Poor mental health is more prevalent than ever, with modern-day sources of stress affecting us daily. The tendency to turn to anxiety medication or antidepressants has made it harder to find non-invasive ways to get off the hamster wheel of stress and anxiety. Previously the go-to treatment for mental health disorders has been a medical intervention. This left a gap in the market for a solution outside of the clinical setting. Cue Aziz Kaddan and Annas Abu Mukh: two inspiring entrepreneurs who identified a need to improve people’s mental health, using data-led neurofeedback therapy, from the comfort of home.
The Israeli-based start-up, aptly named ‘Myndlift’, makes EEG technology (once only accessible in the doctor’s office) completely portable. All that users need is the MUSE™ headset, an electrode that can be placed anywhere on the scalp, and access to the Myndlift app. While playing games through the application, the headset uses EEG to monitor and regulate the brain’s activity.
To train the brain, Myndlift uses a process of operant conditioning. This is where users are rewarded for their brain’s desired activity. Therefore, making an association between behavior and consequence. For example, when the user focuses hard enough, they will advance further in the game, receive a clearer video, or the desired volume of their favorite tune. This simple reward-based system retrains your brain to let go of stress and balance the mind. As time goes on, these methods will become second nature to the user, making stressful situations easier to navigate in daily life.
Data-driven mental health treatment
The start-up doesn’t dismiss the advantages of speaking with a specialist to improve mental health. However, they suggest that using data to monitor the brain provides a unique insight into the mannerisms of the mind. Myndlift’s neurofeedback therapy allows users to witness concrete progress in the form of regular updates and information. The access to this brain data is completely remote, challenging the traditional process of neurofeedback.
Additionally, continuous support and progress updates are provided by an allocated neurofeedback therapist, either remotely or in-person. They personalize your training program according to your needs, monitoring your data, and making adjustments accordingly.
Neurofeedback therapy that’s accessible and affordable
Making this kind of science accessible and affordable was the main aim for Myndlift’s co-founders. Knowing that neurofeedback was proven to improve mental health, but yet was only available in a clinical setting, was something the start-up desperately wanted to address. As a result, Myndlift was born: portable neurofeedback therapy that everyone can do at home, at a fair price.
Best of all, users can lower stress levels from the comfort of their sofas. This makes brain training significantly easier. Because of this, people are incentivized to use it more than they might if they had to regularly see a clinician. Particularly in our ever-advancing “remote” world, this is a characteristic of Myndlift that is especially important.
ADHD and Neurofeedback therapy
Myndlift’s neurofeedback therapy not only reduces stress and anxiety but also improves attention. This has proved especially useful in the treatment of children with ADHD, with research showing that it improves focus and reduces impulsivity. The start-up hopes that the results might inspire a new age of ADHD treatment, away from the typical medicated route.
CEO of Myndlift, Kaddan, has seen firsthand the negative effects of ADHD drugs in his brother and sister, both of whom used Ritalin (a drug known for its extensive list of side effects). He also noticed that parents were often turning to these drugs instead of neurofeedback therapy. This made him assess its availability, realizing that the expensive nature of neurofeedback was off-putting for families. This was more than enough to inspire him to find a way to make this an affordable treatment, providing a drug-free pathway for children with ADHD.
Myndlift’s technology is designed with parents in mind. There’s even including a monitoring option for them to provide feedback on behavior and progress. Additionally, the portable aspect of Myndlift makes it easier for parents to transport, whether it’s on the school run or to the hairdresser.
What’s Next for ‘Myndlift’?
Both co-founders have already made the Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ list in Israel. However, this is only the beginning for the ambitious start-up. The journey continues for them to tackle the typical drug-focused route for mental health disorders such as anxiety and ADHD. So far, the excellent results definitely put them on the right track, showing the public that doing neurofeedback therapy from home can still yield fantastic results for mental well-being.
Myndlift certainly doesn’t shy away from taking on the responsibility of changing the wider health system, challenging the status quo when it comes to neurofeedback therapy. By bringing data-led brain training into the home, the start-up continues its meaningful work to inspire a new age of mental health treatment.
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