Wearable wellness device can help with cognitive impairment and long Covid

Entry-level helmet costs under €3,000 and designed for use at home and in clinical settings

Sometimes getting an idea to fly is about being brave enough to approach someone who is older, wiser and already accomplished in their field and this is exactly how Liam Pingree and Marvin Schönauer managed to bring neuroscientist Marvin H Berman, founder of the QuietMIND research foundation, on board as a cofounder of their brain health start-up, Neuronic.

“I’d had the idea for a brain therapy device for a while and was working on it in my spare time,” says Pingree who established Neuronic with his co-founders in 2021.

“But Marvin’s name kept cropping up during my research and I decided to contact him. After an hour and a half on the phone we verbally agreed to see how we could work together, and things went from there.

“Neuronic was founded with a singular focus which is to keep brain capacity high in all stages of life and we are using next-generation transcranial photobiomodulation or light therapy to do this,” says Pingree who is based in Castlebar. Photobiomodulation is non-invasive and proven to increase blood flow, reduce inflammation and increase cellular energy and can help alleviate the symptoms associated with neurogenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”


Neuronic delivers its near-infrared light therapy via the Neuradiant 1070 which is a wearable device that looks similar to a cycling helmet. It is worn each day for a given period of time and comes with four programmes (peace, energy, energise, glow) and settings to vary the time, pulse rate and intensity of the session.

“I was looking for a manufacturer who could make the product for us and came across one in China that essentially had a white label version of what we needed,” Pingree says. “So, we started with that but then completely changed it in a number of ways to meet our requirements in terms of aesthetics and user interface and also to provide variable programmes and settings to ensure it was a leader in its field.”

Light therapy is not new, it has been used for centuries for healing

The entry-level helmet costs just under €3,000 and the Plus model, which has a quadrant control feature to target different parts of the brain and includes three-month access to personalised support, comes in at just under €5,000. The products are designed for use at home and in clinical settings and the US is one of the company’s biggest markets so far.

“The application of light for therapeutic purposes is not new. It’s been used for centuries for healing, but when it comes to our type of product there wasn’t anything similar that was well researched and widely available. Our device also covers the entire head and more unusually uses 1070nm LEDs which penetrate further into the skull targeting the mitochondria,” says Pingree who studied Commerce at UCG and subsequently met cofounder Marvin Schönauer, an engineer with an MSc in business administration, while they were students at Concorida College in Moorhead, Minnesota.

Neuronic shipped its first devices to customers in April last year following a period of R&D and founder investment of roughly €150,000. To date, the company has recorded sales in excess of €1.2 million and is now employing an international team of 20 people in areas such as product design, consultation, software and business development.

“Marvin Berman has been working in this area for a long time and we’re very fortunate that we could leverage his considerable experience and network to develop the business,” Pingree says.

“We have also recently begun a research project studying photobiomodulation guided by real-time brain activity with Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley. This is a timely collaboration as it’s estimated that 139 million people will suffer from dementia by 2050,” says Pingree.

He says a recent clinical trial involving the Neuradiant 1070 has shown that light therapy is also effective at ameliorating the symptoms associated with long Covid such as mental fatigue.