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Discover 5 Top Healthcare Startups tackling Depression

StartUS Insights

Staying ahead of the technology curve means strengthening your competitive advantage. That is why we give you data-driven innovation insights into the healthcare sector. This time, you get to discover 5 hand-picked startups tackling depression and mental health.

The 5 healthcare startups you will explore below are chosen based on our data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and relevance of technology, among others. This analysis is based on the Big Data & Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering over 1.3 million startups & scaleups globally.

The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights the 5 startups tackling depression our Innovation Researchers curated for this report. Moreover, you get insights into regions that observe a high startup activity and the global geographic distribution of the 150 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.

Aifred Health provides Clinical Decision Support Tools

Currently, physicians lack effective decision support tools that help to select an optimal treatment for an individual patient. Search for the best suitable treatment is often a long process, with numerous trial-and-errors. Startups and scaleups develop clinical decision support solutions that enable personalized approaches to depression treatment. Such tools further enable doctors to select mental health treatments based on the unique characteristics of the particular patient.

Canadian startup Aifred Health provides a platform to support clinical decision-making for depression treatment. The artificial intelligence (AI)-powered solution processes the clinical data of thousands of patients. As a result, Alfred Health’s tool helps to choose the best treatment option for each particular patient. This solution not only enables personalized treatment for patients with depression but also helps reduce the time it takes to reach remission.

Selfapy offers a Behavioural Therapy App

Depression is one of the top causes of disability in the world, as well as one of the major contributors to the overall Global Burden of Disease. People suffering from depression need informational support, as well as access to approved treatment methods. The solutions like digital prescription apps help people with depression in understanding and management of their condition anywhere, anytime.

Selfapy is a German-based startup providing a digital prescription app for depression treatment. Selfapy is certified as a CE Class I medical device and is prescribed by a doctor or therapist. The app offers online courses based on cognitive behavioral therapy methods. They help patients to gain a better understanding of their situation, as well as to define measures to break destructive thought patterns. In collaboration with experienced psychotherapists and clinic partners, the startup designs the contents of the app for individual patient needs. Further, the costs of Selfapy depression courses are covered by statutory health insurance companies in Germany.

Genetika+ enables Personalized Depression Treatment

More than 264 million people suffer from depression worldwide. Both genetics and environmental factors play a role in depression development. Due to the above-mentioned variety of factors, it is challenging to find one treatment suitable for all patients. As each individual is unique, the antidepressant that works for one patient may be useless for the treatment of another. In response to the growing demand for personalized treatment, startups and scaleups offer solutions that analyze patients’ data in order to suggest the most optimal choice of antidepressant.

Israeli startup Genetika+ solution combines a blood test and an analytics platform that uses biological, medical, and genetic data to find the best antidepressant medication for each individual patient. This approach helps patients to recover faster and reach better outcomes with fewer side-effects. Genetika+ analyses a person’s blood sample to examine her personal profile and responsiveness. Then the platform generates a prediction of the patient’s response to the breadth of depression medications.

Flow Neuroscience develops a Brain Stimulation Headset

Depression is associated with lowered activity in an area in the front of the brain, called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). One of the novel methods of depression treatment aims to restore activity in the DLPFC using transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). This brain stimulation technique offers numerous advantages, including affordability, as well as being non-invasive and painless. Startups and emerging companies develop medical devices that enable the use of tDCS at home.

Flow Neuroscience is a Swedish startup that offers a combination of tDCS, delivered through their Flow headset, and behavioral therapy. The solution is medically-approved for use at home. Within a few weeks, the Flow headset and app improve the patient’s mood, concentration, and initiative. The Flow treatment also helps people suffering from depression to reduce anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Further, the solution does not come with the usual side-effects of conventional treatment for depression.

UpLift offers a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy App

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy and a form of psychological treatment for depression. CBT helps patients suffering from depression to manage their condition by changing the way they think and behave. While cognitive-behavioral therapy proved to be effective, many patients lack access to this form of depression treatment. Due to the Covid-pandemic, as well as other circumstances, people can’t visit a therapist for face-to-face sessions. Startups develop solutions that allow patients to get the benefits of behavioral therapy from the comfort of their homes.

US-based startup UpLift Health provides a comprehensive digital program for treating depression based on the principles of CBT, delivered through a smartphone app. UpLift offers its users 12 weekly, 40-minute CBT sessions to help them develop effective coping skills. Between sessions, patients utilize various tools to apply newly-acquired skills in everyday life. A study of Uplift users shows that the program significantly improves the mood of the users and allows them to maintain the new levels of mental health going forward as well.

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