Less stress and better sleep, backed by science

Calming stream flowing through a forest
The Neuroscience Behind Apollo Watch

Born in a science lab

The Apollo Neuro technology originated from Dr. David Rabin MD, PhD’s research at the University of Pittsburgh and is based on several decades of scientific research into vibration frequencies and how they impact the body. As a neuroscientist and psychiatrist, Dr. Dave has always been fascinated by consciousness and our inherent ability to heal ourselves from illness and injury. After dedicating his career to understanding the impact of chronic stress on our well-being over 15 years ago, he observed a core challenge that confronts every single one of us - healthy behavior changes will benefit us in the long term, but making those changes when we’re under chronic stress is really, really hard.

The reason? Chronic stress itself. Our nervous system is there to keep us safe. When we face stress, our brains tell our bodies the equivalent of “Hey, there’s a lion over there! Get out of danger!” That’s why we have trouble sleeping, low energy, and a hard time focusing - it’s like the nervous system is saying “run” or “fight” when we’re just trying to get through our day. We developed Apollo Neuro to restore balance to the nervous system, calming the body to clear the mind, and leaving us feeling safe and in control of how we feel.

This made Dr. Dave wonder, could we use our body’s natural response to touch to restore balance to the nervous system, and if we could, would we be able to measure the change? The next big question was, could the feeling of safety be delivered to our bodies by sending soothing vibrations to our touch receptors with a wearable? The answer to both was yes – and Apollo Neuro was born!

Our Scientific Research Manifesto

First and foremost, Apollo Neuroscience is a company founded directly out of university science and research. We always lead with the scientific method, ask hard questions, leave no stone unturned, all guided by world-renowned expert physicians and researchers. Without rigorous academic science, our patients, the thousands of volunteer research subjects, and the support from the University of Pittsburgh, Apollo Neuro simply would not exist. As such, we are committed to only the most evidence-based scientific approaches to develop Apollo Neuro into a useful tool that improves our health and overall wellbeing.

The Five Science Principles of Apollo Neuro:

  1. All studies are conducted by independent university investigators and researchers that have no financial relationship with Apollo Neuroscience, unless clearly stated otherwise.
  2. All studies are independently funded (not funded by Apollo Neuroscience) unless clearly stated otherwise. To minimize bias as much as possible, nearly all studies of the Apollo technology are investigator sponsored studies and are funded by government and university research grants. Investigators do not have a conflict of interest and receive no compensation in any form from Apollo Neuroscience.
  3. Unlike other companies, we will never restrict publication of trial results. Every investigator is free to publish what they find in their studies. Every completed clinical trial of the Apollo Neuro technology is available to the public.
  4. We partner with world-renowned physicians and scientists to guide the Apollo Clinical Research Team to the highest standard of quality and rigor.
  5. We hold ourselves to the best practices of the more current scientific methodology. For example, Apollo Neuroscience is one of the only consumer wellness wearables showing statistically significant (p<0.05) positive results in double-blind randomized placebo-controlled crossover trials, the most rigorous form of clinical trial.

Apollo Neuro has been studied in seven completed clinical trials, with nine more underway. Across this research subjects experienced, on average:

less stress and feelings of anxiety
increase in HRV
Up to
more focus and concentration
faster physical recovery
Read about our studies
Right Arrow Icon.

Meet the Scientific Advisory Board

These leading experts oversee and support the rigor of the research behind Apollo Neuro.
Headshot of Michael Breus, PhD

Michael Breus, PhD

The Sleep Doctor; Double board-certified Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Sleep Specialist; Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine

Headshot of Rachel Yehuda, PhD

Rachel Yehuda, PhD

Vice Chair of Psychiatry, Endowed Professor of Psychiatry and the Neurobiology of Trauma, and Director of the Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai; Director of Mental Health and PTSD Programming, Department of Veterans Affairs

Headshot of Dr. Nicole Beurkens PhD

Dr. Nicole Beurkens, PhD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Board Certified Nutritionist specializing in evaluation and treatment of children with serious developmental and mental health conditions

Headshot of Ronald D. Siegel, MD

Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School

Headshot of Belinda Tan MD, PhD

Belinda Tan MD, PhD

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; Co-Founder of Science 37, a market leader in virtual clinical trials; Co-Founder and Co-CEO of People Science

Headshot of Joseph C. Maroon, MD, FACS

Joseph C. Maroon, MD, FACS

Clinical Professor, Vice Chairman of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Heindl Scholar in Neuroscience; Team Neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers

Headshot of Dr. Ben Kelmendi

Ben Kelmendi, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University; Co-Director, Yale Program for Psychedelic Science; Co-Founder, Yale Psychedelic Science Group

Headshot of Bryan Donohue, MD, FACC

Bryan Donohue, MD, FACC

Interventional Cardiologist, Former Chair of Medicine & Chief of Cardiology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Improved quality of sleep

To study the effects of Apollo Neuro’s stress-busting technology on sleep, our research team launched a real-world observational sleep study with over 500 users conducted over three years. Through analysis of this treasure trove of sleep data, rarely available at such high volumes and in real-world settings, we observed the following trends from those who used the Apollo wearable consistently (at least 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, during the day and night):

average increase in deep sleep
average increase in REM sleep
average increase in HRV
average decrease in resting heart rate
less stress and anxiety, on average

“High quality sleep is essential. But we’re evolved to not be able fall asleep when we are under real or perceived threat because we’re not very good at defending ourselves while we’re asleep. Many of us experience stress much of the day, and we live in a state of constant fight-or-flight. With Apollo Neuro, we’re finally able to access sleep and relaxed states when we need them most.”

Headshot of Dr. David Rabin, MD, PhD

Dr. David Rabin, MD, PhD

Neuroscientist & Psychiatrist, Apollo Neuro

Stress 101

Our health and survival are dependent on the dynamic relationship between the two branches of the autonomic nervous system: the parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) branch and the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) branch.

Biology of stress

Chronic stress strains the whole body by over-activating the sympathetic nervous system, releasing stress hormones like cortisol, making breathing shallow and fast, and sending heart rate up and Heart Rate Variability (HRV) down.

When the fight-or-flight response is overactive it makes it physiologically harder to focus, meditate, relax, or sleep. Your body and mind are both signaling each other that you are unsafe, under threat, and need to be escaping danger — not sleeping or focusing on work. It leaves you sleepless, restless, distracted, and in overdrive.

Line art drawing of a brain on a green abstract background

The science of touch

There is a deep biological connection between your sense of touch and your emotional wellbeing. When you touch something, the touch receptors in the skin send a signal to the center of the brain, and that signal branches in two directions: one to your somatosensory cortex, the part that characterizes if the touch is soft, rough, slow, fast, hot, or cold and the second to your emotional cortex, the feeling part of feeling, the part that associates emotion with touch.

When you feel the Apollo wearable, you feel more than vibration, you feel a rhythm that signals your emotional cortex to evoke a certain state, the same way that the right song can set a mood.

Line art drawing of two hands touching on a blue abstract background

HRV and stress

Heart rate variability (HRV) is one of the most reliable biomarkers of resilience and ability to recover from stress. HRV is a measure of the variability between heartbeats, a function controlled by your autonomic nervous system. When your HRV increases, it indicates a more balanced nervous system ready to adapt to the ebbs and flows of the day.

Low HRV indicates that you are not recovered — your body isn’t bouncing back from stress and is spending too much time in fight-or-flight mode. This is also a sign that you’re more likely to get sick and less likely to recover quickly.

Line art drawing of a heart on a blue abstract background
Woman using her phone and a Stealth Apollo

Take control of how you’d like to feel, today.