Found In The Rockies

Elliot Justin (FirmTech) \\ Bringing tech to sexual health

March 15, 2023 Les Craig Season 3 Episode 14
Found In The Rockies
Elliot Justin (FirmTech) \\ Bringing tech to sexual health
Show Notes Transcript

In today’s episode, we are joined by Dr. Elliot Justin, who is the founder and CEO of FirmTech. FirmTech is a company whose slogan is think smarter, get harder and the main product is a wearable tech device for improving sexual health and performance for all men, not just those with erectile dysfunction.

Here’s a closer look at the episode:

  • Elliot’s life growing up in an Army family. 
  • Elliot’s experience in medical school.
  • Why Elliot moved his family to Bozeman.
  • Pegasus Emergency Group
  • How an injury led Elliot back to aphrodisiacs.
  • How did you become interested in neuromodulation?
  • Erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety statistics.
  • What Is penis leak syndrome?
  • Nocturnal erections and sleep.
  • How do you measure sexual health?
  • Why has this not been done before?
  • What the data is showing.
  • Where to find Elliot online?


FirmTech Website:

Elliot Linkedin:

FirmTech LinkedIn:

FirmTech Instagram:

Elliot  00:00

But as we get older, all men get a condition called penis leak syndrome. No one talks about it won't talk about it because the as we get older, our smooth muscle but that wraps around our veins and pumps blood but pumps blood back to the heart or in the case of the penis holds the blood in the penis. These smooth muscles weaken, you can you can go to the gym and you can work out your skeleton muscles can't work. There's no way of working out your smooth muscles.

Les  00:36

This is Found in the Rockies, a podcast about the startup ecosystem in the Rocky Mountain region, featuring the founders, funders and contributors, and most importantly, the stories of what they're building. I'm Les Craig from Next Frontier Capital. And on today's show, I am so excited to welcome a founder and good friend who is based right here in Bozeman, Montana. Welcome to the show Dr. Elliot Justin, who is the founder and CEO of FirmTech. Now FirmTech is a company whose slogan is think smarter, get harder. Okay, if you haven't guessed it by now, today's episode is all about, this is really unique and innovative, a wearable tech device for improving sexual health and performance for all men, not just those with erectile dysfunction. Super cool device. Super cool topic. Hey, Elliot, welcome to the show.

Elliot  01:32

Good to see you Les.

Les  01:35

You too. So this is gonna be a fun episode. I can't wait to dive into all sorts of topics that our listeners have no idea how just how fun this is going to be. But why don't we just start off I'd love for you to just kind of tell your story a little bit, where you grew up, how you grew up, and especially highlighting your educational background, and really, frankly, your sort of first major career before you got into tech. How about that?

Elliot  01:58

Sure. Well, I grew up by the beach in New York City. My father was originally a career Army officer. And my mother was a social worker, I was fortunate intellectually that my parents would ultimately, utterly divided by the war in Vietnam. My father being thinking that the war was stupid, we had to win it. But my mother being completely opposed to the war, thinking that the consequences would be some sort of socialist utopia in South Vietnam. So it was my intellectual development was really great to have that kind of friction in the house. My mother was certainly cleverer than my father and won most of the arguments for more than one reason or another as old men and married men, no, but turned out in one way. And then my father was right, and about the situation the world so my mother wanted me to become a doctor, my father. At that point, when I was very young man was really open to my doing whatever I felt like my destiny was, I guess one thing that this that distinguishes my childhood is that my mother was very concerned that I wouldn't get into Harvard, especially coming from the community that came from she's very competitive about those things. So I'm probably probably the only company founder or Les you've ever spoken to who was taken to a urologist twice as a teenager for masturbating too much.

Les  03:08

This sounds like it could be an origin story for your inspiration. 

