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The Future of Health & Wellness: Music, Spatial & Hearables

"Scientifically validated and emotionally engaging therapeutics using music and sound for the user’s well-being will soon be a new standard."

The future of health and wellness is changing. As technology and science advance, new modalities for human health are becoming available. A recent Forbes article written by Frank Fitzpatrick overviews some of the coming technological advances that will change the health and wellness space forever, and music is at the center of them all.

"Music + Health = A Formula for Success and Happiness"

The article explores the potentials for hearables, spatial, and immersive audio when combined with the science to support their use for health and wellness. Some of the technology discussed included Head Related Transfer Function (P-HRTF) and Empathetic Technologies which are essentially spatial audio technologies that trick the brain into perceiving sound as though it is surrounding your entire body. In essence, it is a tech-based version of what we experience sonically in a 3D environment. New technology is enabling us to personalize the experience which will be "critical for us to move from generalized sound enhancement to more precise and personalized approaches to leveraging music and sound for health and wellness. Our ears—a critical portal for our safety, pleasure and well-being—are highly sensitive, individual and complex."

Over the next few years, we can expect to see a gold rush of sorts, as more and more companies begin to position themselves in this space. Another area to watch is Whole System Integration (Whole Body Listening). Companies are beginning to develop new technology that allows the listener to experience music beyond just the ears, and through the entire body. Companies like SUBPAC are leading the charge in vibroacoustic technology and according to the article, are helping to better improve outcomes of the use of sound for wellness. These technologies are also unlocking new experiences for people in the deaf community as the technology is being used to bring live music to deaf concert go-ers.

"Capturing this level of the natural sound experience involves using the whole body as the listening instrument. Capturing vibroacoustic signals is part of a more complete experience designed to address the distinct physiology of the individual."

Music and sound's role in health and wellness is due to the fact that it has a deeply rooted relationship with our physiology as humans. According to the Founding Director of the Spatial Sound Institute, Paul Oomen...

"This relationship, unique to sound and to each individual, impacts function in multiple areas of the human brain and body. Hearing also affects balance, posture and motor functions. The inner ear is the first sensory organ to develop during the embryonic phase in the womb, influencing the early development of the brain and parasympathetic nervous system. Sound and music can be used to bring the body into balance, or homeostasis, and to provide relief from stress and diseases."

The more we learn about our natural relationship to sound, the more technology becomes available for its use in health and wellness. The article covers many more exciting potentials such as the use of the voice to diagnose disease and imbalance. As we move into the future, we can expect to see more and more convergence between sound, science, and technology in many fun and fascinating ways.


Are you working with technologies that can be applied to health and wellness? Let us know @healthandbass :)


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