Tech Tonics: Rachel Francine and the Many Applications of Music Therapy
For many, music as medicine has long been put in that category of things that seem nice but not like “real medicine” We all know that music can make us feel better individually, but there is an accumulating body of scientific evidence demonstrating the clinical value of structured music therapy. The world is beginning to heed the tune of companies like SingFit (aka Musical Technologies, Inc.), led by Rachel Francine, who are seizing to the opportunity to deliver digital therapeutics with a musical twist. As Rachel says, “I look at SingFit as a pharmaceutical (digi-ceutical) company that has one molecule that we can configure to provide treatments for a variety of medical conditions. And we get to customize it Bob Dylan and Pharrell. “
The whole idea of music as medicine has been around for millennia, but finally we are seeing more significant programs and companies dedicated to making it mainstream. Rachel has had this idea in her family since childhood. Her career is the melting pot of her family’s interests in music and entrepreneurship and digital entertainment, and her company, like so many in healthcare, was inspired by a personal experience – in this case her co-founder and brother Andy’s discovery that music was making a difference in the recovery of a friend with brain injury (Andy was sneaking into his hospital room and playing guitar for his friend). And, of course, there was Rachel’s experience working in the family karaoke business that fed the stream that led to SingFit.
We are starting to see numerous major health systems invest actively in music therapy programs to address dementia, Alzheimer’s, brain injury, pain, behavioral health, cardiovascular disease and numerous other conditions, with SingFit leading the way. Functional MRI studies and other scientific research have demonstrated both impact and value, driving greater willingness to pay for this approach to treatment.
We are grateful to AARP for sponsoring this episode of TechTonics. AARP’s Market Innovation team works to spark innovation in the market that will benefit the quality of life for people over 50.