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Blake Gurfein, PhD
Tivic Health Chief Scientific Officer, Blake Gurfein, PhD Receives Annual 40 Under 40 Award from Silicon Valley Business Journal

July 2019

The Silicon Valley Business (SVB) Journal has named Tivic Health Systems’ Chief Scientific Officer, Blake Gurfein, PhD to their annual 40 Under 40 Awards. This distinction is given to 40 business executives, entrepreneurs, nonprofit and community leaders who have made outstanding professional and humanitarian contributions, before the age of 40.

Dr. Gurfein was selected based on his vast accomplishments in the fields of bioelectronics and neuromodulation at age 35. He completed his doctorate in neuroscience at age 26, and at age 29, he ascended to the level of faculty at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), one of the preeminent research institutions in the world. Dr. Gurfein is now assistant adjunct professor of medicine at UCSF, and his research was supported by a prestigious multiyear award from the National Institutes of Health, a Mentored Research Scientist Development Award.

As a creative thinker, Dr. Gurfein was drawn to research demonstrating that devices employing electricity and magnetism could be used to generate new non-drug therapies to address inadequate treatment needs in neurology and psychiatry. Dr. Gurfein’s vision is that this class of device therapies represents a breakthrough in medicine that is already showing promise in addressing serious conditions including Parkinson’s disease, depression, chronic pain, allergic rhinitis and many others.

He has four patents pending and 12 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious journals, one of which was featured on the cover of Molecular Medicine.

Dr. Gurfein has served as the Chief Scientific Officer of two neuromodulation companies, Rio Grande Neurosciences and Tivic Health.

Moved by the homelessness epidemic in the Bay Area, Dr. Gurfein has volunteered with Community Housing Partnership (CHP) to raise awareness of their work to help homeless individuals secure housing and become self-sufficient. He also serves on CHP’s Advancement Committee, a Board of Directors sub-committee, which focuses on community outreach.

Dr. Gurfein has prioritized humanitarian activities throughout his career and has volunteered at homeless shelters and organizations including the Ivy League Connection and Habitat for Humanity. He also mentors junior scientists and aspiring entrepreneurs.

“I am honored to be among this exceptional group of executives that are making major contributions to their communities and businesses,” said Dr. Blake Gurfein. “Thank you to the SVB Journal for recognizing the important work we are doing to bring innovative, bioelectronic medical solutions to those with chronic diseases. It’s an especially exciting time because we are about to launch ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief after rigorous clinical work culminating in an FDA clearance. I’m also grateful to the Community Housing Partnership for bringing awareness to help homeless individuals secure housing and become self-sufficient.”

“Blake Gurfein has made tremendous scientific and cultural contributions at Tivic Health, in his prior work at UCSF and Rio Grande Neurosciences, and through his work with the community,” added Jennifer Ernst, CEO of Tivic Health. “The Tivic Health team is pleased to see him recognized by SVB Journal.”

View the official press release  ...Read More

Alan Goldsobel, MD
What You Need to Know as Allergy Season gets Underway

April 2019

Allergic rhinitis, also called hay fever, is a very common disorder affecting 30-40 percent of children and adults in the U.S. The basic definition of an allergy is an abnormal reaction of a part of the immune system, where common things everyone is exposed to, pollen, animal dander, dust mites, molds, etc. are recognized as “foreign” or harmful to the body – and they really aren’t!

An allergic reaction in your body may occur in the upper respiratory tract (nose/eyes/sinuses), lower respiratory tract (lungs), skin, and/or gastrointestinal tract. These are the areas of the body where we come into direct contact with our environment.

Symptoms

Symptoms from allergies that occur in the upper respiratory tract are called allergic rhinitis and although they aren’t life threatening, they can be severe in many people leading to significant morbidity and decreased quality of life. Adults miss work and children with allergic rhinitis are known to miss more days of school and perform poorly when present, especially during their worse seasonal allergies. Both children and adults with allergic rhinitis get more viral infections and sinusitis. And sleep disturbance is common in children and adults with allergic rhinitis leading to daytime tiredness and poor performance at school and work.

The typical symptoms of allergic rhinitis include nasal congestion with sinus pain and pressure, runny nose, sneezing, itchy nose and eyes. Allergic rhinitis is classified as either seasonal, due to tree, grass, and/or weed pollen exposure in the spring or fall; or perennial, due to dust mite, animal or mold allergies. In different parts of the country, spring and fall seasonal allergic rhinitis occur at different times due to different exposures and different weather patterns.