Elliot  03:13

For the first doc, the first urologist asked me how often I said, Oh, no, seven, eight times a day. And he said, Well, what makes you stop? So I stopped when I ejaculate blood, and he kind of nodded his head and says, Yeah, that's probably taking it too far. The the second time, I was a junior high school, the urologist just told me Look, you got to put up with your mother for one more year. So that's exactly the inspiration for this. But my point being that I've always been very interested in sex. I went off to Harvard despite my vices and at Harvard majored in two things. One was the biochemistry and the other was Slavic language and literature. I want to be a spy it was the height of the Cold War. And my father felt that was probably a bad idea because I couldn't take orders. And he also my father suspected, it's probably the case that the CIA is more of a corporatist organization than an anti communist organization. So I went to medical school because it was the longest time in school, I really, I found school to be easy. I thought school to be a great place to meet girls. And I wanted to school as long as possible. The first day of medical school, I looked around and thought, These are not my people. So I went to the Medical Library at that time for computers, there was something called Index Medicus. That basically was a was like a Encyclopedia of every article, and they'd be an annual that would come out and it was the norm was the why. So given my interest, I looked up aphrodisiacs, and there weren't that many I systematically tried them over the next, you know, two or three years didn't find find anything that really worked by not kept in, retained an interest in that area. Skipping ahead. I always wanted to live out west, I always felt the West is best in the East at least, I promised my father I wouldn't leave the east. Until my mother passed, my father was 10 years older than my mother. So around 2003 2004 I started looking for a place to live. Out here, it had to fulfill certain criteria, I have three children. So I wanted to have at least 10 to 12 AP classes in high school. I want to be a place where I could ski casually my kids can ski casually where like we could own horses casually and we would enjoy never have to lock our doors. I like towns that are of the scale of say 20 or 30,000. Because you can be known to be unknown as you choose my experience living once in a town of 2000 Is that just make up stuff about you know, you'll be sleeping with a UPS guy you'll be you'll you'll be having an affair with, you know, the Domino's Pizza delivery lady so they'll just hang your dirty laundry in a big town. That doesn't happen. So Bozeman, there was only like a handful of towns that met those criteria. 

Les  05:54

I was gonna say that sounds like a pretty restrictive set of criteria.

Elliot  05:58

Yeah, no one in my family wanted to move too, so I bribed, my daughter with a horse. I told my second son that he was a lot more likely to get into Harvard from Bozeman, Montana than Princeton, New Jersey and my oldest son was gonna be a junior it was essentially Hey, tough luck, you’re going to move. He threatened to to run away and I pointed out to him that he would end up in juvenile hall and Trent and he would not like his bedmates. Anyway, everyone's subsequently thanked me for moving out here, it was really liberating. And my wife and I still don't know where the keys to our house are. We never lock our doors and we have horses and we're able to ski casually and it's really great. There's also an entrepreneurial spirit here in Bozeman that I didn't find to be the case back East. So when I moved to Bozeman, I thought that I would get involved in health care, consulting and work a couple of shifts a week in the emergency department just to keep my hand in it. And I found to my chagrin, that they wouldn't hire me. I suspect because I was actually overqualified for the job. They were hiring family  doctors they weren’t hiring and emergency medicine specialists at that time. So I went into business I founded a company called SwiftMD That is the second oldest telemedicine company in the United States after TelaDoc, that company was sold a couple years ago, I founded Pegasus Emergency Group, which eventually grew to being in 11 states, we had over 750 employees. And we were regarded at the time of sale sale as the fastest growing highest quality emergency medicine company in the United States. But we also learned from our failures I founded a company called swift vitals, which was ahead of its time, this basic thing, I think, the Apple Watch, and we were able to get pulse oximetry, pulse and cardiac rhythm off of the radial artery and the ulner artery in the wrist. But I raised an inadequate amount of money. And I had the mindset of if you build it, they'll come and the time we're building it was not 07, when the there was a market crash didn't do which Obamacare put a tax on the gross revenue of new emergency medicine, new remote testing technology. So this investment became on attractive at that time now. Remote Patient mountain monitors, and wearables, like at the Apple Watch are there, they're everywhere. And there's a new app exactly every day and I'm involved with new app as well to the time it just was this wasn't right. And I didn't have the money nor the personal money, nor the network to keep the company going. I sold Pegasus Emergency Group 2015 with a thought that I would get involved in healthcare tech consulting, which was my primary interest at that time fortuitously, because I moved out west, I got very interested in horseback riding Les, as you know, and I know, when you're going really fast on a horse to like literally dirt bikes, you can actually get to have the illusion that you're a centaur. So I was riding,

Les  08:42

By the way, just for our listeners, this is a this is an amazing gift that Elliott has shared with me and gotten me into and it's one of the most incredible experiences if you haven't tried it, it's a it's definitely something that will become you know, for me it's like one of my favorite favorite things to do now and just so special to spend that time Yeah, with each other and out on unified with these beasts. It's amazing.

