NY Elite sat down with Sanil Doshi, co-founder of NeuCogni who talks about the current projects of the company and his work on neurotechnology and treatment.
How many years of experience do you have in the neural tech field?
Sanil Doshi: My involvement in neural tech comes from a dedication to mental health, a journey that started with my own mental health. In High School, I was diagnosed with OCD and Depression. It was a struggle- it impacted every part of my life. My grades fell, my social life struggled and I felt alone. When College started, I still felt the same and yet I became determined to find the underlying cause and treatment for these conditions. I tried dozens of medications, supplements, dietary practices and nootropics. It is through this process of trial-and-error that I realized I was not alone and that the stigma surrounding mental health was preventing those affected from getting together to push for solutions. These conditions affected many of my classmates, friends and peers- and yet we were no closer to the solution we needed.
Through my journey to solve mental illness, I learned about neurotechnology one year ago. I found a community of individuals doing DIY projects, making neurostimulation units in their garages. This led me to order one such device. When I received it in the mail, I was truly baffled. I had read research about how neurostimulation provided significant benefits to mood and well-being but the device I purchased was very cumbersome. It was a tangle of cables and wires and it looked so intimidating. While this particular device was a failure, it led me down the path of innovating the neurostimulation field for good!
When was NeuCogni launched?
Sanil Doshi: NeuCogni was launched on February 17th, 2018 by myself and my co-founder Simon Chatzigiannis. We met on Quora, a internet query forum. Simon was an active writer on Quora’s forum for cognition and mental health. I approached him about his opinions on the state of neurotechnology in my journey to understand treatment better. What followed over the next couple of weeks was a lot of conversations on mental health, the inadequacies of current neurostimulation technology and the potential for the correct device to help people. Simon suggested we develop a company around neurostimulation and NeuCogni shortly thereafter was founded with the intent to develop a product line that brought Neurostimulation to the masses in the most user-friendly and accessible way possible.
Tell us about a successful project you have recently completed?
Sanil Doshi: NeuCogni recently completed the development of our new website. It is a small achievement in terms of what we want to accomplish but it was so important to get our identity out there.
What do you hope to achieve with NeuCogni?
Sanil Doshi: At NeuCogni, we want to develop wearable technology that increases cognition, produces positive mental states and treats symptoms of neuro-disorders. We want NeuCogni to produce technology that is accessible, comprehensible and effective for the general public. Most devices built today are cumbersome, lack user-friendliness and are, in short, “Frankensteinian”. They can be invasive, involving expensive and risky surgical procedures. If your average person saw the technology, they would We view the future of neurotech very differently- a future in which the benefits of neurotech are distributed widely and affordably. In the future, we plan on coupling our focus on accessibility with Artificial Intelligence creating personalized treatments that produce even more personalized results.
What strengths do you bring to the team?
Sanil Doshi: My strongest assets are my communication abilities, passion and my ability to unite people around a common subject. If my struggles have revealed anything, they demonstrate that I am also very determined despite adversity.
I find enjoyment in bringing people together and motivating them to participate across disciplines, especially around neurotech. As the P.R Officer, I am responsible for channeling my enthusiasm for this exciting field to generating interest from media sources. I was able to conduct a podcast interview and that was a success in articulating our vision. In addition, I spearheaded a Petition to the NY State Senate that intended to not just raise awareness for mental health, but also push the State to dedicate the funds to innovate in the space. If we dedicate funding to innovating in mental health with novel technologies there’s no limit to what we can achieve! Within a few weeks of the petition going online, I secured 1000 signatures including an endorsement from one of the most famous actresses in Bollywood!
Besides neuroscience, what other things do you enjoy?
Sanil Doshi: I enjoy playing, watching and teaching Basketball- staying active is a huge part of my lifestyle! The game stimulates me and I love the community around it. When I’m not reading about neurotech, I really enjoy reading science fiction. It awakens readers to possibilities of the future using narratives that are familiar. In this space, my favorite books are, “A Brave New World” and anything by Isaac Aasimov.