The Start of Spring Allergy Season Across the U.S.

In many parts of the country, the onset of spring allergic rhinitis is due to pollen from cedar and juniper trees and can start as early as December or January in certain warmer climates. It is particularly bad in Texas. Many other trees will pollinate from March through June.

Grass pollen causes an intense allergic reaction usually from April through July, again depending where you live in the U.S. Climate change has caused longer pollen seasons and higher levels of pollination across the country.

Treating Allergic Rhinitis

The approach to treatment for allergic rhinitis includes first, controlling one’s environment as much as possible and avoiding what you are allergic to. Second is to manage symptoms. Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays, and eye drops and drug-free treatments like nasal washes are the typical course of treatment and can help relieve and manage your symptoms. Tivic Health’s ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief is a new part of the arsenal, recently cleared by the FDA to be safe and effective in treating the sinus pain associated with allergic rhinitis. Finally, if needed, one can be desensitized to what they are allergic to with regular allergy shots or vaccinations.

Alan Goldsobel, MD is a member of the Tivic Health Medical Advisory Board and a practicing physician at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Northern California. He’s an adjunct clinical professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, clinical professor, UCSF and past president of the California Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. ...Read More

Spring is Around the Corner and so are Allergies

April 2019

It’s March and while it may be cold and snowing in parts of the US - it’s the start of allergy season in other regions. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology between 40-60 million Americans have some form of allergic rhinitis - allergies.  Allergy season has already started along the west coast and in the south. In a few weeks those in the rest of the country will begin to feel the affects of pollen along with environmental allergies such as dust, mold and pet dander.

We’ve asked some top-notch allergists and ENT physicians from around the country, who see patients suffering from seasonal allergies and other related sinus conditions, to share their knowledge about this spring's allergy season.

You’ll be hearing from Subinoy Das, MD and CEO, US Institute for Advanced Sinus Care and Research in Ohio, Alan Goldsobel, MD at, Allergy and Asthma Associates of Northern California and adjunct professor at Stanford University Medical Center and others.

Here’s to a healthy spring!

Jennifer Ernst,
CEO, Tivic Health Systems Inc. ...Read More

Dr. Su Das from our Medical Advisory Board explaining how it works at CES Eureka Park booth.
CES 2019 Highlights

February 2019

Tivic Health participated in our first CES and what a week it was! We introduced our first product, ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief, and received a lot of interest and warm welcome from consumers, health care professionals and journalists.

We are proud to report that ClearUP won two awards from leading industry news outlets: Gear Diary’s Best of CES and Techlicious’ Top Picks of CES.

...Read More

3 OUT OF 4 SINUS PAIN SUFFERERS WITH ALLERGIC RHINITIS EXPERIENCED PAIN RELIEF – SEE CLEARUP™ AT THE CES SHOW

January 2019

CES is fast approaching and we’re looking forward to meeting with thousands of technology and medical professionals looking for the latest healthcare offerings.

For the first time, Tivic Health will be demonstrating the newly FDA cleared product ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief to the public at Sands Expo, Eureka Park, Health Section, Booth #53355.

ClearUP is a groundbreaking product for sinus pain for allergic rhinitis sufferers that was successfully tested with consumers in a double-blinded. Randomized Control Trial at a top-tier US science research center. The results were presented this fall at the American Rhinologic Society’s (ARS) Annual Meeting in Atlanta. The study included patients with Allergic rhinitis, Chronic Rhinosinusitis and other sinus pain causes. Overall results were:

  • 3 out of 4 who used ClearUP experienced a reduction in sinus pain
  • Patients treated with Tivic Health’s microcurrent ClearUP device experienced an average pain reduction of 30 percent
  • 82 percent preferred ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief device to their current sinus treatment(s).

In May 2018, recent third-party market research with 600 sinus sufferers has also revealed that sinus sufferers tend to use pills (75%) and prescription nose sprays (60%). However, 91% of them are concerned about taking too much medicine and 66% concerned about side effects.  ClearUP is an ideal option because it is drug-free, has no known side effects and is reusable for anytime, anywhere treatments.