Elliot  09:04

Yeah, you can buy expensive skis, an expensive motorcycle, but you don't have a really happy relationship with them. So you know, if I'm my skis will never tell me. Elliot don't go down there. You'll die. Nor do my skis ever tell me come on Elliot Don't be a wuss. Come on. We're doing it. Okay, go ahead, pull the reins tried to make me stop what we're doing this. So I was Yeah, I was centrauring on a trail that I’d never been on before rather fecklessly And someone had cut a tree that fallen over this trail. So so many people walk off underneath it, but you couldn't ride underneath it. I wasn't I wasn't paying sufficient attention. I was going too fast and horses cannot stop on a dime. So I broke six ribs and six vertebrae. And as I was lying on the ground, the first thing I did, being a doctor was be certain that I wasn't bleeding out, knew my airway was okay. Next thing that follows is not something that I’ve talked to anyone I've been trying to get this important sign of medicine out to people so, I'm gonna say it here on the air. Note that people men and women hear me. It's called the cockup sign. Cockup sign, if you can. If you think your back is broken, you're worried about spinal cord injury. If you didn't cock up your big toe, you'll be able to defecate, fornicate, and urinate. The Big Three when it comes to so I could cock up my big toe. I knew I was going to be a lot of pain for a while. But as I was recovering, I thought I gotta go back to my roots and think what has happened with human sexuality since I started looking at aphrodisiacs in 1975. What has been done to rehabilitate.

Les  10:41

I knew it was gonna go back there, by the way, I knew it was gonna go back to that library, that medical library

Elliot  10:48

And, not much. There were five papers. In the medical literature by you know, these are peer reviewed papers in prestigious journals, doctors, the United States, Japan, and Taiwan and Egypt, saying that they are able to stimulate an erection in men with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury using three different modalities Transcutaneous electricity, electromagnetism, or an implanted electrode similar to what goes on with cardiac pacing. Well, as most people should have discovered by now, during COVID, they don't call it the medical literature, without reason because most of it is fiction. It's really as literature a lot of the studies are underpowered, or they have written two endpoints that are not particularly beneficial. And I tried all these modalities, a personal science fair project, I went to Denmark and how God built me a really powerful electromagnet. That didn't work. I had some engineers in Bavaria build me a transcutaneous electrical electrical stimulator similar to what's been used to treat migraine headaches and seizures. With limited success, I might add, I remember being in the library at my house with this. These electrodes attached to myself and this generator box in front of me going to play with various amplitudes and frequencies asking my wife to hang out with me because just in case something untoward happened. And she looked at me angrily and said, This is effing stupid.

Les 12:20

The voice of reason from Ann. 

Elliot  12:22

If you fry my favorite body part, I'll never talk to you again. She stormed out. Well, it didn't provide any body parts but didn't produce any results either. The last remaining one was to implant electrodes. It's called neuro modular and cardiac pacing has been around since the late 50s, a cardiac pacing and it works. You know, the cardiac pacer doesn't care whether your man woman, young, old, you know on crack cocaine, or you've just taken an overdose of tranquilizers, it just keeps it just works. Once it gets control of a nerve almost never stops working. Failure rate is almost zero. But the failure rate Interesting, interesting from neuromodulation the rest of the body when you're treating seizures, migraines, low back pain, failure rate is high and then effect tends to wear off quite quickly after three to six months. That's said I wasn't about to do so myself. without some help, some help help experienced helping hands on I also wanted first tested on animals. And because I was spending my own money,

Les  13:21

By the way, I would, I would hope so because this is a surgical implant, right? Like this is actually does…

Elliot  13:27

That's correct. So it's like a, it's an implant, okay. It's an implant by the cavernous nerve, which is everyone's favorite nerve. But no one's ever heard about the cavernous nerve is the nerve that is intimately involved producing erections and ejaculation. And so it's described in the literature. So a, you know, we met with several I met several veterinary surgeons in California, and we decided that the best animal to test us on was a ram. So we got erection and ejaculation, but we also got defecation and urination, which we attributed to ram neurophysiological anatomy wasn't exactly bedroom friendly. It wasn't. Now what if I'd gone our to raise money you usual conventional, California raise, so to speak, I would have tested on another 25 rams, and then I would have gone down to Colombia, or Brazil and tested it on people. That's what usually goes on. And that goes on, not visible to regulatory authorities. Instead, I thought I just got tested myself, I gotta figure this out what works, what doesn't work? So do friends who will not mention who are urologists who had a private surgical facility in California, and they implanted an electrode by my by my cavernous nerve on both sides. And nothing happened. So I think that the research that was done is was probably false. Either, deliberately so or just by some fluke able to get to work. I think it was false. I don't think we actually know how erections are produced which is really interesting given how interested our culture is in sex. And second, how much money is spent. Just in the sex twice the sexual sector alone is a $20 billion a year industry. If you add in the sexual wellness component, it's gotta go up with another five, five 10 billion that's United States alone. So,

Les  15:18

And Elliot, just to re-highlight to I mean, your this pursuit for you post this, this accident that you had on horseback was really about solving a massive, massive problem both medically and from a business perspective. Right. Was that was it erectile dysfunction, or what? Because you've explained this to me before, I'd love for you to describe the differences between, you know, like, the pill, taking a pill like like Viagra versus like an actual an actual solution or a more holistic, more comprehensive solution to the underlying problem, the medical problem.

