Founder Interview: Nirinjan Yee, President and Founder of BreathResearch

Nirinjan Yee, President and Founder of BreathResearch started her company after a series of experiences dating back to 25 years ago. An active outdoor enthusiast, Nirinjan was diagnosed with late stage lime disease. For a couple of years, she became partially paralyzed and her joints were swollen to the point where she couldn’t walk. A blood test showed that she had one of the worst cases of lime disease in Northern California. While being treated with IV antibiotics, unable to move and being told by the medical community that it was too late for her to fully recover, she discovered the art and science of breathing. After practicing for 3-4 hours a day, Nirinjan started to get better, feel less pain and finally was able to fully move again.

Now Nirinjan is back to being super active, hiking, dancing and cycling. She wants to show other people that while breathing is very personal and subjective, it is undeniably linked to your physiology and anatomy. She began a 10 year study on respiratory health, using audio to record and study breathing. Nirinjan found the right engineers to work with and they mapped out a way to turn the quiet sound of breathing into data and metrics, turning their work into the downloadable MyBreath app.

She is now creating a BreathAcoustics All-in-One Headset that combines her current research and development with a new, more exact breath training headset. I asked Nirinjan a few questions about her newest venture.

How does barometric pressure and altitude help form a picture of health?

“Our breath changes with altitude and it is important to measure our environment. People with chronic illnesses will say it is a ‘low pressure day,’ or they’re depressed or achy based on the weather. Breathing and heart rate is connected to our physical and emotional health as well.”

Who do you see using this? Do you have a target audience in mind?

“The goal of the headset is to bring breathing, stress reduction, and the ability to optimize our fitness all in one place. The headset is targeted to consumers who want to incrementally improve their health and fitness, de-stress, and get the most out of their exercise. The headset is also targeted towards athletes who are taking their health and fitness to the next level in their training. The headset can track breathing and heart rate to determine training zones and create customized exercise plans. The headset will be first available for consumer use, while we conduct further studies to take it to the FDA.”

When will the first roll out be?

While it could be sooner, Nirinjan is focused on making the best product possible. The release is targeted for the end of 2014.

What would you like people to know about your vision and the product?

Nirinjan is a designer at heart. She has a strong aesthetic desire to create a company that makes devices that are truly wearable. Her goal is to make products that not only look and feel good, but are high tech and performance driven. As Nirinjan states, “We take breathing for granted, you are either okay or you are not okay. I want to bring all the information that can be mined from regular, daily breathing and make it accessible and easy to understand for people. Breathing is at the very center of our physical and mental health.”

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