Tivic Health is part of the emerging Bioelectronics industry. In fact, this fall the World Economic Forum named bioelectronics or “electroceuticals” as one of the top 10 disruptive technologies poised to change medical treatment.

We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas! ...Read More

Tivic team heads to CES 2019!

December 2018

Tivic Health staff is excited to be exhibiting and demonstrating the ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief device at the largest electronics show in the world, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Jan 8-11, 2019. ClearUP™ Sinus Pain Relief is the first bioelectronic treatment that relieves sinus pain for the 40-60 million allergic rhinitis sinus sufferers in the US. This includes any adult with seasonal allergies like dust, mold, and pollen or year-round allergies like mold, cleaning products or pet dander.

The Tivic Health team will be - Jennifer Ernst, CEO; Maureen Perou, VP, Marketing; Blake Gurfein, PhD, VP, Research and Scientific Affairs; and Chandra Durisety, VP, Manufacturing. Dr. Subinoy Das, a member of the Tivic Health Medical Advisory Board and CEO of US Institute Advanced Sinus Care and Research, will join us in Eureka Park.

ClearUP harnesses the power of bioelectronic technology into a simple, non-invasive, home device for use by consumers suffering from allergy-related sinus pain. ClearUp features a one-button control and three intensity levels for quick five-minute treatments. It’s portable for use at home, work or travel and rechargeable.

We hope to see you at CES, January 8-11, booth 53355 at the Sands Expo, Eureka Park, Health Section. If you are a journalist please stop by and see us at CES Unveiled on January 6 (invite only). ...Read More

Dr. Howard Levine talks “SINUS PAIN”

September 2018

By Howard Wolinsky, a healthcare blogger

Howard L. Levine, MD, an expert in nasal and sinus disorders, at the Cleveland Nasal Sinus and Sleep Center examines patients daily who often are complaining of “sinus pain.” But just because his patients think that’s the problem, it may not be the case at all. “Patients relate most things that occur in and around the face to the sinuses because people are aware of the sinuses being in the face,” observes Levine, an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist and past president of the American Rhinologic Society (ARS).

The sinuses are cavities in the bones of the face or skull connecting with nasal cavity. They produce a mucus layer that protects the nose from pollutants, micro-organisms, dust and dirt. About 15% of Americans see doctors for sinus issues, according to the American Rhinologic Society. And many others simply live with the discomfort.

In evaluating his sinus patients, Levine asks them to describe the nature of the discomfort, its severity and its location. “Individuals who have sinus problems typically describe their discomfort as pressure and congestion. Migraine sufferers, or those with cluster headaches, will say their pain is very severe and more than just pressure,” Levine says. Levine typically does not use the word “pain” unless the sinus patient specifically mentions experiencing pain. “I want them to use pain if in fact there is pain. I look for them to use the words that are more descriptive and can help differentiate the cause. I look for them to use words like pounding or steady or vise-like,” he said.

He then asks the patients to describe the severity of the discomfort on the typical 10-point pain scale. As in real estate, location, location, location is key. Location is important in diagnosing nasal problems and other kinds of head discomfort. Levine asks patients to point to the site of their discomfort or perceived sinus pain. He says some point to their noses, cheeks or brow bones while some point to their temples or the back of their heads--places where there are no sinuses.

He says once he has a history, he may use a nasal endoscope or a computed tomographic (CT) scan to examine the nose to look for physical deformities such as a deviated septum, a blockage in the nasal passage, sinus or nasal polyps that may be the source of pain and can be corrected surgically. Also, swelling of structures in the nose known as turbinates, shelf-shaped networks of bones and blood vessels, can be responsible for sinus discomfort, says Levine. Turbinates warm, humidify and filter the air. Levine says the turbinates can cause nasal obstructions and discomfort when people have a cold or allergies and when they encounter irritants.

If true sinusitis is confirmed, current treatments include several choices of medications that may include over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, decongestants in pill or spray form, nasal steroid sprays and antibiotics if a bacterial infection is found. Patients should ask their physicians and pharmacists about potential side effects from the drugs.

Levine says he has had an eye out for years for a non-drug product that can help his patient with sinus pain. “If there are non-invasive or minimally invasive treatments to help my patients and give them comfort, then I am going to inform my patients about them” he says. Levine says a product such as ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief should be safe, effective and have minimal side effects. ...Read More

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