Hopewell-based Within Health Technologies, LLC (dba “Innerstill”) is among 17 startups recently awarded a combined $1.275 million in grants. On Friday January 20, 2023, the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority announced the grants, which will accelerate the development of technologies, products, and services supporting maternal and child wellbeing. The grants were awarded through CSIT’s Maternal and Infant Health Research & Development (R&D) Grant Program, which launched last June.
Innerstill is launching mindvybe™, a portable, non-invasive vagus nerve and acupoint stimulator that balances mood and improves feelings of wellness. “We believe that our technology will be incredibly helpful to moms suffering mood swings or the ‘baby blues’ due to hormonal fluctuations following childbirth,’ said Hopewell Borough resident Ellyn Ito, who is Innerstill’s CEO and co-founder. “As a medication-free solution with no side-effects, mindvybe does not interfere with other drugs and poses no interactions for breast-feeding moms.”
Through the Maternal and Infant Health R&D Seed Grant Program, CSIT will advance the innovation economy through the development of critically necessary research, products, and services designed to support maternal and infant health. This effort supports the goals established by the Nurture NJ Strategic Plan, which aims to make New Jersey the safest place in America to deliver a baby, specifically focusing on ending racial disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes. Launched in 2019 by Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy, Nurture NJ is a comprehensive, whole-of-government effort to reduce maternal and infant mortality and morbidity and ensure equitable care among women and children of all races and ethnicities in New Jersey.
“I am incredibly honored that my company is among the awardees of this grant. Not only because the funds will allow us to move more quickly in getting mindvybe out to those who need it, but also because the mission of Nuture NJ is so close to my heart,” Ito commented.
“New Jersey is home to some of the most innovative startups across a myriad of industries, and it is my honor to be here today to recognize some of the top startups in maternal and infant health,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy at Friday’s press conference.“As we celebrate our sixth annual Maternal Health Awareness Day here in New Jersey, I reflect on the significant work we have accomplished and what has yet to come. In the next three years, a top priority is to build a thriving Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center in Trenton that will continue this groundbreaking work long past the Murphy administration. I am certain that today’s grant recipients will be essential partners to the Center and to Nurture NJ.”
About mindvybe™ : the vagus nerve is the longest bundle of nerves that spans from the brain to the gut. It is responsible for managing the body’s automatic functions, including breathing, heart rate, digestion, the immune/inflammatory response, and the modulation of the “feel good” hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and the calming hormone, GABA. Research shows that electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve can create an action potential that balances these autonomic functions through stabilizing neurohormones.
mindvybe™ delivers imperceptible levels of microcurrent to the skin near the vagus nerve using an ear piece and an adhesive neck electrode. A small clip on each earlobe gently stimulates acupressure points that help to extend feelings of calm. “In addition to new moms, over 400 users have tested mindvybe and the response is impressive.
In as little as five 25-minute sessions, users have experienced lasting relaxation and calm,” explained Ellyn. “If we can resolve mood imbalances, like the baby blues, at the very start, perhaps we can stop the progression to full-blown diagnoses of anxiety or depression that often result in the need for pharmaceutical interventions that come with unwanted side-effects.”
The CSIT grant will allow the company to continue market testing with target populations and increase speed-to-market. More information can be found at www.innerstillhealth.com