Exciting New ADHD Tech w/ Inventor Psychologist Rich Brancaccio
Rich founded Revibe in 2013 to provide tools and technologies that level the playing field for kids with focus and attention challenges to allow them to reach their fullest potential. Rich spent much of his career working as a school psychologist specializing in autism spectrum disorders, serving on several school district autism evaluation teams. He has personally evaluated hundreds of children with various developmental needs and provided consultation and insight for over one thousand cases. He is truly passionate about helping children with various difficulties overcome obstacles to attain success.
***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***
In this episode Peter & Rich Brancaccio discuss:
1:20- Intro and welcome Rich!
1:40- So what, what prompted you to become a school psychologist to begin with?
2:20- On starting the company ReVibe
3:20- Tell us about how the company came about to begin with.
5:00- On how the new product “Revibe Connect” works in the classroom
7:20- On how the data collected is beneficial and to whom; including how teachers can use it.
9:30- What kind of feedback are you getting from the teachers?
10:22- What’s the process for parents or teachers to sort of get into this and start using it?
10:58- Have you gotten any feedback from doctors at all on this yet?
12:03- How many students are currently using this around the country?
12:15- What’s the price point on it?
13:00- Some free resources for your homeschooling are at Revibetech.com! i.e. “How To Help Your Child Adjust To Virtual Learning or The New Classroom”
13:30- Thank you Rich! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via firstname.lastname@example.org or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.
STAY HEALTHY – STAY SAFE – PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK.. until next time!
14:06- Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits
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Hey guys, Peter Shankman here with another episode of Faster Than Normal, thrilled that you’re still here. Hope you’re safe and well and wearing your mask. Uh, we have a cool episode today. We are talking to a psychologist, former school psychologist and countless years, the school district in North Carolina. He specializes in autism autism spectrum disorders serving on several school district autism evaluation teams. He’s worked with about 800 children with tons of different developmental needs, but a compensation and insight for over 100,000 cases, and is one of the most passionate people I’ve ever talked to about helping children with various difficulties overcoming obstacles to attain success, his name is rich, and I’m going to screw up your last name it’s.. Brancaccio? Is that right?
That’s close enough, Peter.
Brancaccio, alright, good enough. Almost there. And in 2013, after you left the schools, you started a company called Revibe. And that goal is to provide tools and technologies that level, the playing field for kids with focus and attention challenges, right?
I did. That’s correct.
Tell us what got you in. So, so what, what prompted you to become a school psychologist to begin with? That’s a, you know, not off the beaten path, but not something everyone does.
So I really had a passion for helping kids and I was vacillating between, do I want to be a teacher? Do I want to be a psychologist and realize one day there was a profession called school psychology where I could do both. I could become a psychologist who worked with children in the school system. So it was just the perfect. Perfect job for me.
It seems like how long were you there? I was a school psychologist for about 10 years. Okay. And then you went out, you left and he’s like, Hey, I could do, I could form this company and help everyone.
Um, it was, it was somewhat in between. I, I did the, um, work 40 hours during the waking hours. And then I was also doing about another 40 hours, um, afterschool and deep. Into the nights. So I was sleeping about three or four hours a night for about four years until I actually went full time and took the Revibe as my only full time gig.
Crazy it gets, I can say, imagine it gets a little busy, huh?
Yeah, it’s, it’s interesting. You, you learn just how little sleep you actually need to function. Um, but then, you know, I feel like years later it’s probably taken some kind of a toll on me that I’m paying back now, but I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You have to do what you have to do when you’re trying to get, um, a venture off the ground.
Once I got older, I realized that, uh, all the sleep that I lacked in college and beyond most definitely caught up with me. So no question about that, that definitely does happen. Uh, so tell us about Revibe You started in 2013. What kind of tools technologies tell us about the company? Sure. So Revibe came about, um, at a parent meeting actually, while I was sitting in, in school. Uh, I had, uh, a mother I was working with, um, I had helped her dog butter gear before and her daughter had reading challenges. Um, but you get really frustrated with us as a, as a school. And she said, you know, you had, he’s amazing. Um, you know, the collection methods and interventions that helped my daughter, you quickly figured out what the problem was and had these solutions for her, for her reading challenges. But for my son, with his focus, you guys have almost nothing. And I, I had to concur with her and I said, yeah, there’s really not a lot of technology that’s around for folk isn’t for ADHD in particular. Um, so that’s where revive started. It was just a, a lack of resources for the kids that I was working with.
