Research and development (R&D) is a cornerstone of modern society, enriching the lives of people across the globe. Alongside technology, the medical industry is seen as the archetype of innovation – but within health and wellbeing, mental health is often an afterthought.
Only recently has this started to change, with action hurried along by the spike in mental health conditions reported during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many countries were hit with a wake-up call, with the World Health Organization reporting that the global prevalence of anxiety and depression has increased by a massive 25% in response to social isolation.
Following Mental Health Awareness Week, and amidst Stress Awareness Month, we want to talk about the R&D that is dedicated to de-stigmatising mental health conditions, whilst innovating methods of diagnosis and treatment.
These R&D-driven businesses, and many that aren’t featured here, provide hope that in the (not too distant) future mental health conditions will be openly diagnosed and properly treated – equal to their physical counterparts.
Half of the population will experience trauma at some point in their lifetime.
In the UK alone, 4 in 100 adults have diagnosable PTSD at any given point, with three out of those four never receiving any professional mental health support.
re;mind is a platform, founded by Freya Hickman, that seeks to empower trauma survivors to rebuild their lives using intelligent technology and an intuitive interface.
How does it work?
Understanding first-hand the mental and physical manifestations of trauma, Freya developed re;mind’s innovative software to provide relief and ‘grounding tools’ during moments of distress, track how users are feeling, and allow users to gain clarity when it comes to their wellbeing.
The re;mind app uses inputs, clinical evidence, academic research, and data science to grow smarter and more tailored over time, adapting to each patients’ individual needs so that they can better understand their triggers and how to alleviate symptoms.
Find out more about re;mind.
Thalamos is a bespoke software solution for digitally completing and managing Mental Health Act pathways across any device – allowing those in crisis to access care, and clinicians to administer care, more effectively.
The digitalisation of mental health documentation allows clinicians to reduce human error inherent in the paper process, whilst streamlining and improving outcomes for patients.
Thalamos is about more than simply digitalising the Mental Health Act. Their first software product, Thalamos Assess, gives clinicians the tools to optimise the treatment time for patients receiving care.
Through consulting with clinical steering groups and mental healthcare professionals, Thalamos’ technology is set to become an integral component of the diagnosis and treatment of individuals seeking care under the Mental Health Act.
Find out more about Thalamos.
Over the past decade, social media has built a negative reputation when it comes to mental health, particularly that of the younger generation.
MeeToo is a first-of-its-kind social media platform that’s here to change that – by providing a safe space to actively battle the mental health crisis.
MeeToo is an app where users can make anonymous posts about whatever’s weighing on their mind, with specific keywords opening conversations with like-minded profiles. Every post is checked by a trained (human) moderator, and then either approved or re-directed to an in-house counselling team that can reach out with professional advice.
Peers within your age band are able to respond after being heavily vetted, protecting users from the toxicity present on other social media platforms.
The MeeToo app also features a directory, with immediate, round-the-clock crisis support. Further material is recommended, such as books, videos, and blogs, that complement the user experience, alongside portals to connect with schools, universities, and workplaces.
MeeToo provides young people with a foot-in-the-door to mental health solutions, removing the obstacles of GP appointments, waiting lists, and general stigma. Hailed as a scalable mental health solution, and backed by extensive research and evaluation, MeeToo is proving that social media doesn’t have to be the enemy.
Learn more about the MeeToo app.
The UK demonstrates a strong work ethic, but not without cases of an unhealthy work/life balance, the inability to ‘switch off’, and increased burnout. These symptoms of overworking ultimately reduce productivity and can have detrimental effects on your mental wellbeing, at (and away from) work.
A by-product of toxic work culture is the difficulty to take meaningful, rewarding breaks during the working day.
interlude is a platform on a mission to supercharge productivity by allowing employees to experience high-quality breaks with mental, emotional, and physical rewards. It does this by providing on-demand access to a digital library of high-quality work break activities, created specifically to stimulate and re-energise desk-based workers.
“All of our breaks are split into one of three streams – calm, focus or energy – to help our members find what they need in that moment, whether they’re feeling stressed, distracted or tired.” - interlude
HSE reported that ‘Work-related stress can aggravate an existing mental health problem, making it more difficult to control.’ Moreover, ‘If work-related stress reaches a point where it has triggered an existing mental health problem, it becomes hard to separate one from the other.’
Keeping the flexibility of modern work in mind, interlude seeks to support the mental and physical wellbeing of workers by making work a happier place.
Find out more about interlude – you can try their platform out for free!
These innovative businesses offer just a glimpse into the incredible innovation taking place to better the mental wellbeing of society.
Our partners at Health Foundry are paving the way for collaborative MedTech innovation. Health Foundry provides a supportive eco-system and physical workspace in which startups can create and adopt digital health solutions. In fact, three of these startups are Health Foundry members!
If you’re conducting research and development in the MedTech sector, joining Health Foundry is a fantastic way of gaining support, making connections, and reaching your growth potential.