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Bio-Q Thermal Biofeedback & Stress Monitoring Ring

300,000+ Sold in over 50 Countries

 

A HISTORY OF A CLINICIAN's INVENTION EXPERIENCE, with tips on profitably including BIO-Q in your practice or workshops

by Rob Kall, M.ED. inventor of the BIO-Q ring

I invented the original BIO-Q ring to help my stress and pain patients at the Northeast CMH/MRC in Philadelphia. Back in 1976-77, I was using ASI EMG and Temperature trainers and wanted something to help my patients transfer and generalize their training from the office to real life situations.

I'd been buying liquid crystal temperature biofeedback strips,for patients to tape to their fingers. This was awkward and impractical. I wanted more than just a thermometer patients could use during home practice.

An Early Warning Stress Alert; I wanted patients to learn to catch drops in finger temperature as cues that they were responding to stress-- cues to implement the self-regulatory interventions I was teaching them.

 

I cut out tiny pieces of temperature sensitive liquid crystal and made a wearable disc with a convenient two sided adhesive electrode collar. Using OPEN FOCUS concepts, I placed the liquid crystals in concentric rings, so hand warming opened the circle wider.  The wearable patch worked nicely but wasn't durable enough. The BIO-Q ring evolved to it's current waterproof, streamlined shape over a period of six years. Now the BIO-Q RING is an attractive, comfortable, wearable biofeedback instrument. The BIO-Q thermometer took years to perfect. It is the world's smallest self contained precision thermometer, with 0.5 degree Fahrenheit resolution and surprising accuracy.

In 1977, I wrote to about a dozen liquid crystal manufacturers, describing what I needed-- a thermometer with 10 to 15 temperature ranges that could fit in an area less than 1/3 of a square inch. They all said such a small thermometer would be impossible with existing technology. So I went to the U.S. patent office in Crystal City, Virginia,to research liquid crystal patents--discovering temperature sensitive bras, tee-shirts, wine collars, and forehead thermometers. I went to the most promising patent holders and their manufacturers and asked if they could make me a tiny thermometer. Again, all said it was impossible. Nonetheless,I thought the technology of one company could be miniaturized. Would they try it if I paid them, even if they had serious doubts of its do-ability? They took my money and the process worked.       

In 1978 and 1979 I took early plastic, then wire and plastic samples of the BIO-Q ring to the BSA annual meetings in Albuquerque and San Diego. Encouragement from Tom Budzynski, Ed Taub, Erik Peper, Rick Rubow, Keith Sedlacek and others kept me working at developing a version that could be cost effectively mass produced.

They also gave me feedback on the optimal temperature response range for the ring. Carmine Iacono, my professor, co- researcher and friend at Temple University gave me regular feedback and advice and conversation on the early stage of the ring's development.

Having grown up in Providence RI, capital of costume jewelry manufacturing, Carmine connected me with a manufacturer for the first 5,000 BIO-Q rings. We'd improved the thermometer so it was more readable. I had designed a numberless, clock-faced, calibrated, precision thermometer that read warmer as the liquid crystals lit up further clockwise.

BIO-Q credentials and credits:  The BIO-Q ring has been used at every one of the nation's top ten medical clinics, re-ordered by Yale, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, SCRIPPS, the Menninger Fdtn and thousands of other respected facilities in the U.S. and every continent on the planet. Articles or interviews about the BIO-Q ring have appeared in/on Good  Morning America, ABC Morning News, Cable Network News, King Features, AM Philadelphia, numerous local news programs (many FUTUREHEALTH clinician customers have used the ring to get local news coverage on TV or newspapers across the U.S., DISCOVER, OMNI, PREVENTION, WOMAN'S WORLD, THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER, THE GLOBE, NEW YORK TIMES (front page), WASHINGTON POST, PHILA. INQUIRER, SAN DIEGO UNION, SAN FRANCISCO HERALD EXAMINER and syndicated articles which appeared in Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Boston and hundreds of other cities. They all described the BIO-Q ring as a serious device prescribed by doctors.

