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The Future of Mental Health: How Medical Devices are Changing the Game

When we think of medical devices and medtech, we often think of solutions for physical health. However, with current technological advancements and the growing need to tackle mental health challenges, medtech is shaping the future of mental health wellbeing.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we wanted to bring you the latest innovations and developments in medtech, along with those who are shaping the mental health landscape.


The Mental Health Landscape in the UK


Before diving into the medtech innovations, it's important to understand the mental health challenges faced by many. In the UK:


  • 1 in 6 people, or approximately 45.8 million adults, report experiencing symptoms of common mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, in any given week in England.

  • Nearly half (43.4%) of adults in England think they've had a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life.

  • 61% of adults with mental health conditions don’t access treatment.

  • The number of people with common mental health problems increased by 20% between 1993 and 2014.

  • Mental disorders contribute to 14.3% of deaths worldwide, approximately 8 million deaths each year.

  • 98% of people agree that mentally ill individuals experience stigma and discrimination.

  • Nearly 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems say that stigma and discrimination negatively impact their lives.

  • 25% of people in England, approximately 14.1 million adults, feel lonely at least some of the time.


VR headset

Innovative Medtech Solutions


Virtual Reality (VR)


VR is transforming mental health treatment by creating immersive environments that can aid in therapy. Software development agency Animorph is leading the way with projects like 'We Speak,' an immersive VR app that helps young people build self-confidence by speaking to virtual audiences. This type of exposure therapy can be crucial for those struggling with social anxiety.



Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)


Swedish company Flow Neuroscience has developed a wearable headset that treats depression using tDCS technology. By sending gentle electrical impulses to the brain areas responsible for mood regulation, this non-invasive method has shown promise in reducing depression symptoms. The Flow headset is currently being trialled with the NHS and is also available for private purchase.



Treating Panic Attacks


The bcalm device, created by Dr. Stephen Cox, is a discreet tool designed to help individuals manage panic attacks. It works by reducing CO2 levels in the air you breathe, which helps calm the body's panic response.

Discover more: How bcalm Works



FDA-Approved Devices for Anxiety


Neurovalens' Modius Stress device, which recently received FDA clearance, uses non-invasive electrical stimulation to treat anxiety. This wearable device delivers safe electrical pulses to the brain and nervous system, offering a new approach to managing anxiety without medication.



ADHD Treatment


NeuroSigma's Monarch eTNS system is an FDA-approved device designed to treat paediatric ADHD. By delivering mild electrical impulses to the trigeminal nerve, it provides an alternative treatment for children aged 7 to 12 who are not on prescription medications.



Conclusion


As we observe Mental Health Awareness Month, it's inspiring to see how medtech is revolutionising the way we approach mental health treatment. From VR to wearable devices, these innovations provide new hope and solutions for those struggling with mental health issues. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more ground-breaking developments that will further enhance mental health care and improve the quality of life for many.


Join the conversation on our LinkedIn Newsletter and stay updated with the latest in medtech innovations. Don't forget to share this post and spread awareness about the importance of mental health and the promising future of medtech solutions.


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