After many years of experience in breathing therapy, Sonja Nijhuis conceived the idea for the BreathBalanz. A method in an interactive application that can improve the breathing pattern by means of training and a sensor. In 2018, she presented the BreathBalanz for the first time at CES, the world’s largest technology fair in Las Vegas. A lot happened after that. A new CEO, back to CES in 2019, the TOP Program via Novel-T, and currently also the guidance provided to former corona patients. This week, Breath In Balanz will be present at CES again, as part of the Novel-T delegation from Twente. This edition with a product. How is Breath In Balanz doing now? And what are their expectations for CES2021?
Before introducing the BreathBalanz, Sonja Nijhuis had her own breathing therapy practice for 15 years. She met people who suffered from various complaints, such as stress, depression, and anxieties, all without any demonstrable reason. “Many of these people also had a disrupted breathing,” Sonja says. She offered breathing programs in her practice, but her clients wanted to be able to do these exercises from home as well. “That is why I launched the first breathing coach app in the Netherlands in 2013. And with 35,000 downloads it seemed a success,” Sonja says proudly. Feedback demonstrated that users also wished to measure their respiratory rate. In 2018, Sonja started to work with sensors that made this possible.
FROM SUBSIDIES TO A PRODUCT AT CES2021
After CES 2019, Sonja came into contact with Leo Ellenbaas, currently the CEO of Breath In Balanz. Together with respiratory therapist Nellie Bontekoe, they started collecting subsidies and looking for partners. With success: in 2019, they obtained, among other things, a TOP arrangement at Novel-T and a loan from Rabobank Meppel.
“We skipped CES2020, but this year we will present the BreathBalanz as a complete product,” Sonja says. “BreathBalanz has been available on Bol.com and Amazon USA through our website and at our Belgian partner Katrien Geereats since last November. Soon, the product will also be available on Amazon for the American market.” Sonja would have liked to present the product physically at this year’s CES, but because of the pandemic, only virtual meetings are possible. Yet she hopes to enter into discussions with potential partners and investors. Sonja: “We can make a real impact with our product, and at minimum costs. This could be very interesting for consumers and healthcare professionals.”
ATTENTION BECAUSE OF COVID-19
2020 was the year of COVID-19. Because of this virus, part of the patients even had to be given artificial respiration. “We currently provide guidance to two former corona patients who have developed a disrupted breathing pattern,” Sonja says. “Breath In Balanz helps them train stable breathing.” Sonja always knew that their method was relevant to the international market. She hopes that, as a result of the pandemic, their product can be deployed worldwide for former corona patients. “We hope that the US, which has many corona cases, will come to see our product as a powerful aid,” Sonja says.
Expert by experience and respiratory expert Sonja is ready to start innovating with new partners and investors. According to Sonja, this is possible with a powerful team, good partners, and committed investors. “We can’t deny it: breathing is at the basis of our very existence, and therefore important to all of us,” Sonja concludes.
From 11 January, Breath In Balanz will present their innovation at the world’s largest technology fair CES, as part of the Novel-T delegation from Twente. The fair will be held online this year.