ObeEnd Combines Neuromodulation with Fitness Tracking to Promote Weight Loss
Neuwave Technology Inc. initiates the development plan for ObeEnd. The project team consists of dozens of healthcare experts, with the goal to create an innovative wearable technology. ObeEnd would be a wristband that uses neuromodulation to help users overcome obesity.
Background of neuromodulation. Neuromodulation is the alteration of nerve activity through targeted delivery of a stimulus, such as electrical stimulation or chemical agents, to specific neurological sites in the body. Neuromodulation works by either actively stimulating nerves to produce a natural biological response or by applying targeted pharmaceutical agents in tiny doses directly to site of action.
ObeEnd would use targeted neuromodulation technology via precise electric stimulating on acupuncture point PC6 to control body weight. ObeEnd's developmental plan revolves around the following objectives:
1.Energy balance. With the increase in prevalence of obesity among both adults and children in the U.S., future generations are at risk of avoidable obesity-induced pathologies. In order to reduce obesity, it is important to control the balance between one's energy intake and energy expenditure.1 This could be achieved via targeted neuromodulation, which would lead to improved control of body weight.
2.Appetite reduction. ObeEnd would be an innovative fitness tracking device. While monitoring the physical activities of its users, it would be designed to use targeted neuromodulation to control the user's appetite. Through this high precision electrical stimulation, several activities involved in energy-intake, including gastric acid secretion and stomach peristalsis, could be significantly reduced (gastric acid output decreased by 30.5%).2,3 Gastro myoelectrical activity (period dominant frequency, PDF), another important factor in energy in-take, has been shown to be decreased by up to 78%.4 Several studies have demonstrated that, by reducing these activities via carefully administered neuromodulation, there could be increased control over long term appetite, leading to significant reduction in BMI, lipid mass, and waist size.3,5,6
3.WAT browning. Human body fat is composed of two types: white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). WAT the form of stored body fat that leads to obesity. BAT on the other hand, is responsible for generating heat within the human body via thermogenesis. Therefore, converting WAT into BAT would be an effective method to reduce obesity. This is also shown to be achievable via electrically stimulated expression of uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1), which is responsible for heat generation, body temperature regulation, and body weight control.7
4.Post-exercise recovery. In addition to controlling energy intake via diet, it is also imperative to maintain regular energy expenditure. Enhancing exercise performance and promoting post-exercise recovery are two factors that are important in sustaining regular exercise habits. Electroacupuncture stimulation has been demonstrated to significantly improve both exercise performance and post-exercise recovery for athletes.8 ObeEnd would be designed to achieve this effect via its neuromodulation on acupuncture point PC6, in addition to tracking fitness activities of its users for optimal performance.
Obesity has become a global issue that affects over one billion people worldwide.9 it is responsible for numerous physiological consequences that could be avoided with adjustments in one's daily routine. Reduction in body weight has been shown to decrease risk of diabetes by 58%.7 By combining neuromodulation with fitness tracking, ObeEnd would be designed to remove common roadblocks to successful weight loss: poor diet control and lack of routine exercising. Users would receive the help they need to develop a long-lasting healthy lifestyle.
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9.Zhang R, Tan J, Li F, Ma Y, Han L, Yang X. Acupuncture for the Treatment of Obesity in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Postgrad Med J. 2017.