MATTER Startup Spotlight: NYX Technologies
Personalized sleep technology that simply works
According to the SleepFoundation.org, 10 to 15 percent of people have chronic insomnia with symptoms sometimes severe enough to affect a person’s performance at work and their social or family life.
MATTER member NYX Technologies has developed a non-invasive, wearable device that helps people with chronic insomnia fall asleep. Hear from NYX Technologies CEO Eyal Lewin on their solution, their story and lessons he’s learned from working in digital health for the past few decades.
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
MATTER: Tell me about NYX Technologies’ solution.
Eyal: Nyx is the goddess of the night, hence our name. We provide a solution to help people sleep better, aimed at the most common sleep disorder, chronic insomnia. Our solution is a headband that uses EEG sensors to non-invasively read brain waves while someone is falling asleep.
After reading the brainwaves, the headband can then “talk to” the brain by applying a low-intensity electrical current to the brain through electrodes on the scalp to tell the brain to go to sleep. This conversation with the brain is different for each individual based on their unique neuro oscillations.
The headband is connected to an app that people can access from their mobile device. At the end of the night, the device will send data to the app where people can see insights on how they slept the previous night.
MATTER: How is your solution different from others on the market?
Eyal: There is no other treatment on the market today that is as personalized as ours and that doesn’t interfere with other possible treatments. For example, when someone with dementia is prescribed a new medication, it can interact with other medications and be less effective or cause side effects. Our headband doesn’t affect any other treatments someone may be receiving.
Also, our headband doesn’t require any gel or liquid to connect to the electrodes. We’ve developed it to receive a solid signal through dry electrodes, making it easier and cleaner for the patient to use.
MATTER: What milestones have you reached so far?
Eyal: We’ve created our own double-blind clinical trial in Germany with people who have Parkinson’s disease, since 80 percent of people with Parkinson’s experience insomnia. The study is underway, and we’ve seen positive results so far. We’re also pursuing FDA 510(k) clearance and have started a multi-site study in Tel-Aviv and at UPenn to demonstrate its safety and effectiveness.
MATTER: What’s the NYX Technologies story?
Eyal: Ophir Orenstein, our co-founder and chief technology officer, wanted to study lucid dreams and meditation from a young age. He received his bachelor’s in biology and psychology and then pursued his master’s in neuroscience. During his time in school, he researched neuro networks and how to stimulate them with transcranial alternating current stimulation.
Once he realized it was possible to stimulate neuro networks through this method, he decided to create NYX Technologies to further develop this technology and bring a solution to market to help people around the world. After years of additional research and product development, we’ve developed a robust, commercially viable product to address chronic insomnia. We believe our technology has other potential applications, but we’ve narrowed our focus to insomnia for the time being.
MATTER: What’s your background, and how did it prepare you for your role at NYX Technologies?
Eyal: I started working in digital health in 2004 at SHL Telemedicine, which provided remote patient monitoring for different disease states, starting with heart disease and moving into diabetes and lung disease. This gave me a wealth of experience working at the intersection of remote monitoring devices, software and chronic conditions as well as collaborating with large healthcare companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, B. Braun and Siemens.
MATTER: What advice would you give to entrepreneurs just starting out?
Eyal: The more I’ve learned, the more I understand how much I don’t know. My advice to any entrepreneur is to not think that you know better than others. Always say yes to receiving advice and brainstorming. And be flexible — it’s okay to change decisions and your mindset.
Another piece of advice I’d give is to narrow your focus. For example, our technology could allow us to go into gaming or ADHD, but we’re focused on treating insomnia. When starting out, you should concentrate on one thing and do it really well.
MATTER: What value have you gained from MATTER?
Eyal: We have gotten some great advice from an Israeli VC and other stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem that MATTER introduced us to.
At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 800 current and alumni startups from around the world, working together with dozens of hospitals and health systems, universities and industry-leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together we are accelerating innovation, advancing care and improving lives. For more information, visit matter.health and follow @MATTERhealth.
About NYX Technologies
NYX provides the most effective and easy-to-use solution to immediately enhance quality sleep, night by night. Our adaptive and science-backed method profoundly improves a person’s overall health and well-being, day by day. With active and adaptive technology, NYX offers a new, safe and effective method many people have been waiting for. We provide a product that immediately enhances the natural quality of sleep. NYX headband does the work — just wear it and sleep is well-induced.