MdDS Reset was founded by Jan Van Riel and Michiel Carpentier.

Jan Van Riel is a software engineer and a serial entrepreneur. He holds over 30 software patents and has co-founded five startups, several of which had very successful exits. He co-founded startup Twintag, where he is also still active as both as Chairman of the Board and software engineer. After disembarking from a long flight, somewhere in 2018, Jan kept feeling swaying emotions when sitting still, as if he would still be on the plane. This condition now seemed permanent, sometimes somewhat better and then a few days later again worse. This was the third incident in a decade. Not a single doctor could tell him what was wrong. He was tested extensively yet nothing could be found. In 2019, he got a diagnosis: Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDS - translated in English: Disembarkment Syndrome). First diagnosed with patients who came back from a cruise and kept feeling seasick after the cruise. It is a vestibular (balance) disorder. The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that help control balance and eye movements. Although the condition has been described as early as the 17th century, it was a badly understood affliction - how could anyone feel motion when sitting still? Some of these patients were even placed in psychiatric institutions because surely they should be mad. A study of six patients in 1987 brought change - finally MdDS was getting attention, but it is still not very known among the medical community, which means many patients are not diagnosed correctly. In 2020, Jan finally found relief. Prof. Floris Wuyts, a physicist and head of the Lab for Equilibrium Investigations and Aerospace at the University of Antwerp, studies MdDS and its treatment techniques. He uses optokinetic (OKN) stimuli to readapt the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). The hypothesis underlying this treatment is that MdDS is caused by maladaptation of a functional component of the VOR called velocity storage, whose readaptation can be stimulated by exposure to whole-field visual motion coupled with head tilts. This treatment is currently given in an OKN cabin (see picture). Such an OKN cabin is currently available in only three locations worldwide, one of which is at the Otorhinolaryngology Department of St Augustinus Hospital in Antwerp, close to where Jan lives.

Jan was treated there successfully in October 2020. During such a session, Jan was thinking that there should be a better, more scalable and more efficient way to deliver such OKN treatment, and came up with the concept of the MdDS Reset VORtex, designed to help treat MdDS patients worldwide.

Michiel Carpentier's specialty lies at the touchpoint between business and technology, with experience in product ownership and product marketing, both as an independent consultant and prior to that in technology companies great and small. At TechGnosis he was a colleague of Jan, and they kept contact. While working at the time on an assignment at Twintag as product owner of the Twintag solution, Jan discussed the idea with him, and the decision was made to found MdDS Reset together and work out the product.


2020 - present