Warner Music partners with UK health tech start-up to trial 'music as medicine'

Warner Music partners with UK health tech start-up to trial 'music as medicine'

Warner Music Group has formed a partnership with MediMusic, the British health tech start-up, to help trial ‘music as medicine’ to relieve pain, anxiety and stress.

Through the partnership, MediMusic will conduct research testing in several closed randomised controlled trials in both the US and UK, where they will deliver playlists from WMG’s catalogue of music to various patients and sample groups, and observe how they respond in real time.

Beginning in Q1 of next year, this partnership with MediMusic will allow further trials to take place in hospitals and care homes.

MediMusic’s proprietary algorithms extract the relevant features from the digital DNA of a piece of music, resulting in a fingerprint for healthcare use. Using AI, machine learning and the data about the patient, MediMusic then automatically creates personalised 20-minute playlists and plays the music through a streaming device called the MediBeat and a pair of headphones.

Playlist running order is designed to reduce heart rate and stress hormones, like cortisol, and promote relaxation through hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. 

A heart rate monitor worn on the wrist allows MediMusic to monitor the physiological effect of a piece of music, and if the listener’s heart rate does not respond as expected, MediMusic’s ‘Digital Drip’ uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to swap out forthcoming playlist tracks to invoke slower relaxation if required. In addition to the track swap process, MediMusic provides evidence-based KPIs showing the service benefit and medication cost savings.

This is WMG’s first music therapy deal, as it expands beyond fitness and into the broader health and wellness space. Previously the company has secured deals with major players including Equinox, Peloton, Apple Fitness+, and more.

“At WMG, we are focused on finding new ways for our artists and music to be used for good, to benefit society, and to empower an ecosystem of partners with similar goals,” said Michael Baines, VP, digital strategy and business development, WMG. “Together with MediMusic, we’re thrilled to explore the transformative healing power of music in their 'music as medicine' trials – we are just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible.”

“This partnership with WMG is hugely important in helping us on our global mission to prescribe music and medicine to ease anxiety, pain and stress,” said Gary Jones, CEO and co-founder of MediMusic. “We’ve always known music is good for our soul. But there are thousands of medical papers and studies that prove music can also improve our health. Together with WMG’s catalogue of music, we can gather more data to improve our technology so that music can be used as medicine to help people around the world.”

Initial UK National Health Service trials with MediMusic on people living with dementia found it reduced the heart rate in anxious patients by 25%. 

MediMusic can be used in hospitals, care homes and dentist surgeries. The company suggests that it could slash medication bills by up to a quarter. 

MediMusic has already been piloted in care homes in the UK, including Orchard Court Care Home in Brigg, North Lincolnshire for its 29 residents.


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