Wearable health technology has come a long way from the bulbous, belt worn pedometers of yesteryear. With every generation, tech companies have packed modern health trackers with an ever-growing list of sensors, claiming to empower users by providing rich data to improve health and wellbeing. However, diagnostics are of little use if not acted upon. Backed by evidence-based neuroscience and clinical trials, the Apollo wearable was designed by health professionals to actively train your nervous system to deliver elevated mood, more restful sleep, focus and mental clarity.
A common trend in technology is to consolidate. We see this in the move toward standardised inputs and cables, where we are in a late stage run off between USB type A and C. Gone are the oodles of proprietary plugs, cables and adaptors. Even our mobile phones are innocuously replacing all our other gadgetry through an ever-growing feature set. Think back to the last time you carried both a portable camera and your phone. Absolute madness, right? For many, this convergence is ideal, simplifying our everyday carry. But, for others, having an ‘all-rounder’ device simply doesn’t cut it. When it matters, a device that specialises in a particular function makes all the difference. And that’s where Apollo comes in.
How Does It Work?
While the Apollo device shares the dimensions of a Whoop band and may look similar to a modern fitness tracker, it differentiates itself by providing unique functionality. The Apollo doesn’t try to monitor various bodily metrics and spit out real time data without offering guidance on how to improve your wellness. Instead, the device’s sole purpose is to help regulate and improve your HRV, or Heart Rate Variability, by providing active feedback designed to short-circuit anxiety and train your body to become more resilient to stress.
See, the idea is that the more variable your heartrate, the more adaptive your body will be to various conditions. Think of it like your immune system; you wouldn’t want your body to fight a life-threatening illness with the same level of antibodies that it employs to ward off a simple cold. A lower (less adaptive) HRV means your body may be at risk of anxiety, depression or insomnia, whilst a higher HRV is indicative of mental clarity, better cognitive performance and more restful sleep. And just like you train your body, your HRV can likewise be improved upon.
The Apollo device acts as your personal trainer, by providing subtle prompts via a proprietary, silent vibration system. These signals are designed to mimic the soothing power of touch, which will help to re-train your autonomic nervous system overtime. The wearer can also configure the type of signals received from the device via the Apollo Neuro app, selecting from a range of patterns including those designed for waking up, recovery, sleep and mindfulness among others.
There’s Science At Play
Dr. David Rabin and Dr. Greg Siegle, the founders of Apollo, studied the effect of vibrations through double-blind, randomised and placebo-controlled trials at the University of Pittsburgh. Their findings indicated that specific vibrational patterns (as used in the Apollo device) led to an increase in focus, better physiological recovery and an improved resilience to stress. Additional pilot studies and trials have strengthened these findings by consistently demonstrating that the use of Apollo vibrations improved HRV while under stress, provided easier access to meditative states and improved athletic recovery.
Science is an ongoing process of investigation and the team behind Apollo are continuing to test the benefits of the device across a broad spectrum of wellbeing markers. As of late 2021, an Apollo sleep study is currently underway, with preliminary results indicating more favourable outcomes. Users of the device reported an increase of nearly 20% for deep sleep and 6% in total sleep time. Impressive when you consider this device as a possible alternative to pharmaceutical sleep aids which often come with unwanted side effects including addiction and cognitive impairment.
What’s The Verdict?
We’ve seen many different iterations of wearable health tech over the years, though the Apollo certainly stands out as a device born of science and backed by a strong pedigree of health professionals and evidence-based clinical trials. Does it live up to the lofty physiological claims? Well, the consensus among the tech and health industry is yes, but we’d like to see for ourselves, so stay tuned for our full review.
The Apollo wearable is available for purchase at the following link.Buy Apollo
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