HiccAway Set to Appear on ABC’s “Shark Tank” on January 21

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UT Health San Antonio physician invented the anti-hiccup device with his patients in mind

"I can confidently state that HiccAway is one of the few products on ‘Shark Tank’ so far with a strong published research study as a backup," Ali Seifi, MD, a neuro-intensivist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, said.

The inventor and leaders of HiccAway, the world’s first scientifically proven medical device that safely and easily relieves hiccups, will pitch the product on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” The episode airs Friday, January 21 at 7 p.m. CT.

Ali Seifi, MD, a neuro-intensivist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio), invented HiccAway, a straw-like device that a person suffering from hiccups uses to sip water through from a cup or bottle. The device was the subject of an article in the June 18, 2021 issue of JAMA Network Open, a publication of the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Network. The article, titled “Evaluation of the Forced Inspiratory Suction and Swallow Tool to Stop Hiccups,” addresses the findings of a four-month cross-sectional study of 249 participants from multiple countries. In the study, HiccAway – scientifically labeled the “forced inspiratory suction and swallow tool (FISST)” – stopped hiccups in nearly 92% of cases and was rated favorably compared with home remedies across all demographic characteristics, hiccup frequencies and hiccup duration.

“I believe that the science behind our product is what makes our product trustworthy and reliable; there are many hiccup remedies that are all hit and miss with no exact science to them,” Dr. Seifi said. “Some health care products claim they can cure a medical condition, but they don’t have scientific backup to support the product. I can confidently state that HiccAway is one of the few products on ‘Shark Tank’ so far with a strong published research study as a backup.”

Hiccups can be chronic for patients with cancer, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, stroke, traumatic brain or thoracic injury, or after surgery requiring anesthesia. They can be debilitating, causing pain and exhaustion. Even temporary hiccups caused from consumption of food, alcoholic or carbonated drinks, or experiencing sudden excitement can be annoying and embarrassing.

“After I witnessed my own neurology patients suffering from hiccups without an effective treatment, I was inspired to develop a safe and effective device that would be simple to use and easily available to all people,” Dr. Seifi said. “When you forcefully sip water through the device, it keeps the phrenic and vagus nerves occupied, so they don’t have enough time to cause unwanted spasms in the diaphragm. This interruption stops the hiccups.”

With an estimated viewing audience of nearly 7 million, the Sharks on “Shark Tank” give entrepreneurs the chance to secure business deals to commercialize their products nationally.

“For me the experience was surreal,” said Victor Fehlberg, president and CEO of Higher Innovations Inc., which manufactures and distributes HiccAway. “It took so long to prepare, so much time was spent waiting, that when the pitch and appearance were finally recorded, it went too fast. It was like I was dreaming because it had been so long in the making.”

The HiccAway device is available for purchase online at Hiccaway.com, at Walmart.com, and through Amazon. It is also available in H-E-B stores throughout South Texas and through HEB.com.

About HiccAway
HiccAway is safe and easy to use by adults and children to stop hiccups. In addition, medical professionals employ it to treat their patients suffering from hiccups. HiccAway’s patent application was submitted in 2017 and today it is patent pending in the United States and Europe. In addition to being sold in Texas H-E-B stores, HiccAway is available for purchase through the company’s website, hiccaway.com, at Walmart.com, and through Amazon. HiccAway was designed and invented by Dr. Ali Seifi, a neuro-intensivist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio), and is manufactured and distributed by Higher Innovations Inc. near Denver, Colorado.

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