Interesting. And what, what, tell us about the company. What does it do? What kind of technology? What have you produced? What have you built?
sure. So I built. I built the first one by hand, I taught myself micro electronics and I, I wrote some algorithms that I went to radio shack, like 5,000 times to shrink these giant, uh, circuit boards that was building down smaller and smaller until they fit in the wrist. Um, but to fast forward a little bit, what, what we do now is we we’re onto our second product. So Revibe Connect is our, our new products. Um, it’s a, it’s a smart watch essentially. And what it does is it sends vibration signals to the wrist of the user to remind them to focus and to get back to work.
What is the, what is the, um, what is the tip off to the watch that they need to do that?
So we collect data from the person hearing it. We focus on children, you know, elementary, middle and high school. So we focus on getting data from the child. It’s both, um, self reporting data. So we have the child give us feedback by just a simple tap on the device that they’re on task or off task. We also collect movement data. So we’re looking at how they’re moving. Are they fidgeting? Are they being hyperactive? Um, and we, we take several different things into account and that’s how we personalize these vibrations. We use something called machine learning. So we, we actually start to learn the child’s patterns or needs, what classes that they’re in when they tend to struggle in one class the most and so the personalized, uh, the algorithms actually learn the child’s needs and send these vibrations accordingly to give them not too many vibrations, but not, not quite too few either; we try to hit it right in the middle so that they’re getting just the right amount when they need them the most.
So a students in class he’s, he’s studying, he’s learning, he starts to go off topics. Let’s go off track and, uh, so this sort of gives them a little tap, says, Hey, back to paying attention.
Yeah, exactly. We’re trying to empower the child. Um, a lot of kids when I was a school psychologist, a lot of kids with ADHD, um, and with focusing issues in general, they’re they have a really tough time with self esteem. Um, you know, it’s something I’ve heard some. Folks on your show talk about the for, um, you know, where it’s, it’s really hard to feel good about yourself when you have your teacher constantly having to call your name out in front of the other kids and remind you to get back to work. Um, so we provide something that just empowers a child, there’s no one else hears the vibration or feels it, but you, so you can get yourself back on task. So, let me ask you this.
So one of the things about ADHD is that essentially it’s a lack of dope, mean serotonin adrenaline, those three things, which are the focus chemicals that allow you to sort of focus, um, in class. I know that, you know, the stuff that I used to get called out for by the teachers was, you know, stop fidgeting, stop, stop, messing around, stop making jokes that they would ever went. When in fact, you know, I was doing that without realizing, and of course, to give me the dope man and the serotonin and the adrenaline I needed so I could actually focus, actually wanting to learn. Right. So if you have a, if you have the kids wearing this, um, w where is there still a place for, you know, tremendous value in kids being able to allowed to stand up, being able to work from the back of the room while standing up or walk around or whatever, you know, is, is this, what do we do with that- is that still very much a thing that, that, that, that benefits the kids, right? As opposed to just saying, Hey, you’re not paying attention, but rather giving them a, a way to pay attention, giving them that those chemicals they need(?)
That’s a great question. Peter, one of the most interesting things for us, with our newer devices, the data that we collect. So we share it back with the child themselves. We share with the parent, the teacher, whomever, the caretaker wants to share the information. One of the things that we learned is as you mentioned, um, moving, and it is not necessarily bad thing. So what we actually do, um, inside of our app is we’ll give you an alert and we’ll say, Hey, did you know that we’ve come to realize that let’s say for Adam, um, when, when Adam is allowed to fidget 15 minutes or more before social studies each day, he’s actually 26% more on task than on days he hasn’t had that opportunity. Or when Amanda’s been allowed to walk 3000 steps or more before lunchtime each day, her attention span has been six minutes longer on average and foundation, hasn’t had the opportunity. So we’re trying to educate people and drive, um, proactive decision making by looking at, you know, the, the past behaviors of these kids, or.
That’s actually really interesting and cool- Can you share that with the teachers, you know, and explain to the teachers, Hey, you need to let the kids walk around or whatever the case may be?
Exactly. That’s what we leverage it for. So, um, you know, most of most of the people using Revibe, um, are, are parents purchasing it? So they have the ability to, to either provide a guest login for the administrators at school for the teachers, or they can just to touch one button and they can send, uh, an automated PDF report to the school to give them, um, the information that they need to make better decisions for their child.
That seems really, really smart. I would think that that would be tremendously beneficial.
