Today's Entrepreneur: Richard Hanbury, CEO of Sana Health

Mitos Suson · November 2, 2022 · Short URL:

Without your team your dream goes nowhere

Today's entrepreneur is Richard Hanbury, CEO of Sana Health Inc., a neuromodulation platform for pain relief and deep relaxation.

Richard developed the technology behind Sana to eradicate his own life-threatening pain problem following a spinal cord injury from a jeep crash near Sana in Yemen in 1992.

Richard has an MBA (Healthcare) from the Wharton School, and  DipLaw (College of Law London). The original benchtop device removed all his nerve damage pain in 3 months, saving his life. He has spent 25 years developing the Sana technology from the original benchtop device to the current device undergoing clinical trials.

Sana uses pulsed light and sound, and a heart rate variability feedback loop, to guide the user into a deep state of relaxation. Clinical trials have just been completed in Opioid Use Disorder and Fibromyalgia. Sana is launching in Fibromyalgia in 2020.

I am a(n):


Companies I've founded or co-founded:

Sana Health Inc.

Companies I work or worked for:

McKinsey & Company

Achievements (products built, personal awards won):

Built first Sana device to save myself from a life expectancy of 5 years, following jeep crash in the Yemen 

If you're an entrepreneur or corporate innovator, why?

Serendipitously fell into it...

Why did you start your company or why do you want to innovate inside your company?

Started my company once I new that the first prototype device had saved my life. After 6 months of no pain, I finally accepted that I had fixed my own pain. I then started thinking about who else I could help? I started the company to help millions of people.

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

Fundraising is certainly the most frustrating aspect. I love inventing, making things and helping people, and fundraising is the task that is necessary to make that happen.

The most rewarding is when someone rings you up at 8am on Thanksgiving morning and says, "You don't know me, but I just had to tell you, your device saved my life, thank you."

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs/innovators make?

No clue on the general, not even sure what my biggest mistake has been. But close to the top has to be, thinking of credibility as a bar you have to cross, where in fact it is more of a ladder. Before you even get to MVP, think MVD - minimal viable data - to get to the next step.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

Minimal viable data - as above.

Without your team your dream goes nowhere.

Without money to pay your team, your team can't function.

Image Description

Mitos Suson

I produce Vator Events and enjoy the challenge. I am learning and growing a lot, being involved with Vator and loving every moment of it!

All author posts

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Today's Entrepreneur" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs

Sana Health Inc


Joined Vator on

Sana Health is focused on reimagining pain and mental health relief. The Sana device is an Audiovisual neuromodulation device that is designed for at-home use, returning control over treatment to the individual. 

The Sana Device uses pulsed light and sound delivered through a wearable and coupled with heart rate variability monitoring (and future closed feedback loops to personalize each treatment). The Sana 'My Relief' session guides the user into a deep state of relaxation or sleep in 16 minutes.

In early clinical trials this has shown to reduce pain by 20-40%, anxiety by 46%, depression by 49% and to improve sleep latency and sleep quality.

The device is paired with an app that allows us to collect objective and subjective data, and display those back to the user, and in future to share those with a physician portal, in addition to developing precision personalized feedback loops to create ever improving efficacy.

Our go-to-market focus is Fibromyalgia. In our first study we reduced Fibromyalgia symptoms by 45%, this is 3x the efficacy of the most effective drug for Fibromyalgia - Lyrica. Only 20% of Fibromyalgia sufferers take Lyrica, because of its quite brutal side effect profile. Lyrica sold $4.8BN in 2018 (Fibromyalgia was the largest component of this). 


Richard Hanbury

Joined Vator on

Inventor - Sana a neuromodulation platform for pain relief which he developed to eradicate his own life-threatening pain problem following a spinal-chord injury from a jeep crash near Sana in Yemen in 1992, its now his life’s mission to help others.