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Spotlight on Innovation: Mental Health Technology

As part of an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues, the World Health Organization has designated October 10 as Mental Health Day.  It is estimated that worldwide, over 300 million people suffer from mental health disorders.  Not surprisingly, the long months of the pandemic have caused increased levels of distress.  The Israeli hi-tech community has responded to the challenges of treating mental health with a number of impressive and innovative technologies. Here are a few:

Mon4T has developed a platform to monitor a patient’s condition by testing 4 variables – motor, cognitive, psychiatric and medical history, all in real time on a smart phone. The program applies an inclusive personal monitor that profiles tremors, memory, reaction time and certain patterns of behavior including walking and movement. Mon4t offers “a neurological lab on a Smartphone” that aims to bridge the gap between computed neuroscience and classic psychiatry.

MoodKnight uses Artificial Intelligence to analyze social media posts in Hebrew and English to identify and classify conditions such as anxiety, violence, bullying and loneliness. The program detects severity ranging from low to high (emergency) and sends an alert to clients that include Israel’s HMO’s, mental health departments in hospitals and welfare services.

Umoove has developed patented software specializing in eye and face tracking technology designed for smartphones. They recently launched MindReset, an app that can help clear stress through short eye tracking sessions and the user’s subconscious to access emotional memory images.  Once the connection to these memories is disturbed, immediate recovery can be experienced.

GGtude offers a variety of apps for cognitive behavioral therapies and techniques that help users overcome mental health challenges and improve emotional wellbeing. The free app supplies up to 3 daily exercises per topic for free, lasting up to 3 minutes each. The paid premium option offers over 500 daily exercises.

Brainsway offers a cutting edge, noninvasive technology known as Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, whereby a flexible helmet supplies areas of the brain with electrical stimulation. The technology is currently FDA approved to treat conditions such as OCD, depression and smoking addictions.

Wisdo’s slogan is “Happier Days Through the Power of Connection”.  Wisdo uses the social network as a tool for connecting people who have mutual issues and concerns, aiming to help users learn coping skills from people who have experienced similar phenomena. The more than 100  concerns include depression, heartbreak, loneliness, anxiety and chronic distress. They claim to reach a 70% reduction in feelings of isolation and loneliness by users after just 2 weeks of using the app. In 2019 Wisdo won a Google award in the Best Social Impact category.

The Start Up Nation is applying its talents to raising awareness of mental health issues and providing support for those struggling, often simply with the help of a smartphone.