Anders, our CEO, became interested in this problem through clinical immersion during his Master of Science in Medical Device Innovation program at the University of Minnesota in 2017.He was shocked to learn that 80% of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients are undiagnosed and that there is only a 60% compliance rate with the gold standard treatment, continuous positive air pressure (CPAP).Anders put together a team after his Master’s program to determine how best to solve this unmet need. One study that piqued the team’s interest was a study that used playing the didgeridoo as a method of reducing apnea-hypopnea index and improving sleep quality. This led to further research into studies that used oropharyngeal exercises to strengthen the muscles of the mouth and throat. These exercises seemed like the most natural approach to addressing one of the main root causes of the problem, the tongue falling back in the throat and cutting off breathing (apnea, hypopnea) and/or causing tissue vibration (snoring).
In June of 2019, the team transitioned from studying the anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and oropharygneal exercises, to developing a solution. The team heavily utilized human-centered design practices to develop a device that people will actually want to use. The novel simplified therapy was developed, but...How do you deliver it in a way to get people to exercise their mouth muscles every day? During one of the team’s brainstorms, a crazy concept emerged. What if you could eat something healthy while also exercising the muscles in the correct way? It wasn’t until a couple of months later when one of the team members was looking at their dog’s peanut butter Kong (a dog toy that you put a treat or peanut butter in and they lick it out) that everything clicked!
Anders is a passionate medical innovator who spent 9 months traveling and studying healthcare in Asia and Africa to understand health needs around the world. Previously, he worked as a mechanical engineer at Medtronic and has an MS in Medical Device Innovation and a BS in Biomedical Engineering.
Gunnar is an experienced innovator in the healthcare world. He’s worked in enterprise strategy where he has been responsible for bringing new products and services to market as well as evaluating external partnerships and M&A opportunities. Gunnar believes in a human-centric approach to innovation, ensuring that his work makes the lives of his customers easier.
Jennifer is passionate about improving lives through advances in health care with a BS in Dental Hygiene and more than 28 years of clinical dental hygiene experience. Previously she worked in private dental practice, served as an assistant clinical instructor at the University of MN and as the National Sales Manager for The Canary System.
Evan is a manufacturing engineer with a quality mindset who pairs early-stage medical device R&D experience with high volume new product integration and sustaining manufacturing. Evan holds a Bachelor degree of Biomedical Engineering with an emphasis on Biomechanics.
Bob has been a medical speech pathologist in private practice for over 30 years. He holds a masters degree in speech pathology from Eastern Illinois University. He has completed continuing education in voice evaluation and care, fluency disorders, oral myofunctional disorders, myofascial evaluation and care, and oral motor speech evaluation and therapy. He has continued an avocational study in areas of brain science, learning science, behavior and muscle function.
Bjorn was an R&D engineer on the team who is now attending Rush Medical College for his Doctorate of Medicine. He holds a Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering with an emphasis on Cell and Tissue Engineering. In the past he’s worked with devices to ensure that the products fulfill biocompatibility requirements and ensure patient safety. He helped design and develop the REMplenish bottle, but now serves as an advisor in a more passive role.
Sami is a dental hygienist specializing in myofunctional therapy and has been in private practice since 2016. She graduated from Argosy University with an Associate’s of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene. She has completed continuing education in the evaluation and care of oral myofunctional disorders. She has also continued study in the areas of muscle function, tethered oral tissues, and behavioral science.
Tyler is a motivated and experienced medical device engineer specializing in start-ups and research and development. He has an accomplished academic background, including a Bachelor’s of Biomedical Engineering, Minor In Neuroscience, Master’s of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Electrical and Neural Engineering. Tyler has previously worked at St. Jude Medical as a research and development engineer, as well as two medical device startups with leadership roles.
Abbi is a passionate creative who began her design career as an artist and photographer. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a BFA in photography and continued her education with the Interactive Design Foundation. She believes it is important to keep up with design trends and new software and programs and does so weekly. She has worked as a professional product photographer, website designer, user experience designer, product designer, and graphics designer.
Dan is a public relations professional based in Minnetonka. He works at Life Time, Inc. and was previously a reporter at the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal and WJON Radio in St. Cloud. He graduated with a degree in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University in 2014. Outside of PR, Dan enjoys running, trying new foods, and writing for his bird feeding blog.