Elliot  15:52

Well, the problems is enormous let’s put on, I felt that by addressing these, I’ll quantify it just a moment Les, I felt that if we could figure out how to produce erections in men who had spinal cord injuries, it'd be very easy to help men with erectile dysfunction. So erectile dysfunction, affects 50 50% of men by age 50 on reptile dysfunction, it goes up 10% per decade thereafter, I'm 70 years old, so it's 70%. By my age 20% 20-30% of men have premature ejaculation. Many men who have erectile disfunction, also premature ejaculation. And then there's the issue of performance anxiety, which is rampant. So there are a base. The you know, when the PD-5 medications have viagra-type medications came along in the in the mid 90s. Obviously, they became very popular, but the question is, are they effective, and also which one is the best? So, as far as the best issue goes Les, as you probably may listeners know, big pharma never competes head to head, they just demonstrate efficacy. And then they market the heck out of it. So we don't know whether vardenafil, tadalafil, sildenafil etcetera, we don't we have no idea which one is the end in terms of efficacy, we have every reason to believe these drugs are most beneficial in those who least need them. So much. It's estimated United States and more than half of the drugs being taken by men who don't have ED but have performance anxiety or, or they have their buddies have just heard read online you can drink more whiskey and not get whiskey dick if you take a pill. So I've you know, in my personal prescription pattern, I prescribe two categories of men. One are men 50+ who are widowed or divorced, I often tell them, often guys don't discuss this, you will have, you know they are with someone new. Well, you're gonna have a hard time getting someone new, that's normal. They don't get that and also if they're too proud, and they want to be able to perform right away. It's almost invariably after they establish a trusting relationship, they don't need the medication. They never really needed it. They just need they just need the placebo effect the medication. For younger guys. It's a it's a party drug. And, but as we get older, all men get a condition called penis leak syndrome. No one talks about it. I want to talk about because the as we get older the smooth muscle that that wraps around our veins and pumps blood back to the heart or in case the penis holds the blood in the penis, the smooth muscles weaken, you can go to the gym and you can work out your skeletal muscles, you can't work I just there's no way of working out your smooth muscles. So as we age as we get, we'll get Atherosclerosis hardening hard in the arteries, hardening the veins to some degree, it becomes harder for us to retain blood in the penis. So what does that mean, I’ll just talk about myself for a moment, since because it's that kind of conversation Les. Seventy years old rock hard for me. It's it's just, it's just the way it was when I was 14 and masterbating frequently. What’s changed? I couldn't do that again. There's no way I could masterbate 7 or 8 times in a day.

Les 19:06

Right? It's, the record has been set and it will not be repeated.

Elliot  19:11

The refractory period, the time between the erections is what changes and the ability to sustain the erection for a long period of time also changes. So and why is that because we're not we have one of the major reasons is we have been we all have penis leak syndrome. So blood goes in but doesn't stay there as long and this is also impacted by medication so we can talk about medications in just a moment. So for man my age to take a PD-5 medication is going to be less effective than a man your age and probably less effective than your teenage son Les, so because the the blood goes in maybe and then doesn't stay there. So I'm really interested in actually studying and we are going to start studying this starting next year tadalafil which is Cialis versus cockring because a cockring is a  mechanical solution this problem versus a cock ring plus tadalafil. Yeah, so that's the crux of the question. You know, they're kind of two worlds in this, Les,  in this area. They're two worlds that speak to each other and money and CPT codes, the big difference. So in the alternative healthcare world, we have shockwave therapy, we have injections of neurotoxins like Botox to the base of the penis, we have the P-shot, so called Priapus shot injection of one's own platelets spun down into the penis with the idea that you're going to be generating tissue. We have other procedures than other claims being made about alternative medications, supplements and exercise as well, in the conventional world of Urology community and the academic programs. They scoff at those things, they you know, they say they're not studied. Well, the alternative health care world is not interested in proving their efficacy and showing that they lack side effects, because they're making money. It's cash business, and a man with erectile dysfunction, will crawl on his knees and broken glass to get solutions and pay a lot of money, too. So and I'm not saying to stop therapy doesn't work. I'm not saying to neurotoxins don't work. I'm only saying that their degree of benefit, the long term side effects, the identification of who will benefit from the most who will benefit from the least these things have not been determined, but just people just pay money for hope some might be real hope some might not be real. On the conventional healthcare side. I know that if they're if these other alternative processes were FDA approved, and had CPT code, attached to them, the doctors would do them regardless of whether there was proof or not proof of their other sufficient proof of their efficacy. So on the conventional healthcare side, this is where to circle back to the business. All right now in the convention healthcare side. If a man goes to your urologist, or as internist or as general practitioner with retinal dysfunction, all they can do at most is wave an ultrasound over a flaccid penis in their office, it doesn't tell him very much. Or they can write a prescription, they can write a prescription for pills. And, and which pill works the best as just opinion.

