Flow, the at-home healthcare system, is bridging the treatment gap for patients to improve their depression remotely. Combining decades of depression research with enhanced technology, it uses a non-invasive brain stimulation technique called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a long-used technology in clinics. 83% of people who use Flow identified an improvement in symptoms while using the device, 30% of users experienced a decrease in pessimism and 30% noted an increase in their focus.
The brainchild of clinical psychologist Daniel Månsson and neuroscientist Erik Rehn, Flow is Europe’s first and only medically approved at-home treatment using tDCS for depression, specifically targeting the physical root cause of depression. In a small portable device, the headset uses gentle electrical signals to restore activity in brain cells which results in a reduction of depressive symptoms. This July, Flow’s platform received FDA Breakthrough Device Designation – the first and only tDCS device to do so.
Erin Sivyer Lee, CEO of Flow Neuroscience, said: “With 280 million people globally suffering from depression, Flow’s mission is to find new ways of treating mental health issues by combining science and technology. Of course, there are effective treatments available, but over ¾ of people simply receive no treatment. Knowing the importance of early intervention and accessibility, it is our aim to address this by empowering healthcare systems, clinicians and patients to treat and manage mental health with accessible solutions.”
The economic cost of mental illness in England is estimated at £105.2 billion annually, and nearly one in four adults in the UK is affected by mental illness. People diagnosed with depression often have lower neural activity in their left frontal lobe, the part of the brain controlling key cognitive skills, including emotional expression. With this in mind, the (tDCS) from the Flow headset, is a form of neurostimulation that delivers constant, weak direct current via electrodes on the head to stimulate neurons in this area and help rebalance activity.
The brain stimulation delivered in the Flow headset is technically and clinically equivalent to devices used in clinical settings, providing in-clinic results from the comfort of your home. To maximise the chance of recovery, the headset should be used in conjunction with the Flow therapy app. The app is based on the latest psychology and neuroscience research and was developed by clinical psychologists and machine learning experts.
Flow gathers mood data and offers a personalised response modelled on behavioural therapy. It helps users to learn why sleep, exercise, nutrition and meditation are the main pillars of recovering from depression, and how they are connected to each other. Flow engages users with daily chat conversations, self-help techniques, curated videos, mental exercises, and mood tracking.
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