Frequently Asked Questions

What does ‘music therapeutics’ mean?

Music is well known to produce significant therapeutic benefits, including enhanced emotional security, stress reduction and memory stimulation.  ‘Music therapy’ is typically defined as the clinical use of music interventions to accomplish individualized therapeutic goals, when supervised by a credentialed professional.  Unfortunately, however, in the U.S. today, there is only one credentialed music therapist for every ten thousand seniors, a ratio that will only worsen with the aging of the Boomer generation.  So, we use the term ‘music therapeutics’ to describe the ‘digitization’ of many of the key principles of one-on-one music therapy, via an application designed for use by caregivers to deliver the benefits of individualized music to seniors in a format they can use independently and remotely.

How will music therapeutics help my senior?

reMindA.I. enables your senior to enjoy individually-curated music listening experiences without the hassle and confusion that seniors face with smartphones, streaming music applications and navigation of digital technology in general.  Our goal is to encourage seniors to engage in daily, scheduled music listening sessions to enhance mood, relieve anxiety and strengthen cognition.  Moreover, because our application is applied remotely, caregivers can provide therapeutic music for their seniors without the need for direct, in-person contact – which, in the age of COVID-19, can actually save lives.

Who is reMindA.I. designed for?

reMindA.I. is primarily designed for seniors – including both healthy seniors as well as those who are cognitively or physically impaired – who would enjoy listening to their favorite music and other audible content (e.g., podcasts, guided meditation, and audiobooks), but are intimidated by streaming music technology and ‘smart’ devices.

What makes reMindA.I. unique?

reMindA.I. removes the technological barriers that prevent seniors from using existing streaming music platforms and listening devices.  We are presently the only commercially-available product specifically designed to deliver individually-curated music to seniors. The application requires absolutely no technical aptitude and minimal physical dexterity on the part of the senior-listener – and it is the only therapeutic music program that can be implemented 100% remotely by caregivers.

What is the science behind ‘individualized music’?

Numerous studies have shown that listening to music on a regular basis promotes healthy, deep brain stimulation, advances neurocognitive fitness, and improves both mental and physiological health as well as overall well-being.  However, evidence-based research originated by our Chief Science Officer, Linda A. Gerdner PhD, RN, FAAN, powerfully demonstrates that not all music has the same impact.  Rather, individually-curated music – that is, music that is reflective of emotions, memories and private images that have been integrated into a person’s life – is proven to be far more effective at calming agitation and engendering equanimity than is music selected based solely on, for example, genre, era or popularity.

How does reMindA.I. work?

reMindA.I. is administered by a family member or other caregiver.  Only the caregiver interacts with the application, and the ‘headset’ (which we call ‘MyBandanna’) is a senior-friendly, collar band-style listening device that connects to the WiFi network in the senior’s home or long-term care facility.  Caregivers answer a brief survey about their senior; record personalized voice introductions; and select time and duration of listening sessions. reMindA.I. does the rest.  Our algorithm generates individually-curated music playlists, based entirely on the senior’s personal history, and delivers them to MyBandanna remotely  – seniors simply put on MyBandanna, lean back and enjoy their favorite music.  The algorithm also learns which music the senior likes best (or dislikes) based on feedback they provide through MyBandanna – using simple voice commands, like ‘skip’ or ‘next’.

What does my senior need to use reMindA.I.?

Seniors only require access to a WiFi network.  No computer, tablet or smartphone is required.

Does my senior have to remember a password or user ID?

No.  Only caregivers have a user ID and password.  Seniors never need to interact with the application.

How can I explain the concept of ‘music as medicine’ to my senior?

Music  has long been recognized for ability to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.  Scientific evidence demonstrates that daily music listening is a highly effective, nonpharmacological and relatively low-cost therapeutic tool.  We provide suggestions for introducing music as medicine to your senior in this blog post [link to blog].

How will my senior know when to use reMindA.I.?

Your senior will be alerted by an audible, prescheduled voice message recorded by a family member or other caregiver and played via our MyBandanna listening device (more on this below).  Then, they simply place the ergonomically designed MyBandanna around their neck, lean back and enjoy.

Can my senior listen any time of day?

Yes.  Scheduling listening sessions is quick and easy for caregivers and can be changed as often as needed to achieve optimal therapeutic benefit.  For many seniors, particularly those suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease or related dementia, there is a known time of day when they become most stressed or agitated but, absent this, they can listen any time of day (see the ‘Sundowners’ post in our blog).  A key principle of therapeutic music intervention is scheduled, daily use – that is, music listening should become a regular part of the senior’s daily routine.

What kind of ‘reminders’ can I record for my senior?

reMindA.I. permits caregivers to record, in their own voice (not a robotic voice), an unlimited number of hourly, daily, weekly or monthly reminders such as ‘take your medication’, ‘drink fluids’, ‘get-up and walk around’, ‘birthday greetings’, ‘I love you’ etc.  MyBandanna will play these messages at the assigned times.

What other content can my senior access through reMindA.I.?

In addition to therapeutic music, we will be introducing other content such as guided meditation, audiobooks, memory games, senior-friendly podcasts and internet radio programming (e.g., NPR), historical radio programming, learning tools for better nutrition, and guided light exercise routines, to name just a few.

What is MyBandanna?

MyBandanna is a wireless, open-ear, collar band-style listening device.  The device is voice and motion activated and was specifically designed to accommodate seniors with limited or no technological acumen.  We called it MyBandanna because it reminds us of a neck kerchief – plus, we liked the play on ‘band’ as a music reference.  MyBandanna has both manual and voice-adjustable volume controls and comes with a washable, cloth cover available in a variety of cheerful colors and customizable designs.

Why is MyBandanna better for my senior than other listening devices?

Unlike earbuds and headphones, MyBandanna is hygienic and hearing aid-friendly and is both motion and voice-controlled (so there’s no need to manipulate small buttons or touchscreens). Sound is close to the senior’s ears, with limited background noise or disturbance of others (e.g., in a long term care environment).  While we recommend the use of MyBandanna for most seniors, the reMindA.I. application can be used with any WiFi-enabled listening device (e.g., smart speaker, Echo, Sonos, etc.).

Does MyBandanna arrive ready to use?

Yes.  MyBandanna is set up by the caregiver, or by us, to automatically find and connect to the WiFi access point in the senior’s home or long term care residential facility.  We apply ultraviolet germicidal irradiation to each device prior to delivery, so your senior is safe from surface-borne pathogens.

How long does the battery last on MyBandanna?

MyBandanna is designed to operate for up to 8 hours between charging.Caregivers can set up a notification within the application, telling them when the remaining battery time drops below a set level, so they can remind their senior to place MyBandanna on its inductive charging pad.MyBandanna will be fully charged in approximately two hours.

What about my senior’s privacy and security?

We take great care to protect your senior’s privacy.  All information about your senior is collected and stored in compliance with HIPAA.  Moreover, with secured and closed voice access, only pre-authorized individuals are able to communicate with your senior.