Swedish medical device developer Flow Neuroscience has launched its at-home, wearable treatment for adults with depression, available for purchase and use in the U.K.
Paired with a behavioral therapy app, Flow’s headset delivers low levels of constant direct brain stimulation aimed at the user’s left frontal lobe. According to the company, people diagnosed with depression often have lower neural activity in this region of the brain, which helps govern certain cognitive skills and emotional expression.
By rebalancing that activity, Flow hopes to offer similar outcomes compared to typical antidepressant drugs, and with fewer side effects. The initial treatment takes about a half-hour per session, three times a week for six weeks, with therapy continuing at one or two sessions per week.
While undergoing stimulation, the free app provides videos and advice about depression, and techniques for reducing symptoms focused on sleep, nutrition, fitness and meditation. The headset itself retails for £399 (about $500 U.S.).
"We want to support the improvement of the current standard of care for people living with depression by increasing treatment choice and empowering patients to self-manage their symptoms at home with effective, non-pharmacological, alternatives,” Flow co-founder and CEO Daniel Mansson said in a statement.
Individuals using Flow’s treatment should not stop their current therapy, the company said, and it is not recommended for pregnant women or people under 18.
Currently, the company is in early talks with the U.K. National Health Service to have the headset available with a prescription. Flow also plans to begin talks with the FDA this year in pursuit of a U.S. clearance.