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In conversation with Mendi CEO Moha Bensofia

We sat down with Moha to talk braincare, neuroplasticity, and how he’s bringing lab-grade technology to the home user.

Heights
March 15, 2022
6 min read

Nutrition is an essential part of braincare, but it’s not the only part. Keeping your brain active and engaged is also key—a workout, as it were.

So for Brain Awareness Week, we’ve teamed up with them to give you 15% off the Mendi headset—a piece of wearable technology that allows you to watch your brain activity in real time, and shows you how you can improve it.

We also spoke to Mendi CEO, Moha Bensofia, about their journey to this point, where next for the team, and why he’s a fan of the Smart Supplement.

Article breakdown

Tell us about Mendi? How was it founded? 

The story begins when our two founders, Rickard and Sammy, crossed paths. This was back in 2018. Sammy was working in one of a series of fast-paced and demanding jobs and it started to take its toll on his mental health. 

Crippled by stress and anxiety, he took a career break to address his problems. He learned about, and started using, neurofeedback—live visual feedback of what your brain is doing—which allows you to train it to function better. After some amazing improvements, he started his own neurofeedback clinic to help others. That’s where he met Rickard, an engineer from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, with experience in self-contained computers and embedded technology. 

Rickard had started researching neurofeedback technology after experiencing burn-out symptoms himself, and he found the equipment and software used in clinics was completely outdated. The potential was obvious—small, inexpensive hardware, available to everyone, not just those who can afford treatment in specialised clinics.

Sammy and Rickard hit it off and the rest is history.

What is your brand mission?

We want to make every brain healthier. We want to do everything we can to bring brain health to as many people as possible. 

It’s time to raise the bar on brain health, in an ethical way that puts regular people first. So we need to make this technology accessible in terms of price, awareness, knowledge, and user experience. 

Tell us about the Mendi product, what sets you apart from others on the market?

The Mendi headset comes with an app that has training games that can be controlled with nothing but the activity in the prefrontal cortex.

Our overall health starts with our brain. Fans of Heights already know this. 

At its core, Mendi is a brain-training headset that uses neurofeedback technology to help you see what’s happening inside of your brain in real-time and, more importantly, take control of it. The headset comes with a beautiful, easy-to-use app to help you stay on top of your training and learn about other ways to look after your brain health and mental well-being.

The Mendi headset uses advanced functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure the blood flow and oxygenation in the prefrontal cortex. Our state-of-the-art technology has been independently tested to match lab-grade fNIRS equipment. This isn’t new technology—it’s existed for decades and is used every day in clinics and research—it just hasn’t been available for home use before Mendi. And of course, it’s completely non-invasive and safe to use by everyone. 

What are the most important challenges people face today when it comes to brain health and mental wellbeing?

We live our lives at an increasingly fast pace, with an expectation to be constantly available, constantly switched on. But the human brain isn’t wired for this. It hasn't changed materially since the days when we were hunters and gatherers. The modern world is pushing our cognitive bandwidth way beyond its evolutionary capacity.

It has become exceedingly difficult to carry out tasks that require deep focus. According to research, the average office worker only focuses for three minutes on one task at a time, and more children are being diagnosed with attentional problems than ever before.

Focus and concentration are essential for long-term learning and knowledge retention. But it’s not simple when you're bombarded with distractions you’re naturally wired to respond to—a text message from a friend, a news flash, or whatever’s making your phone or watch vibrate. When basic cognitive forces like focus, attention, and concentration collapse, our ability to think critically and solve problems deteriorates.

In short, we all need help to maintain our focus, and that’s a skill that needs to be trained. Mendi can do that for you.

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How does Mendi support brain health?

Mendi’s neurofeedback practice, combined with small lifestyle tips, can help change your behaviours for the better, teaching you how to manage, and get the most out of, modern life. And as the brain affects every part of our body, improving cognitive function can improve your physical well-being too.

What's next for Mendi? 

We’re excited for the next few months and years, here’s what we’re working on:

  1. We’ve learned a lot from two years of serving tens of thousands of customers, for example the critical role our ability to focus plays on our overall brain health and how many people are struggling with this. Focus is not something that improves quickly, it requires dedication and lots of practice in combination with an understanding of how focus works and what impacts it. Mendi is investing in a new product experience that is going to work harder on keeping your motivation up so you keep on pushing towards the brain you’ve always wanted.

  2. We’re developing additional in-app training experiences to keep the regular practice engaging. We’ll begin experimenting with this in the next few months.

  3. We’re working on ways to personalise your journey to better focus through improved data visualisation and progress tracking. We’re also integrating with sensors and data like Apple Health and Google Fit to develop tailor-made programs for you to further improve your ability to focus.

Where did the name come from?

The name is, as you probably guessed, a play on the word “mend”, to heal or improve. Here, that refers to healing and improving the mind. 

Finally, why are you and the Mendi team fans of Heights?

We’ve been following the Heights journey since the very start. We’re really impressed by the team’s vision of advancing brain health globally—a vision we very much share—and its commitment to educating people about the importance of our brains.

Neurofeedback is just one part of braincare. What you put into your body plays a massively important role as well. And when it comes to braincare supplements, Heights is far and away the best product on the market. I’ve been a subscriber myself for more than a year now. Absolutely love it!

As part of Brain Awareness Week 2022, we’ve teamed up with Mendi to give you 15% off a Mendi headband. Get yours now.

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