Interview with Dr Jason McKeown MD, CEO and Co-Founder of Modius
Jason McKeown became Dr Jason McKeown after studying medicine at Queens in Belfast. After graduating, Dr McKeown went on to work in neurosurgery where he started to see an opportunity for less invasive technology within the practice. The problem with neurosurgery is, while it helps fix an existing condition, it can leave patients with new problems, due to implanted devices, and is also extremely high cost.
In the search for a non-invasive solution, Dr McKeown travelled across the Atlantic to become the youngest ever visiting scholar to study Centre for Brain Cognition at the University of California in San Diego. There he found a way to influence the brainstems, of which there are ten primary connections.
Nerve eight, the vestibulocochlear nerve, is so close to the surface of the skin that you can stick an electrode on the skin, and it will carry a message straight through to the brain stem. Through their work, the team at the Centre for Brain Cognition realised they could use nerve eight to interact with the hypothalamus and affect the body’s metabolism and people’s desire to eat.
So why not use this discovery to help people control their desire to eat and support their weight loss journeys? Enter Modius
PH: Tell us about Modius, what does it do? Where did the tech come from?
JM: Modius is specifically to help people with weight loss and to manage their weight loss. The general tech of neurostimulation has been around for some time, but I decided to create a device – essentially version of Modius – and test it myself and see if a device could be created that is safe enough for a consumer market. I lost 18 pounds of fat myself from testing out this initial version while gaining 4.5 pounds of muscle.
PH: How does Modius help people lose weight?
JM: If we first take a step back and look at how we distil weight loss, we see that people focus on calories in, calories out, move more, eat less. But this is a really poor explanation of what is going on, scientifically. Ultimately there is a part of your brain, the hypothalamus, which controls your weight. The problem is if you’re too sedentary or have too much stress, the natural metabolic rate for your hypothalamus will increase. And so people will find it extremely difficult to lose weight.
PH: In that scenario, what is your hypothalamus making you feel? Is it just adding the pounds or making you feel hungry?
JM: Whenever you do things like diet, exercise, or increase calorie burning, ultimately your brain will counteract it by adjusting your metabolic rate and hormones. So, your appetite will shoot through the roof; you’ll always be hungry, you’ll crave sugar and high-calorie dense foods, and your mood will go down.
PH: So how does Modius help?
JM: With Modius, we don’t treat downstream of the hypothalamus, we influence the core problem that is driving weight loss and gain. By using Modius in conjunction with exercise and diet, your ability to control hunger, mood and metabolic rate will increase.
PH: Do you have any proof that it works?
JM: We have clinical trials ongoing, but the unique situation we’re in means we have a massive dataset of our customers, with over 100,000 sessions. From this, we can see that 80% of people have found Modius has increased their weight loss – 7 pounds on average lost after 90 days. While it seems modest, the top 10% have lost 18 pounds on average, and these are all people who have struggled with weight loss before, many with thyroid problems or diabetes. So to see the sustained loss is actually quite significant.
PH: It sounds like magic.
JM: It’s not a magic wand or a quick fix, it is a long-term commitment, but it is consistent weight loss that works.
While the lab-based trials are still ongoing, Modius say the initial findings are replicated in their real-world data. So it all sounds very positive. At £369 however, it’s quite an investment for something that you’ll only know works for you once you try it. For that very reason, Modius offer a 90-day trial, giving you a full refund if you don’t see any results. So if it doesn’t work, no problem, and if it does, then I’d say £369 is well worth it.
You can find out more about Modius, and purchase the device, at their website here. Keep an eye out in the coming months for our review of the device – we’ll post an update at 30 days, 60 days and 90 days to share the weight loss journey we see as a result of using the device.