RESEARCHERS  use the BIO-Q ring in clinical studies in the treatment of Raynauds, Hypertension and headache and with athletic performance enhancement. Articles have been published in numerous professional arenas and paper presentations at the Biofeedback Society of America, the Headache Research Society and Society of Behavioral Medicine have frequently included mention of the BIO-Q ring.

       PRESCRIBING THE BIO-Q RING or BIO-Q KIT

Over the last 18 years the BIO-Q ring has become readily accepted by most insurance companies who reimburse for biofeedback training. At first, we recommended the ring  be euphemistically described as an ambulatory peripheral vasospasm monitor to avoid biofeedback denying insurers.  Some clinicians add their own tapes to the package and increase the charge to $80, $90 or $125, whatever they feel is appropriate.  Occasionally, it is appropriate to bill for both an ambulatory thermal biofeedback home training kit, and an EMG home trainer.

      WORKSHOPS & BIO-Qs

Many stress management consultants have repeatedly used the BIO-Q ring, in their workshops with the federal government, corporations, hospitals, the military. The rings help make the presentations greater successes. Usually the presenters arrange to have the workshop sponsor pay extra so each participant gets a ring. This payment can be made directly to FUTUREHEALTH or you can include the ring as part of the workshop/ lecture/ seminar. One client did a workshop with 300 executives' wives and included a BIO-Q ring and his own cassette in the price of the workshop making 100% profit on the ring and tape (currently 8.00 for the ring in quantities over 200)and $1.50 for his tape were his cost. He charged under $20 each.

Besides being clinically unique and effective tools, BIO-Q rings are fun to use, great conversation pieces and valuable marketing tools. Many clinics offer the pieces of the BIO-Q kit to the patient as a carrot to increase patient motivation to make appointments and stay with the therapy. The ring creates conversations like: "What is biofeedback?", "What's your doctor's phone number?" "I have a sister who could use biofeedback." The BIO-Q ring generates word of mouth referrals-- the best kind.

BIO-Q cards are lower cost spin-offs of the BIO-Q ring, which can double as a customized marketing tool.

The BIO-Q ring has certainly taken me on a series of roller coaster rides. In 1982 I was riding in a private lear jet having meetings with the CEO of a three billion dollar U.S.conglomerate subsidiary of a $50 Billion dollar a year British corporation. The multimillion dollar deal was more than close but no cigar....  I bit off the end, chewed it, lit it, took a puff and had it explode in my face; as cheap, non-functioning Taiwanese knock-offs (unapproved copies) of the BIO-Q appeared fast enough to scare buyers from dozens of other department and chain stores into cancelling orders they'd placed for BIO-Q rings for Christmas, 1982. Most stores never saw the rings, The ones that did couldn't sell them. The BIO-Q needs more explanation than a department store clerk has the time for. (But biofeedback patients are already educated. They appreciate its value) By spring 1983, the BIO-Q ring retail store market was defunct.  The bulk of the sales have always been through clinicians and hospitals and workshop leaders.

FUTUREHEALTH now carries a large selection of biofeedback instrumentation/materials. We supply a respectable and growing share of the whole biofeedback market. We published BIOPRO, PAINSCAN, EMI/CAM Scan, Biofeedback Tool kit biofeedback software, co-developed Physiotech, publish audio and video training materials for office and patient home use. We manufacture home training materials like the ring, BIO-Q stress-check cards, BIO-Q Squares, Tom Budzynski's Multiliminal Tapes. Our professional training seminars were attended by people from all over the U.S. Now, when I attend the APA annual meeting, I enjoy seeing the new exhibitors. They bring back memories of my first APA exhibit in 1981 in LA. Thanks for your interest in my BIO-Q story, and the start or continuation of a long business and professional relationship. 

If you would like to order the Bio-Q Ring please go to directly to http://www.futurehealth.org/populum/pageproduct.php?f=-by-Futurehealth-080602-21.html

 

For our other stress reducing products, please go to http://www.futurehealth.org/.

 

 


Rob Kall, M.Ed.
P.S. Call me if you have new product ideas.