Yeah, it’s been, it’s been popular where we’re in some of the biggest school systems in the country, because they’ve all realized the same thing. We don’t have any good way to collect data on these kids. And the school systems are now going towards what’s called the response to intervention model, which, you know, when you and I were kids, Peter, um, a lot of decisions were made that were just kind of a lick your thumb, put it up in the wind right now, everything has to be data driven and it’s hard to collect data on these kids. So, yeah. They’re really focusing on, on, you know, new technologies, like what what’s the Revibe platform.
What kind of feedback are you getting from the teachers?
So the teachers are really like the fact that, um, they’re not having to stop teaching every couple of minutes to redirect all these different kids. Cause in a room of 25 or 30 kids, you probably have three four different kids or more who have focused and attention issues. Um, so they’re having to constantly stop what they’re doing to redirect these kids. Um, the teachers just wanted to teach, you know, they want everyone to learnl they’re, they’re wonderful people and they have an amazingly tough job, but they just want to be able to teach, um, fluidly and the kids conversely don’t want to be reminded and be called out. So it’s been a really good win, win for both sides.
Sounds like it. And, and how can you know, what’s the, what’s the, um, The, uh, process for parents or teachers too, to sort of get into this and get them, you know, start using it?
So they can just go to our website, which is RevibeTech.com. R E V I B E T ECH.com. Or they can buy it on Amazon if you’re impulsive like me, you’re like a Roadrunner cartoon. You just want it to show up the same day. You can get it from Amazon, or you can talk to your school about it. A lot of schools are, are purchasing, you know, these, um, Smartwatches and providing them to students.
Have you gotten any feedback from doctors at all on this?
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So we’re, uh, we have a scientific and medical advisory board with some of the top folks in ADHD from a scientific standpoint. So our scientific board is extremely excited about what we’re doing and where we’re actually going towards, um, the world, uh, of the FDA pretty soon because it works. Um, you know, really well, and we’re careful to not make any claims of what our device does. Um, but we’re here, we’ve heard so much, and we’ve done so much research that now we’ve said, you know, this is a really strong tool that we need to, to bring to the next level. So that’s where we’re headed next, but physicians are excited about it as well. Um, so yeah, it’s been a really amazing journey to go from something, you know, that started out as a part time venture, uh, from, you know, my, my, my workshop at home to something that we’re not taking to such a high scientific-
How many, how many students are currently using at city around the country?
Um, we’ve got over 25,000 kids, um, you know, and counting that are, are using it. I think looking at both of our devices, we probably have close to 50,000 kids around the country that are wearing it right now.
What’s the price point on it?
Uh, it’s 120 bucks. Um, and then it’s about, uh, Four or $5 a month for the data that we store, we keep it up in a cloud. And, um, you know, we share all this data with you, so we try to make it affordable and it’s about at the same price as a FitBit.
Yeah, that makes sense. Um, what’s the, what’s the website?
Uh, the website is Revibetech.com, R E V I E B E T E C h.com. And, um, you know all the listeners at home I certainly suggest checking out, uh, some of the free resources that we have. A lot of folks are having a hard time with, with COVID-19 right now doing a virtual school from home thing. Um, so we, we, we, we have a parent tool kit, um, to give people some, some advice in terms of what you can do to help your child with focusing issues with ADHD in particular, um, to have a better experience while they’re doing this, learn from home, uh, as someone who, uh, is handling the majority of his daughters, um, Homeschooling. I can certainly relate to that. As I’ve mentioned before, um, our teachers have all lied to me. She is not a pleasure to have in class, so, but that being said, revive sounds really, really interesting. And we’ll definitely check it out. We’ll put links on the, on the website and the, on the, uh, on the podcast links to it. And I really appreciate you coming on. Rich. Thank you so much for taking the time.
Peter. Thanks so much for having me. It’s a pleasure. I’m big fan of the show and it’s been, it’s been a real treat being there with you.
Thank you. That’s very kind of you to say! You guys are listening to fast than normal? If you like, what you’re hearing drop us a note. We’re always looking for new guests. We have better three or three or four weeks backlog at any given given time. So if you have anyone that you think would be great for the podcast, shoot me an email. email@example.com. Let’s find out who that is and let’s get that person on the show. We will see you next week, ADHD and all neurodiversity is a gift, not a curse. Let us remember that and go from there.
Credits: You’ve been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We’re available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I’m your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you’ve heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were performed by Steven Byrom and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week.