idea what's out there, what the information is.

So we just want to like provide as much information as possible so people can understand maybe okay what's some factors that might be influencing their condition.


You know what are possible solutions they could try you know more on like conservative side but also you know what's also available like different.

I'm sure you know there's a lot of different paths people can go.

There's not really a good like guide for that.

So it's kind of like at least an intro level of.


Here's the.

You know, if you want to go down the rabbit holes and like the airway out, here's like the the starting points and then you know that's great, that's so needed.

You know, because I think I, I spend half my spare time talking people through it all.

But like that's what we need is like some actual introduction like you're saying just kind of say like these are different treatment options.


These are all the different specialists you might talk to, which is so many people who don't talk to each other.

So yeah.

That's cool.

And we've kind of got unique product as like we're trying to kind of the way we've structure our whole business.


Like our vision is to go after the billion people who have snoring and airway disorders.

So it's kind of like we're trying to hit as many people and educate them and at least start them on their journey to better airway health and improved breathing and sleep.


So it's like kind of that's how we've done our whole thing.

We've got like you know, affordable products, you know, relatives, everything else out there.

It's kind of like hopefully we can you know, use that to get as many people as possible.

And so that's kind of our mission is really, yeah, it's a big, big goal.


A billion people is like a lot.

But we can really prevent, you know, neuromuscular cause obstructive sleep apnea like that's, you know, that's exactly what we're trying to.

Well, thank you so much for your time.

I appreciate it.


Well, thank you.

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