TaoPatch – Is it a scam?

I’ll try to keep this one short…. if people want to ask me a question, please leave a comment.

Let’s look at the info on the Taopatch website, and then look at the evidence that Taopatch provides.

If you are a Multiple-Sclerosis patient looking at Taopatch for MS treatment, please tread carefully. Don’t be persuaded by testimonials or the offer of a money-back guarantee as sufficient evidence, regardless of how desperate you are, talk to your doctor, and make sure you look for concrete evidence that this is not a placebo product. The product is NOT FDA approved.

What is Taopatch made of?

Taopatch® claims to be a “nanotechnological medical device”. It is a Mylar disc, that they claim has had “nanotechnology elements” added inside, such as “upconverting nanocrystals”, “quantum dots”, and carbon nanotubes.

“Taopatch contains ultra-thin layers of nanocrystals called Quantum Dots, 10.000 times smaller than a human hair, with a similar width of our own Human DNA”

Who created Taopatch?

fabio fontana taopatch

Fabio Fontana – Taopatch Founder

Taopatch was supposedly created by Italian bioengineer Fabio Fontana (photo right). From his linkedin, he started working on Taopatch in 2013. For someone who supposedly spend a decade researching EMF, it is interesting that he has zero publication history … and his linkedin shows no years or details of his past research or work history in this field. Roberto Ricci is listed as a co-creator of Taopatch too.

How does Taopatch work?

It appears to be pseudo-science. Taopatch claim it works by emitting ‘biophotons‘. While biophotons are a known phenomena, there is no evidence that these play a role in intracellular communication, or that by simply adding more similar photons that any healing effect can be achieved. This is a classic example of Pathological science. Biophoton treatment appears very similar to homeopathy in terms of claims of incredibly weak signals offering immense healing power.

Taopatch claims to achieve the same results with unspecified Quantum Dots. Yes, Quantum Dots are a real thing too, but they do not create free energy out of anywhere… they certainly can’t create more energy than they receive! Yes, low-level laser therapy is also a real thing too, but there’s a big difference between low-levels they use (typically ~5W/cm2) and, well, zero!

As you can see, Taopatch mixes current scientific research, scientific buzzwords, and complete fabrications, to present as a technology that seems ‘miraculous’ but yet almost plausibly believable. I am certain in my own mind that there are several inconsistencies in their work that give away their deception.

Real Low-level Laser therapy — note the still very visible glow from the laser!

What proof is there that Taopatch works?

There is no proof available showing that Taopatch contains functioning Quantum Dots, or any proof that it emits anything at all! — it appears to be a sham, or placebo device.

Only a few very poorly written studies that claim to show how improvements were found when people wear Taopatch, but when searching for information about the researchers, you end up discovering that many of the supposed authors do not appear to exist. Taopatch publishes a list of “research” on their website. Of the five links they offer publicly, lets quickly evaluate them:

1 Nano-technological devices in degenerative cerebral pathologies. Prospective study on 28 patients with multiple sclerosis. Read Study
2 Nanotechnology and Posture, from research to practical applications. Study with placebo comparison, control group on subjects with multiple sclerosis. Read Study
3 Improvement of Postural Reprogramming by a Nanotechnology Device. Read Study
4 Effects of nanotechnologies-based devices on postural control in healthy subjects. Double-blind randomized study. Read Study
5 Use of Taopatch nanotechnology for dental care in HCP subjects. Read Study
  1. Paper 1 was published in 2019, in a “complementary therapies” “scientific journal” for “training, information and professional news“, covering all healthcare professionals, including ” veterinarians”. Only 28 participants were involved in this laughable study. As for the authors? The study was supposedly conducted at Cannizzaro Hospital, but if you search their site, none of authors are recorded as working there (Alberto Lomeo, Giuseppe Cacciaguerra, Domenico Garsia, nor the venerable vascular surgeon Antonio Scolaro). Zero citations….
  2. Paper 2 is a 2015 “masters thesis” by three supposed doctors, but I could find no evidence that they are real people with a real research career. One of the authors, a Dr Gaetano Caldarera, even lists a paper from 1894 (“Potenza di una serie particolare”) as something they have self-authored! Zero citations since it was written five years ago. This paper is also FULL of plagiarism. For example:
    1. From the fake document:
    2. Plagiarised from this online article…
  3. Paper 3 was published in 2018, this time by some real authors, including dental expert Aurea Maria Immacolata Lumbau, and Russian biochemist Anna Shevchenko. This paper has results which are weak, and on the border of statistical significance. Regardless of the results, the paper is poorly written, and provides insufficient details to be reproduced. It is unclear whether a placebo was correctly used in this trial. Finally, Taopatch is not even mentioned in this article once!
  4. Paper 4 is behind a 45 Euro pay-wall, and so a detailed evaluation was not possible, but at least this one seems to have been written by real authors! Only 30 participants were involved in the study, but at least it sounds like the study was a randomised controlled trial. If someone can provide me a copy of this paper I will be happy to review it.
  5. Paper 5 is not a paper at all, it is merely a poster. In their study, it does not appear a placebo was used.

