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Meet Brian Harris of MedRhythms in Charlestown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Harris.

Brian, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Music has power. I witnessed the power of music for the first time when I observed Music Therapist working with a young boy with severe physical and cognitive disabilities. Within 10 minutes of this young boy being exposed to music, he was functioning at a higher level than what anyone in his life had seen before. His family and careers came into the room and were crying because they couldn’t believe how he was responding. It was a truly beautiful moment to witness. It was at that moment, that I knew that music was having a profound impact on his brain, and I asked myself – Why is this boy, who is so severely impaired, able to respond this way to music? I told myself that if we could answer that question, that’s when we could harness the power of music and then replicate it to bring it to everyone who needs it.

The advancements of neuroscience research over the past few decades have allowed us to answer this question, and have shown us that not only can music engage our brain more globally than any other stimulus on Earth, but it can also aid in the process of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to heal. MedRhythms was built to bring life changing care to those suffering from neurologic injury and disease, to help them recover in the areas of movement, language, and cognition through the neuroscience of music. We started by hiring a team on Neurologic Music Therapists, specialists in this area of practice and were seeing great results with our clients. Now, we are developing technology to build digital therapeutics to help us scale and reach more people.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting a company will undoubtedly have its share of bumps in the road. Particularly if that business is healthcare, as it is a challenging industry to be in for a number of reasons. At the beginning, finding enough trained Neurologic Music Therapists and advocating for a new profession in healthcare was difficult, and as we have progressed, building a technology platform from scratch and navigating the hurdles in a new industry of digital therapeutics has been a challenging as well as a rewarding process.

Please tell us about MedRhythms.
MedRhythms sits at the intersection of music, neuroscience, and technology. We have two sections of the company: therapy & digital therapeutics, both leveraging the neuroscience of music.

On the therapy side, we have conducted nearly 10,000 hours of Neurologic Music Therapy directly with clients and built one of the most comprehensive NMT programs in the world at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. We exist to help people.

On the digital therapeutics side, we have built a platform that uses sensors, AI and music to measure and improve walking following neurologic injury and disease, based on the neuroscience of music. We have built an end-to-end system, from the ground up, and have recently begun product testing with stroke survivors and have seen some very exciting initial results.

As the CEO, I am incredibly proud of our team’s commitment to innovation, to thinking outside of the box, and above all else our commitment to making a difference in the world by improving the lives of others.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
This is a great question. I have been blessed to have many amazing memories from childhood that included friends, family, and music and food. Some of my favorite memories involve the hours every summer spent with family in my grandparent’s garage in the small town of Howland, ME. It was a place a for endless BBQ’s and enough food to feed the whole town, which we often did, as it was a centerpiece of that small town for which all of our friends would stop in to visit. It was there that I learned the importance of community and time spent with family.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Lucas Randall Owens

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