What Ever Happened to That Brain-Zapping Headset for Athletes?

Olympians once embraced the brain-stimulating device in hopes of gaining a competitive edge without breaking any rules. But where is it now?

Amanda Pedersen

July 9, 2024

1 Min Read
3D illustration of a human brain with colorful synapses
Image by imaginima / iStock via Getty Images

With the 2024 Summer Olympic Games upon us, it seemed like an apt time to take a look at some of the devices that Olympians have embraced in the past in hopes of gaining a competitive edge, without breaking any rules.

Back in 2016, MD+DI published a story about Halo Neuroscience's Halo Sport. The now-defunct company claimed its brain-stimulating headset could improve an athlete's condition by sending a 2.0-mA signal to the motor cortex. The idea was that an athlete could wear the headset while working out to help their neurons react faster than usual, thus improving the athlete's ability to learn.

Not surprising, the company's claims were supported by small, non-peer-reviewed studies. Halo even had aspirations of pursuing FDA clearance to market the technology to stroke victims as a way to enhance their rehabilitation.

But it seems the company did not survive the pandemic and, in February 2021, another company using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in its products bought Halo's technology for an undisclosed sum.

Flow Neuroscience is using tDCS for a brain stimulation device designed to treat depression, however, and has secured a CE mark to sell the device in the European Union. The Swedish company decided to acquire Halo to use its research to enhance its tDCS depression headset.

About the Author(s)

Amanda Pedersen

Amanda Pedersen is a veteran journalist and award-winning columnist with a passion for helping medical device professionals connect the dots between the medtech news of the day and the bigger picture. She has been covering the medtech industry since 2006.

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