– UK startup launches Flow, a chatbot therapist engages users with daily chat conversations and offers self-help techniques, mood tracking, curated videos, meditation, and mental exercises.
– Available to download free on iOS, the chatbot therapist is based on the latest psychology and neuroscience research and was developed by clinical psychologists and machine learning experts.
– To maximize the chance of recovery, Flow can be used in conjunction with the Flow brain stimulation headset.
Flow, a London-based medical device company has announced the launch of its chatbot therapist to treat depression. The chatbot therapist, called Flow, engages users with daily chat conversations and offers self-help techniques, mood tracking, curated videos, meditation, and mental exercises. It helps users to learn why sleep, exercise, nutrition, and meditation are the main pillars in recovering from depression – and gathers mood data to offer a personalized response modeled on behavioral therapy.
Impact of Mental Illness in the UK
Nearly one in four adults in the UK are affected by mental illness. Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years in England and Wales. The economic costs of mental illness in England is estimated at £105.2 billion annually. And one in three work sickness notes handed out by GPs are for mental health reasons, including depression.
“Accessibility and early intervention in depression is crucial,” says Daniel Mansson, Clinical Psychologist, CEO and Co-Founder of Flow. “The ‘always-on’ source of therapy provided by Flow ensures people get the help they need as quickly as possible. Flow can provide anonymity without the fear of being judged by others. This is great as some people feel anxious when it comes to talking about their depression to another human.”
Brain Stimulation Headset
To maximize the chance of recovery, Flow can be used in conjunction with the Flow brain stimulation headset. Randomized controlled trials published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the British Journal of Psychiatry show that brain stimulation, of the type used in the Flow headset, had a similar impact to antidepressants but with fewer and less-severe side effects. The Flow headset retails at £399 and can be purchased here.
The brain stimulation headset is the first and only medically approved treatment for depression of its kind in Europe. Classified as a Class IIa medical device, Flow was developed from the fields of clinical psychology, neuroscience and innovative technology including machine learning. Flow empowers and motivates individuals to take control and self-manage their depression with effective, non-pharmacological, digital alternatives.
Available to download free on iOS, the chatbot therapist is based on the latest psychology and neuroscience research and was developed by clinical psychologists and machine learning experts. An Android version will be available on October 2019. The Flow chatbot therapist requires iOS 11.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Users must be at least 17 years old to download this application
Flow is starting talks with the NHS to have its brain stimulation headset available on prescription. The company recently announced an investment of £1.2 million by Khosla Ventures to roll out it’s offering across Europe, introduce the Flow headset to healthcare clinics in the UK, and fund clinical studies.
The Landscape of Mental Health Chatbots in the UK
Flow joins a growing number of mental health chatbots, including Woebot and Wysa, which are playing an increasing role in the mental health landscape. Whilst Woebot and Wysa use a cognitive behavioral approach to change the way people think, Flow has one goal: to reduce clinical depression based on well-grounded science.