Swedish startup sees 247% boost in sales of brain stimulation headsets during pandemic

Flow says its device has helped 30% of users overcome depression.
By Tammy Lovell
02:00 am
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Credit: Flow

Medical device company Flow has reported a 247% increase in sales of its at-home, brain stimulation headset treatment for depression since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Swedish startup says its research found that 30% of its users report overcoming depression, during the crisis, by wearing the Flow headset which activates parts of the brain under stimulated by the condition and interacting with the accompanying behavioural therapy app.

Compared to 2019 figures with the previous year, users reported feeling 30% more resilient and 30% less pessimistic in 2020 despite the pandemic.

Flow users also reported feeling 35% more zest for life and emotional involvement in their surroundings.

WHY IT MATTERS

Flow is the first at-home depression treatment of its type to be medically approved in the UK and EU.

The type of brain stimulation used in the Flow headset (tDCS) has been shown in 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

Earlier this year, Flow’s app was included in the NHS ORCHA app library, meaning that NHS healthcare staff can recommend the solution to their patients.

Flow is one of many digital solutions being used to combat poor mental health during the COVID-19 crisis.

Digital health startup Taliaz was recently awarded a €2.3 million Horizon 2020 grant by the EU, to develop its mental health treatment management platform PREDICTIX. While Telefonica’s Koa Health raised $16.5 million in Series A funding to further expand its wellness and mental health apps in Europe, the US and Asia.

Earlier this year, Swedish digital health firm Mindler raised $8 million in Series A funding to expand its mental health platform which allows patients to book a video appointment with a psychologist.     

Wellness app giants Headspace and Big Health have also attracted hefty venture capital investments this year.

ON THE RECORD

Flow cofounder and clinical psychologist, Daniel Mansson, said: “Huge social and economic uncertainty associated with COVID-19 may have a profound and long-lasting effect on mental health. As healthcare systems strain to support an increase in mental health conditions during the pandemic - and with fewer people going to their GP for help with their mental health - access to effective, at-home treatment for depression has never been more important.

“During the pandemic our clear treatment pathway empowers those most vulnerable to depression to self-manage their condition with an effective, drug-free treatment from the comfort of their home.”

 

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