Les  22:08

It's not it's not something that could be continuously monitored, you know, the same way that I could get, you know, regular vitals from an Apple watch or a Fitbit or something like that.

Elliot  22:19

Exactly. look Les, I'm 70. If I went to an internist and said you have got chest pain when I walk, that guy just listened with a stethoscope. It didn't get chest CT angiogram, missed echocardiogram, and some enzyme tests, I would think, what does this 1880? If our wives Les, went to a gynecologist, and they just did a bimanual exam without an ultrasound, and blood tests, you know, our wives would think, what is this 1960? So if but if a man goes to urologist or woman goes to a gynecologist for that matter, and says, gee, there's the issue of dysfunction, but even just said, I'm happy with my sexual performance right now. How do I maintain it? There's no way of measuring it. So because this work, I've done No,

Les  23:01

Wait a minute. There's no way of measuring it until now. Right? All right. Yeah. All right.

Elliot  23:09

I was contacted by because I was involved with doing some research on the Mercer position in Utah, on stroke catheter for a catheter for regulating blood pressure and stroke. A urologist friend of this guy in Utah said gee, I want to count the number nocturnal erections because no one knows about this but the number of nocturnal erections is indicative of your vascular health a man my age to have three plus a man your age to have four and you know, young guy in his 20s, or teenagers have shot five or six. So everyone knows about the morning wood. But

Les  23:42

But there's a medical term for that nocturnal erection, it just happens to be occurring right when you wake up, I guess.

Elliot  23:48

You’re right. Because they occur during REM sleep, nothing that I didn't know till a few months ago. Is it every episode of quality sleep of REM sleep is accompanied by an erection when a man is not castrated? Yeah. So your your people are measuring their sleep off of a wearable on their wrist with a finger with the silhouettes. And we'll be publishing research about this. It's our conviction that the penis is much more of a direct monitor the quality of sleep than I thought, well, we call it the world's first under wearable. So what do we do? So this doctor wanted to capture number nocturnal erections and I had a larger thought he want he wants to go the FDA route and raise 

Les  24:29

How would you do that in a clinical trial? What you have to you have to like sleep under a camera like how would they even do this? Or do they have to be bunch of wires you

Elliot  24:36

You’d have to be in a lab, exactly have to be in a lab. Okay.

Les  24:39

It sounds like that would be really great conditions to get a good night of sleep.

Elliot  24:43

Yeah, right. Well, I also have a problem with actually that's definitely one component we would want to measure Les. We also want to measure as a reflector of someone's reptile health I call it reptile fitness. Because before this dysfunction is fitness we all want to be fit and maintain our fitness. So, we want to measure the durations parameters of erections during sex. That's what guys most care about how hard How hard to I get, how long do I last?

Les  25:08

Yeah, that’s the score that they want to post. Yeah, they want to post that to their, like Tinder profile probably right? Is that, gameify it a little bit. 

