Ep. 102: The latest in healthtech: Music dispensed as medicine through a “digital drip;” with MediMusic’s Gary Jones

Ep. 102: The latest in healthtech: Music dispensed as medicine through a “digital drip;” with MediMusic’s Gary Jones

Photo courtesy of MediMusic

MediMusic, a British health tech start-up, uses scientific research to unlock music’s transformative medical benefits. It’s new device, the MediBeat, uses artificial intelligence to prescribe music for anxiety and pain, reducing the reliance on drugs in a wide variety of applications, including treatment of dementia, chronic pain, dentistry, pre/post operation, and physical therapy & rehab.

Gary Jones, CEO & co-founder of MediMusic
Gary Jones

Guest

My guest today is joining me from across the pond in England, through the wonders of technology. Gary Jones is an award-winning product entrepreneur with 30 years of experience in content management and music. Gary has worked on projects for companies including Sony, Intel, Yahoo, and News International. Gary is the CEO and co-founder of MediMusic, a British health tech start-up that uses scientific research to unlock music’s transformative medical benefits.

Notes

We discuss:

  • What IS MediMusic’s new product, the MediBeat, and how does it work?
    • The brain responds to music more than any other stimulus. MediMusic’s algorithms extract the relevant features from the digital DNA of a piece of music, resulting in a fingerprint for healthcare use.
    • Using Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and the data about the patient, MediMusic then automatically creates playlists from music streaming services within a couple of clicks and plays the music through a streaming device called the MediBeat and a pair of headphones.
    • Each chosen track is ‘heartrate optimised’ to reduce anxiety, stress or pain, improve quality of life and streamline healthcare workflow.
    • A heart rate monitor worn on the wrist allows MediMusic to monitor the physiological effect of a piece of music upon a listener and if the listener’s heart rate does not respond as expected, MediMusic’s ‘Digital Drip’ uses Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to swap out forthcoming playlist tracks to invoke slower relaxation if required.
  • How is the MediBeat’s efficacy measured?
  • Statistics show music can reduce the use of drugs in treating anxiety and pain in patients by up to 25%.
  • MediBeat’s initial clinical trial results and medication cost savings.
  • The results have been so promising that the MediBeat is now being used to combat work stress for health care workers. Stress is believed to account for over 30% of sickness absence in the NHS, costing the service up to £400 million per year. Almost half of NHS staff in England (44%) have reported feeling unwell from work related stress during 2020, the highest rate recorded in the past five years.
  • What’s the next step for MediBeat approval?
  • How did MediMusic come to be?

Connect/Other Resources

  • The article that first introduced me to MediMusic: AI-powered tech could lead to prescribed music for anxiety and pain, by Med-Tech News (5/11/21)
  • MediMusic website
  • Medi Music on LinkedIn
  • Twitter: @medimusic_
  • Facebook: @MediMusicLimited
  • We mention:
    1. Ep. 67 with Dr. Nolan Gasser, chief architect of Pandora’s Music Genome Project 
    2. Ep. 65‘s Coda related to dental anxiety, and our guest’s successful use of “the most calming music ever” as a coping mechanism for a necessary dental procedure
  • If you enjoyed this conversation, you may also enjoy:
    1. Ep. 57: Musical Universe is a US-based technology company that combines music, science, and psychology to advance understanding about the power of music, and the link between musical tastes and personality. Musical Universe has been called “a 23andMe for music,” and its data has been used by research teams from top institutions, including Cambridge University, Columbia University, and Oxford University, to advance knowledge within and outside the field of music.
    2. Ep. 89: Analysis of a song’s mathematical structure has led to technology called Hit Song Science (HSS).

In-Episode Promo

This is a quick break to tell you about the digital sheet music site I have used for probably a decade! Sheet Music Direct is powered by music publisher Hal Leonard. They have more than a million sheet music arrangements that you can view – and listen to – right from your device for convenient online shopping and immediate downloads of educational, classical, and pop scores representing any genre and holiday. Prices start at $0.99 and you can both print your purchases instantly and access them on any device, which really comes in handy for our family when we’re out of state visiting Grandma & Grandpa, and they want to hear my kids play the piano! Sheet Music Direct has saved me countless hours of driving to music stores and sifting through bins of sheet music and books to find the right song (and hoping the perfect song isn’t out of stock). Access the latest hits and yesterday’s classics at sheetmusicdirect.com.

In-Episode Promo

The Business Side of Music podcast 

Coda

Gary says: The first time I tried out my MediMusic playlist theory with the parents of a friend, one of whom has vascular dementia. She was extremely agitated and upset. Not only did she calm down but started singing along and her husband – who has immense difficulty relating to her now. The interaction and joy on his face is something I will never forget.

Closing Words

Thanks to Gary for telling us about this exciting new application of music’s power in healthcare, and to him and his team at MediMusic for all they do to enhance lives with music. There are links in the show notes to MediMusic and to the other episodes we mentioned in our conversation. Enhance Life with Music has passed our 100th episode milestone, and our 2nd birthday is coming up in August! We would love to have you help us celebrate this 2nd BD milestone in two ways; I have two requests today!

  1. One is to rate and leave a written review in whatever podcasting app you use, or on Podchaser.com. I’ll be reading reviews on the show as part of our celebration! Every podcast app is a little different in terms of how you rate and review, so I won’t go into detailed instructions here; but if you just google “review a podcast on Apple podcasts” for example, you’ll find instructions specific to your app.
  2. Our 2nd request is to vote for us in The People’s Choice Podcast Awards! We’ve been nominated for this award, and voting began July 1 and continues throughout the month of July. Go to podcastawards.com/; you’ll find us in the Music Category.

 Thank you so much in advance for helping us celebrate our birthday in these two ways! As always, you’ll find a transcription of this episode in the show notes. And you’ll find me on email (mindy@mpetersonmusic.com), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. All links are on my website and in the episode details right in your podcast app. Thank you so much for joining me today. Until next week, may your life be enhanced with music.

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