Find joy with Joystik

By Anna Lardinois, Startup Storyteller

Stress is a growing problem worldwide.

According to a 2022 study by the American Psychological Association (APA) 76% of Americans reported that stress impacted their physical health. Work related stress is estimated to cost the U.S. more than $300 billion in losses due to absenteeism, diminished productivity, and accidents.

Meditation has been clinically proven to reduce stress. The cost-effective, natural technique appeals to many people, but only an estimated 14% of those who have tried meditation become regular practitioners.

If you are one of the stressed people who is interested in the benefits of meditation, but you don’t enjoy meditation, MedTech startup Joystik has a solution for you.

Co-founded in 2022 by general practitioner Dr. Sarah Pierce, and behavioral healthcare professional Christian Stoll, Joystik will soon launch an app that uses autogentics paired with classic conditioning methods to train users to relax.

Employing principles of self-hypnosis, meditation, mindfulness, relaxation therapy and biofeedback, the technique promises to help improve sleep, performance and even the complexion, all while lowering stress and enhancing focus. The techniques used in the app are the same as those used by NASA during flight training, veterans’ organizations, and in the coaching of Olympic-level athletes. The on-demand service will teach users how to engage in self-induced calmness.

For Stoll, the idea for Joystik was developed during his own struggles finding a relaxation app that worked for him. He discovered there are hundreds of app options, but few resources to guide users into a practice that matches their goals.

He began to think about techniques that have been proven clinically effective and how to package those techniques for an audience outside the typical demographic of regular meditators, who are largely white women over 40 years old.

“I knew we had to make it easy, or people would not do it,” Stoll said.

The founders developed an app that is easy to follow, trains the user to engage with the app, and allows the user to personalize the experience to match goals and preferences.

The techniques used by Joystik are different from the scores of relaxation apps already on the market, as is their approach to user engagement.

The company has created the product to gamifies the user experience. Users become the “gamer of their own body,” Stoll said, “it powers up the more you train.” Additionally, the app will send users affirmation texts and notifications to encourage users’ participation. The app will generate a personalized assessment of user progress each month to help users more effectively use the app.

Joystik raised $200,000 of pre-seed funds from Inflect Health, a San Francisco-based health technology venture capital firm.

The company plans to release its MVP in the second quarter. To connect with Joystik, click here.

One comment

  1. Sounds like an amazing process. We live in our phones, computers and tablets on a daily basis so this app will provide “comfort in the palm of your hand”. Congratulations to its creators.

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