Meet Irina Nazarova, former Editor-in-Chief at the largest entertainment magazine in Russia, to now marketing director of two New York-based health companies. She’s taking smart wearable system and inspiring developers to use the technology to understand the brain. We sat down with Irina to discuss the industry and its power to change the medical technology world.
Grit Daily: You had your own adventures before joining BrainBit and MemoryMD. Share those.
Irina Nazarova: For 10 years, I was editor-in-chief of one of the popular magazines in Russia. The magazine was base on the longest-running reality show in Russia, called DOM-2. This show was often known as the Russian Kardashians. The idea of the show was to find love and build relationships. I became the editor-in-chief when I was 27. Over 10 years, we were twice-named the most popular magazine for young people. We received a prestigious design award, Promax, for the design of the magazine. I managed to gather a great team, we were hard-working colleagues during the day and good friends after work. I miss my team a lot.
I was always adventurous and curious about new projects, so whenever I had a chance, I participated. I helped to open the first bubble tea shop in Russia called Teafunny. For that, I traveled to Taiwan to learn more about the concept and happy to say that it’s now a franchise chain.
Grit Daily: For the uninitiated, what is “Smart EEG?”
IN: People are becoming more conscious about their health. They use devices like Fitbits and smartwatches to collect data about their health and exercise. They also want to understand how their brain works.
Smart EEG devices belong to the smart wearable system (SWS) family, also called smart wearable, and are used to monitor your brain activity. EEG stands for Electroencephalography. It is a physiological method used to record the electrical activity generated by the brain. The classic perception of EEG is mostly limited to the medical or scientific spheres. For example, an EEG test is a crucial test for an epilepsy diagnosis. But current trends allow us to use insights into the brain to enhance our daily experience in meditation, education, sleep, e-sports, and many other areas. I think brain insights can improve any area of our lives.
Grit Daily: Inquiring minds want to know: What unique product(s) are you working on?
IN: I’m working in the medical technology industry, which continues to be one of America’s most diverse and innovative sectors. MedTech companies invest heavily in improving technologies and developing breakthroughs that deliver for people.
I work with two unique EEG (electroencephalography) products: NeuroCap, a disposable EEG headset for neurologists, and BrainBit, an EEG headband for developers and end-users. With NeuroCap, we are disrupting the current market, bringing modern technology to the conservative industry. NeuroCap is used for routine EEG tests, a test that is useful in diagnosing brain conditions, especially epilepsy and other seizure disorders.
BrainBit is used to monitor your brain activity. Current hardware devices often are difficult to use and software is too complex to understand. Developing BrainBit, we took all of this into consideration, and our device is comfortable for use for the long term, and our SDK (software development kit) is user-friendly and well supported.
With BrainBit, we offer developers and partners the chance to create mobile applications using our headband and SDK and then white label them. For example, a yoga studio develops its app to see the progress of its clients, and they can manufacture the headbands under its name.
Also, BrainBit can develop a customized EEG headset with any number of dry electrodes for partners, and it’s becoming a popular request.
Grit Daily: What problem(s) are you trying to solve?
IN: With BrainBit, we want to give the end-users a comfortable tool for monitoring and better understanding their brains. We want to inspire developers to create more applications in different areas using insights from the brain.
I’m inspired by the ideas that people bring to us: People want to use EEG technology to help traders make better decisions. They want to bring it to the theatre and even the music industry: one of the latest projects that we‘ve partnered with, called BrainRap, is a technology that will help rappers to write tracks. Another project was with Transforma Theatre in NYC where our technology was used during a performance. Also, EEG technology is an insightful complement for VR technology, and educational virtual reality games are a good example. I like that this technology doesn’t have boundaries.