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Five technologies changing the mental health landscape

This week marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week which is aiming to get people talking about their personal issues and how they are feeling.

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From VR to AI-based listening tools, the mental health technology landscape has seen huge changes in recent years

In recent times the topic of mental health and how people deal with their emotions has become just as important as someone’s physical health.

Work, family and personal issues can all lead to a decline in this area as a lot of technology firms look to develop definitive solutions for this.

Here, Health Tech World looks at some of the latest devices being used to diagnose and treat certain mental health conditions, as well as those that simply boost a person’s wellbeing.

Open Mind Health

Keeping on top of your mental health in the long-term can be difficult, with quick fixes often appealing for those looking to get away from a dark place.

One company which offers a monthly approach to wellbeing through its ‘wellness tracks’ is Open Mind Health.

The US-based firm utilises a number of different telehealth services to deliver its plans, working with professionals to offer this on almost any device.

Video consultations play a key part in this, with every plan giving patients access to at least four online sessions per month.

Services range from psychiatry, psychotherapy and medication management to fitness and music therapy, with each wellness track offering help for different issues and conditions such as ADHD, relationship problems, trauma and addiction.

Memberships begin with a clinical assessment and the group’s experts are trained in addressing complex situations where risk management is needed.

Moodbeam

Thanks to new innovations the wearable technology market has seen a significant boost in the last few years, currently valued at around $28 billion with that figure only expected to rise.

This has allowed it to filter its way into the mental health sector, shown by the creation of one of the world’s first wearable devices that captures someone’s mood.

Moodbeam is a small wristband that lets its users record when they feel a sudden change of feeling, with the data recorded on an app to allow people to assess their mental health levels.

The device comes with two buttons to press when the user notices a mood change, yellow for positive and blue for negative.

This data can be used to spot patterns as well as creating a mood diary to show people how their emotions have fluctuated.

Last year the company’s debut product Moodbeam One was rolled out for healthcare professionals as part of an NHS trial which aimed to see how their feelings and behaviours changed daily.

FrogSystems

One mental health platform that is looking to use the power of storytelling to help with people’s struggles is FrogSystems.

Using the model of peer support the program showcases the lived experiences of those who have battled with their mental health, aiming to make others feel less stigmatised and less alone.

The company states it is not trying to replace any other wellbeing services, simply offering an alternative where people can embrace the experiences of others.

Ashia is the firm’s main product which is aimed at organisations looking after a group of people, ideal for businesses, schools and communities.

One group which has adopted this system is Sussex Cricket, which became the first sports team to adopt the system for its players and staff earlier this year.

FrogSystems recently secured £500,000 of investment to advance its platform which brings its current spending to around £2 million so far.

Clarigent Health – Clarity

For those who struggle with their mental health suicide can sometimes seem the only option.

This is certainly a problem in the UK, with statistics from 2019 showing the country has around 18 suicides a day, being the biggest killer of men under 45.

Although solving these issues can be complex, technology like that from Clarigent Health can play a part in preventing this worst-case scenario.

The firm has developed an AI-driven software named Clarity that can identify patients at risk of suicide, being used by professionals to provide an additional objective method of assessment.

By recording a person’s speech the technology identifies vocal biomarkers that are based on more than 10 years of clinical research.

Clarity can empower professionals when it comes to their decision making, all done through a mobile app.

emteq labs

When someone mentions virtual reality (VR) most people assume its applications are limited to things like gaming.

However some groups have made great strides in showing its benefits for measuring and diagnosing mental health issues, not least UK firm emteq labs.

The firm’s VR headset uses non-invasive electromyography alongside a heart rate monitor to create a 3D model of a person’s emotions and mood.

This could have huge diagnostic potential, but emteq are also looking at using VR technology to stimulate certain feelings in an attempt to treat certain mental health conditions.

Anxiety and depression are some of the conditions that could be improved from this, with those recovering from PTSD showing particular promise.

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  1. Pingback: The headphone seamlessly measuring your mental health

  2. Pingback: The human-centred wellbeing platform helping both its users and the NHS

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