Monthly Archives: November 2013

First placebo-controlled study and peer-reviewed publication: Valkee is useless

[exclusive] The first-ever peer reviewed article about Valkee’s earlight was published last week. It was a placebo- and active-controlled study. It was negative.

Bromundt V, Frey S, Odermatt J, Cajochen C.
Extraocular light via the ear canal does not acutely affect human circadian physiology, alertness and psychomotor vigilance performance.

It was accomplished by scientists from the Centre for Chronobiology, Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel, Switzerland.

Valkee knew about this piece for several months. They were asked in public in the summer but declined comment. The company remained silent to its customers.

More about the results later on. For the moment, I am waiting for Valkee to react. They have always brought some marketing fakes before Christmas. There is not much time left, so the IFMAD tomorrow and other congresses have to be watched. Valkee is not on the scientific program, but their CEO Pekka Somerto has announced that they will put poster commercials on some walls shortly.

Now they have to compete with a real publication in a really peer-reviewed journal.


UPDATE 21.11.13: Like predicted, Valkee reacted with a weak poster presentation at the IFMAD in Monaco. Nothing in the scientific programme. It looks faulty at the first glance, but more when my time it allows.

Valkee dismissed this swiss study, of course. The points in the company’s rebuttal were not very valid. Their CEO promised a real journal article, but so they did before. Which journal will ever publish such a foul thing?

Nobody should waste $50 on the article full-text, it is available from the lead author’s page.


Update 25.11.2013: THAT’S ALL? A trash claim – that Valkee “does not work via Melatonin”? and that this study did not add anything new?

Two possible scenarios.
1.) Valkee does not want to talk about the negative results at all. From a marketing viewpoint understandable. Hope that all will forget, and nobody else notices.

2.) Valkee has nothing else to tell. They simply are done. Or maybe, it’s both.

For the endless discussions on several blogs: Don’t let them troll you.
It is absolutely justified to say “Valkee is useless” based on the current information.
Scientifically spoken: A fact.

Read the analysis of this study, and Valkee’s bogus comments here.

What are the side effects of Valkee’s earlight?

According to Valkee’s accounts, side effects of the earlight include:

  • headache
  • migraine
  • insomnia
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • earache
  • abnormal sensation in the maxillary region
  • tinnitus
  • tiredness
  • irregular heartbeat
  • irritability
  • lightheadedness
  • orthostatic hypotension.

In their negative, unpublished placebo-controlled study, >28% of the users experienced unwanted effects. These are only the spontaneously reported events – an under-reporting inherent to industry-sponsored clinical trials. The real numbers are therefore unknown, but likely to be much higher.

Is Valkee’s earlight a finnish invention?

or: How to con a president, part 1.

When Juuso Nissilä and Antti Aunio applied for a patent for their earlight device in 2006, the answer of the finnish patent office was short and clear:


None of their 13 claims or “inventions” was patentable. 12 were already invented by other people and patented before. One claim was unclear and could not be checked. One was not patentable even if it had been new: diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in humans cannot be patented in Finland.

A 4-year legal battle ensued then, resulting in a quite strange variant: Patented were LEDs in earphones, in case they were connected to a cable, that was linking to a controller, which must be operated by a user using software.

In other words: Earlight treatment is not a finnish invention, and especially it is not Valkee’s. Extraocular bright light is not. The ear canaI as a route was known before. And light-emitting ear plugs were not new. The idea of influencing one’s emotions with earlight was also preexisting.

What did Nissilä and Aunio invent to justify an INNOSUOMI award?