Elliot  25:14

Right, we picture that in the future that will happen with men. And we're gonna want to know the scores both sexes, because we've worked on device for women as well, too. So, my thought these might, you know, what I told these guys, was that what I was, after about a month was that when it'd be better to embed sensors into a cockring come out on the consumer wellness side. Like most wearables, and most most of their other than the Apple EKG function, everything else is for the Apple Watch, or woop, or these are not these are FDA registered for safety, but they're not FDA approved, for, you know, the payment from an insurance company. So they didn't like that idea. And they fired me, I've never been fired before in my life I had well, they also had my perspective, they made three mistakes. One, if the idea, nocturnal erections as an indicator of vascular health, is in the public domain is there papers that affect if the sensor technology is in the public domain, we're using a pressure sensor strain gauge and they're everywhere, then you can get a patent because the pads not going to be defensible, because the idea and the technique and the application and the utility are in the public domain. So I see they up and they also spend money on this patent. And they also they want to put a strain gauge into a cockpit into like a condom ring that six times the elasticity of condom because they're concerned about strangulation, effective differences, this one overnight. And I guess I just had different life experiences these guys, I knew about cockrings, I also knew that if you've noticed you go into any pharmacy or gas station, it states and you buy a condom. And there's no warning on it that says if you leave this on overnight, your dick could fall off. So yeah, I had a different idea. So I put it so if we're going to bed since so they fired me and I offered to buy the company and ended up acquiring a right to my intellectual property that I had built for them. It all worked out for everyone because that the doctor who had this idea, and Dr. Hotelling is now my chief medical officer. And yeah, so those that ended will so we basically, we've embedded sensors into a cock ring. Now the challenge is we have to have a cock ring and that can be worn overnight and most of your listeners are unaware of the great cockring problem. You know what the great cockring problem is?

Les  27:35

Tell us! Tell us Lord of the Rings. 

Elliot  27:38

The problem with cock rings, having experimented with them, is that they're made out of hard silicone. They pinch, they are uncomfortable.

Les  27:46

That doesn't sound like something that I want to wear. Yeah.

Elliot  27:49

And the recommendation is actually take it off in 20 minutes. Otherwise, it could, it could damage the tissue. So they’re hard, they're uncomfortable. They're difficult to put on and off. And so I knew I wanted to make a cockring out of a soft elastomer. I think, I think that the inspiration for that was a stress ball in my wife's desk, and I need to make a cockring that can be easy on and off for safety. Not just safety, but also ease of putting it on. I mean, Les you and I are both lean guys, I can look down, I can see my genitals. Most men my age, frankly, most men your age, they look down and see belly. So they need something that they can put on when they have had a couple of puffs at pot or a couple of shots of bourbon, they are taking an antidepressant they taking what you know, whatever.

Les  28:32

Like you put on a glove, you just you could do it without looking kind thing. That easy. So, by the way, a lot of constraints in terms of you talking about all these, you know, a mechanic, you know, sensors, you know, it seems like a really challenging design problem that you navigated here.

Elliot  28:48

Yeah, I also Les, I wanted to make a cockring that would actually increase pleasure. So with our cockring…

Les  28:56

That’s right, because if because if it if it's if it does the opposite, then you're not going to get people aren't gonna want to put it on where it and then they're not gonna get the data and then like, what good is it?

Elliot  29:03

Exactly. So our cockring not only does it have senors in it, but 75% of men who use it report having a more powerful orgasm. Why? Because this is what men this is what men need to learn straight men learn from the gay community, the more blood you retain in your penis, the more pleasure you experience. So straight guys had this sort of pride issue. I don't need that. It's not about need. It really should be about want. Do you want to have better orgasms or not? Do you want to be able to sustain an erection or not? I think that to my mind, those are almost rhetorical questions. But for straight men, they're not. I mean, one of the one of the jokes we have in the company, is how you tell the difference between a straight doctor and a gay doctor. The straight doc you asked when do you use a cockring? The straight doctor will say I don't need that. They will look at a cockring look at Superman looking at kryptonite. The gay doctor will say last night you got a better one. So 10% of straight men use cock rings once a month. Ten percent of straight men who have sex 3 or 4 times per month use cockrings regularly and 90% of gay men do. And so the answer, going back to we talked about earlier, penis leak syndrome or ED, the first therapy is really mechanical therapy, a ring.

Les  30:21

That's I was gonna say this probably ties to the penis leak syndrome that you brought up earlier.

Elliot  30:26

So we we've had men who've just used our ring alone without the technology, who stopped taking the tadalafil. They don't need it. Because

Les  30:35

That's right, because you sell two versions. I think I saw online, right? You have one with the sensors and one without. And I assume the one with the sensors. Can you tell us about that? Like how to, obviously the sensors are measuring, you said pressure and strain. But what does that mean for me as a user? Like what is my experience? Like I assume it's a mobile app,

Elliot  30:53

Yeah, it’s a mobile app Bluetooth enabled for someone like you Les, if you went to a doctor for an annual physical, and they didn’t do an electrocardiogram or check your blood pressure, you think What are you doing? Well, it'd be really useful for you to know that you have four nocturnal erections per night. Even if you are in good health, even if you have no sexual issues whatsoever. I'm 70 when I saw that I average three to four nocturnal erections per night. That was more information to me and made me happier certainly, than knowing that my blood pressureand  electrocardiogram are good, but one during sex,