 

Review of Taopatch Literature

I am left unsatisfied by the literature offered by Taopatch, and the very low quality of some of these works indicates that Taopatch does not understand scientific rigour. Any company that offers a medical device needs to show that the product is not “snake oil”, and demonstrate that the product is better than a placebo effect. We know that the placebo effect is a real thing, and I fully believe that most of the positive reports about Taopatch are from genuine users. However, it my strong belief that this product appears to be a fake placebo product. The use of terms like “nanotechnology” and “quantum dots” without clarification are a big red flag, and I have seen these terms abused as a way to persuade non-scientific people that a product is ‘complicated’.

To those with MS looking at TaoPatch, please don’t be blinded by desperation! As much as you want a cure or solution, you need to stay sceptical if you don’t want to be fooled by products just like this.

I hope this post helps some people, and I am sorry I don’t have better hope to offer for those with MS.


P.S Still have doubts that this is a scam? Search for “Multiple Sclerosis Advanced Energy Patch”. These things (magic placebo patch treatments) are all over the place, this has just been supercharged with marketing energy from the team at Enventys Partners, just like they did for the Kailo scam

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Abel

    Thanks for your investigations. I was on the path of the biophotons being a pseudoscience. Everything looks really scammy indeed. I have MS and I have bought the superearlybird offer on indiegogo for $99,- This money I can loose just out of interest (maybe I am sensitive for placebo after all 🙂 They also sell a double pack for $999,- That’s real money. Thanks!

    • admin

      Hey Abel, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I can certainly appreciate your open mindedness to try new technologies, and keen desire to support innovations. It really is a shame that TaoPatch doesn’t appear to be a true breakthrough for MS treatment. I wish you the best.

  2. I am Marie Heron. I have lived with M.S. since 1985. I host a podcast for people living with M.S. I have purchased the Taopatch. I will be recording my experience as evidenced based research for my Social media followers. I attended a webinar with the Taopatch team. I left feeling encouraged. Similar to statins being used on the U.K., the Taopatch people never developed their product for people living with M.S. They did however, study the best outcomes of the Samboni treatment. They isolated the process that enabled people with M.S. to regain their mobility, gait and posture.

    • admin

      Dear Marie,

      Thanks for your comment. I have watched one of their webinars, and I found it lacking in evidence. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to test things on ourselves objectively – we are all (including myself of course) susceptible to biases that cannot be avoided. This is the need for properly executed, double blind clinical trials. Taopatch claim to have done some of this, but their garbage-quality publications give away the fact that their science appears to be completely fraudulent.

      I wish you the best with your trials, and I sincerely hope the science of M.S treatment continues to evolve and progress.
      Kind regards,
      Sam

    • admin

      Wow, where do you find this stuff? VoxxLife appears to also be a complete sham… Mark DeBrincat is a Chiro, not a medical doctor. Facebook group full of “testimonials”. Their own “paper” (that is neither peer reviewed nor published in a journal) says “The exact mechanisms of action of the Voxx sock foot pattern on the somatosensory system are currently unknown”. No placebo testing… 😆

  3. Outstanding summary and thorough research! (I had not even thought to look up the authors of the papers to make sure that they were real people … I just assumed that they were, but was quite unimpressed by the so-called publications for their lack of scientific or statistical rigor. They do not show the results of the “control sample”, nor describe their experimental design (for example, what was the protocol for those in the control sample? What insurances were taken that they were treated exactly in the same way as the patch-wearers? Were those studies conducted in a double-blind manner? At least in a single-blind manner?)

    Feel free to include here the back-of-envelope calculations I provided on the FB group page demonstrating that the available energy provided by the human body is insufficient to power these patches to levels required by ultra-low-level-laser therapy devices.

  4. Paul Leu

    Thanks for your investigative efforts! I was intrigued by the TaoPatch but was sceptical, especially after reading Maria Konnikova’s wonderful book ‘The Confidence Game. Why We Fall for It…Every Time’ (2016). Over the years I have put a lot of money and hope into things that in the end proved useless (not all were scams, and some may have proved useful had I used them more systematically).

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