The Apollo Neuro is a wearable device for stress relief. The brand claims that their product improves sleep, focus, heart rate variability (HRV), physical recovery, and sense of calmness.
In this article we’ll review the health claims made by Apollo Neuro based on published medical research to determine if we recommend the product. We’ll also explain why we believe the company is engaging in misleading and deceptive marketing.
Misleading Health Claims
Apollo’s website claims that their product was “Born in the Lab,” but they publish no medical research proving their product is effective for any of the stated health claims.
You can search PubMed, which is the largest database of clinical trials in the U.S., for the term “Apollo Neuro” and zero results will be returned.
Apollo Neuro claims that the product’s efficacy “has been validated in a number of independent and university-led trials,” however they don’t appear to link to any of them and we can’t find a single one.
A recent blog post on their site claims that a clinical study validates the Apollo’s impact on HRV, but they don’t link to the study anywhere in the article. Instead they link to a YouTube video of a presentation by one of their founders, which is misleading and confusing to readers.
If a brand claims that their products are clinically proven to work, they need to link to clinical research proving their products work. Making claims of clinical efficacy without proof is unethical and unscientific, and we would recommend avoiding this product for this reason alone.
How Does Apollo Neuro Work?
The proposed mechanism of action of the Apollo Neuro is called “touch therapy.” The company claims that low frequencies of sound waves emitted from their device can cause changes in our nervous system that improve the way we respond to stress.
We can’t find any medical research backing these claims. We searched PubMed for any research published on sound waves and stress (not just published by Apollo but by anyone), and nothing came up.
This doesn’t mean Apollo is necessarily ineffective, just that there doesn’t appear to be any proof backing their claims.
We know from medical studies that meditation music is proven to be effective for reducing stress, and this music can be accessed at no cost, so it seems illogical to use sound waves for touch therapy rather than using sound waves for music therapy which has more research backing.
Apollo Neuro Team
Apollo was founded by a credentialed medical expert, which is generally a good sign for a medical device brand. David Rabin is a Medical Doctor (MD) and holds a PhD. His background is in neuroscience and psychiatry; both relevant fields to this company.
No one else on their team appears to have any medical credentials, including his wife Kathryn Fantauzzi who is the CEO of the company.
Given the founder’s background, we hope that research emerges in the future proving the efficacy of the Apollo device. Their site claims that many medical trials are currently in progress.
We’re surprised that an MD with a PhD would make claims of clinical efficacy without publishing the research, given that he’s necessarily familiar with the process of clinical trials.
The most well-proven, and free, alternative to a wearable device for stress management is daily meditation. Meditation is proven in medical research to reduce stress and cause favorable adaptations to the nervous system. It can cause the effects that Apollo claims their product can cause but at zero cost, and all that’s required is a bit of discipline.
The meditation practice we recommend, and the one outlined in the book The Science of Meditation, is a 25 minute practice with the first 15 minutes dedicated to focusing on the present moment and releasing thoughts, and the final 10 minutes dedicated to visualizations with the eyes closed.
This book was written by psychologist Daniel Goleman PhD and is a must-read for anyone skeptical about the research benefits of meditation.
For consumers who want a supplemental alternative for stress, ashwagandha is proven to reduce stress on average. This herbal supplement has been used for thousands of years for its adaptogenic function, and clinical trials prove that it can reduce stress and decrease morning levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone.
We recommend an ashwagandha product which is standardized for withanolides, at a range of 2.5-5%, because this is the standard most frequently used in medical research. Look for a brand that publishes independent testing proving the purity of their ashwagandha supplement, because this herb is often grown in India where there are relatively high levels of environmental pollution.