Les  31:22

And I would, I would imagine, also with the nocturnal stuff. I mean, if I'm a healthy male in my 20s, maybe I'm a marathon runner. Let's say I have typically five nocturnal erections at night or six, maybe, suddenly, I started having two, I would imagine that could also be signal as well, right? Like,

Elliot  31:39

Yeah. The majority of men who have heart attacks have progressive ED before they have a heart attack. Same thing with stroke. But boy, Les I really wonder with all these young athletes suffering from myocarditis and sudden death right now, whether this what we're doing would be valuable, even younger men, you know, men in their 20s and 30s. But the other one during sex, we also mentioned duration, the firmness of erections. What's the value in that? Well, that's the compliments.

Les  32:09

I always assumed it's a one or a zero scale there. Oh there is a scale, ok. 

Elliot  32:17

That scale is impacted by medications, especially antihypertensives. Antidepressants, sleepers, and it's impacted by alcohol, recreational drugs, smoking, exercise, diseases like diabetes, hypertension, so measuring ones’ measuring the number nocturnal erections, measuring one's duration of firmness, during erections during sex becomes an important way of monitoring the body. It's like having EKG stress test for your sexual health. But your sexual health is also a reflection of your overall health, reflection, your vascular health and reflects the impact of medications. And God knows a lot of men have taken antidepressants right now which they are cock killers. So we are working on something similar for women we've tested already on 14 Female bioengineers. Granted, that's the select group. I don't know if they're representative of women, but I bet they are. And we are measuring women's, clitoral health and we raised and we're raising money for that right now.

Les  33:18

How do you put a ring on that? Like, what do you how do you do that? I mean, has anything like that been done? Obviously. You know, I think it's helpful you explain how the cock ring it's similar to a cock ring with with the men's health device. But has anyone ever measured women's health in such a way? 

Elliot  33:34

No, well, Massa Johnson did it grossly so to speak and that they would wake up women periodically during the night. See if they have nocturnal clitoral erections. And they would measure the erections with CalPERS. And by judging the visual appearance of the labium nora. Is it red, or is it not white they had a scoring system. Les, it's really shocking. No one has studied it. At least not in any significant way. What I'm trying to do though, is take this out of the lab and out of the medical environment put into an environment where both men and women are will be comfortable in the privacy at home under normal circumstances and assess the status or their sexual health measure the on their own with the impact of medications drugs, even partners on on a sexuality and if they want to share with the doctor great and frankly, if they want if they want to compete with their friends, I mean Les who was the firmest ex-ranger in Montana, you or someone else?

Les  34:31

Ah, yeah, I don't know if that's material for the Found in the Rockies podcast, but I you know, I Well, yeah, that's I get it. I get the analogy.

Elliot  34:41

Who's the firmest founder?

Les  34:44

Well, yeah, that's an interesting one, too. You know, I what's fascinating to me, Elliot is like, how and I would imagine a lot of medicine is like this. It's like, there are things we could be measuring. There are things we could be doing to just promote healthier lifestyle. Sexual wellness, health and wellness like, but it's like, isn't it 2023 Right now? Like, why is this something not been done before? Like what is going on?

Elliot  35:10

You know, I don't get it, either. I'm, I recognize that physicians are focused on procedures, five other dog less eye procedures that have CPT codes attached to them. But people should be interested in this. They don't. I don't, you know, I don't get it anyway, we have the world's first under wearables, we are going to change the practice of urology and gynecology and sexology by providing men and women with objective data that's easy to obtain in privacy without appointments at home.

Les  35:46

Incredible what a vision. I mean, it's amazing. It's amazing to watch the progress and the you know, the inspiration story, I mean, everything it's really like your entire life from you know, when you when you got taken to the doctor as a young adolescent up until now, it's like really leading to a big hairy, audacious goal here. It's amazing what you're working to solve no pun intended on the hairy part, I guess, that might seem inappropriate for this episode. But but you know, the other thing I just want to say too, is like, what are you seeing? What are you finding because like, like, just so folks realize, like, you can go get one of these today. You can order one of these, right? And you can get it shipped to you. Right, like and people are using this what's going on? What are you finding? What are you seeing?

