In a user analysis, 81% of patients using the Flow brain stimulation headset and therapy app to treat depression reported feeling better after three weeks.
Thirty four per cent of patients reported an improvement in their mood, while 32% of patients reported a reduction in anxiety and 29% reported a reduction in suicidal thoughts.
Flow is a drug-free, at-home treatment that has been medically approved in the EU and UK.
UK clinics, including The Chelsea Psychology Clinic in London, are now offering patients the Flow treatment in combination with traditional therapy options.
WHY IT MATTERS
According to the World Health Organisation, depression is the leading cause of global disability, affecting over 300 million people, with a huge cost for healthcare systems worldwide.
The NHS has confirmed that nearly one in four adults in the UK are affected by mental illness.
The economic cost of mental illness in the UK is an estimated £105.2 billion, according to the Department of Health, and one in three work sickness notes handed out by GPs are for mental health reasons, including depression.
The type of brain stimulation used in the Flow headset (tDCS) has been shown in numerous clinical randomised controlled trials, including New England Journal of Medicine and the British Journal of Psychiatry, to have a similar impact to antidepressants, but with fewer and less-severe side effects.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Meanwhile mental health tech firm Meditopia scored $15 million in Series A round to expand reach of its culturally-tailored mindfulness app.
Last month, Pagabo and Moodbeam collaborated to aid mental health and wellbeing and improve working conditions in the construction sector.
ON THE RECORD
Daniel Mansson, clinical psychologist and co-founder of Flow, said: “COVID is changing how depression is managed, and driving a meaningful increase in demand for effective, at-home treatments that are safe, have minimal side effects and do not require a prescription.
“The results in this user analysis are comparable to antidepressants, and demonstrate the significant benefits of using Flow to self-manage depression. They add to the growing body of medical evidence that supports the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for the treatment of depression - and gives further impetus for the NHS to add Flow as one of their first lines of treatment.”