Malmö-based startup Flow Neuroscience has landed €1.3 million in an investment round to launch their product across Europe.
While the concept of electric stimulation to cure depression is not new, Flow’s technology is the first of its kind in Europe to be classified for purchase and use at home. Flow will now expand the product’s availability across the EU and in health clinics. The company is in negotiations with the NHS to approve the technology for use with prescription. In 2019, Flow will be working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to seek regulatory clearance in the U.S.
Alexander Morgan, MD PhD, Principal at Khosla Ventures said, “The research on tDCS shows efficacy similar to pharmacological treatment with antidepressants, and the Flow team worked hard to show safety, which earned them approval for sale in Europe as a Class IIa medical device. The technology combines portable hardware and software, and we believe this offers an exciting and scalable solution for potentially hundreds of millions of people living with depression globally, empowering patients directly with new options for treatment.”
How does it work?
Founded in 2016, the company has developed a technology that can provide relief for depression. The headset uses transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to rebalance neural activity in the left frontal lobe. This area of the brain tends to have lower neural activity in people who experience depression.
Studies have proven that tDCS cures depression in 24% of patients. It can be an effective treatment for those hoping to avoid the potential side effects of a medication-based treatment. The headset works with an app that teaches users about emotional health management techniques.
“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,” said Daniel Mansson, Flow co-founder and CEO.