Elliot  36:25

Yeah, we're in the Apple and Google stores. What are we seeing is this well, there's a lot more erectile like penis activity at night than people thought. We have people who are we have young people who have an inadequate number nocturnal erections, who are who wouldn't have known that, because this is a leading indicator, I mean, this is something that will deteriorate number nocturnal erections, or firmness, they will deteriorate before someone necessarily becomes aware of it and goes to a doctor. So we've had young men who are young bodybuilders who have stopped taking them take medications that are harming their sexuality or their ability to be to have children. And we have old, older people who are getting off of excessive antidepressants and blood pressure, switching blood pressure medications, to medications that are more supportive of their sexuality, and then we have people resolving important relationship issues. At both extremes, if a man has nocturnal erections, but can't get it up with a partner, there's something going on in the relationship or vice versa. If a man has one or less nocturnal erections, there's no amount of you know, well put this way. So some person's partner is getting jaw fatigue or risk fatigue in vain, because just isn't, it isn't going to happen and that and that man needs to see a doctor get at a minimum, a cardiovascular assessment and get that'd be have diabetes ruled out. You know, it's Les, it's my people develop positive relationships with wearables, whether it's a digital scale, or whether it's following their oxygen saturation on on the smartring or smartwatch or the cardiac rhythm. It's my hope that people using the our technology will develop positive relationships with it. And they will focus on maintaining their sexual health, and the things that are necessary to maintain their sexual health in terms of diet, exercise, compliance with diet with their diabetes, or hypertension medications, beliefs that have an overall better health. I want people to have a way.. 

Les  38:22

I was just gonna say I'm curious about that. You know, I just finished I read a book by Dr. Chris Palmer recently called brain energy. And it really changed my understanding of, you know, mental health, the connection to metabolism, and then ultimately, the connection to chronic illness and physical health. You know, the one thing that Dr. Palmer missed, though, was sexual health when it's a big it's a big piece, right? I know, it's a big miss for a big book. But what did what do you you know, as a medical doctor, and as a professional that spent your entire career really at the center of this, like, how important is that for folks? How should we be thinking about that as as people in terms of living a healthy lifestyle and how our sexual health plays into being well?

Elliot  39:01

Well, there's several important factors here. One is that regular sex, which is a lot more fun and regular exercise makes people happier. It also is associated with living longer, it benefits the immune system that benefits cardiovascular system. Matter of fact, there's not a single system the body when people haven't written in research showing that regular sex leads to improvement in any disorders that body system. They're all just the cardiologist referred to the penis as a canary in the coal mine of vascular disease. I suspect the same thing applies to clitoris as well. It is a something that we need to follow keep track of. It's also a use it or lose it phenomenon. So we all would like to maintain our fitness before there is dysfunction male or female, this fitness but how do we maintain our fitness? Well, we maintain a fitness by exercising that part of a body. We also maintain our fitness data. So right now we have data for could be digital scale, it could be for diabetes or how many steps took yesterday? Well, we all know what a man care about more how many steps it took yesterday, or the erections. That's a rhetorical question that everyone knows the answer to men and women, maybe women even better than men. So with FirmTech, we are for the first time providing men with data with vital signs for their most vital organ, and their life will benefit overall if they if they maintain their fitness. Another thing to bear in mind too, is that one of the things we spoke about earlier with the value of cockrings mentioned not see these things as crutches something to be ashamed of being embarrassed about. They just see them as aids, as enhances rather soon as enhancers it, not just at their pleasure, but are their partners pleasure, because the men are more confident with the men last if the men by not, you know, have a better road, some deployment has benefit as well, well to from that. So if you want to have a lifetime of lovemaking, we all desire stay fit. And if you're not fit, if you're dysfunctional, find out where you are, and try to stabilize the situation there. Take your comply with diabetes medication, lose weight, eat better, exercise regularly have sex regularly.

Les  41:06

All right, well, Elliot, I just want to thank you again for the amazing journey you are on. And you know, the fact that you chose Bozeman, you know, over 20 years ago and became a part of this community and raised your family here is super exciting, you know, for us and for, you know, being an incredible founder in the Rockies on an incredible journey, looking to innovate and change sexual health for all of us for you know, for generations to come. thankful that you're here today. I'd like you to just finish up if you could, and tell our listeners a little bit more about where they can find you, and FirmTech online, especially if they're interested in being a customer.

Elliot  41:45

Sure, you can find us at You should feel free to contact me directly at if you have specific questions, but our online store is at You can also find us on Instagram, one thing and the Apple and Google Play stores under FirmTech.

Les  42:04

Awesome. Thanks, Elliot. Appreciate your time today. Thank you for listening to this week's episode of Found in the Rockies. You can find links in the show notes or go to next frontier to get transcripts, links and contact information for today's guests. If you like what you heard and want more, please don't forget to rate review and subscribe to get notified as our new episodes drop every two weeks. We'll see you next time.