Biomarker for depression

We are still over the moon! After a long time of submitting applications and preparation we got the green light for our next big project. Thanks to the central innovation program middle class (Zentralen Innovationsprogramms Mittelstand (ZIM)) of the state ministry for economy and energy we received state funding to move a step closer to our vision. But what is that all about?

Mental illnesses like depression have received more and more attention in recent years. Little by little an awareness forms for what used to be an off-limits topic. Especially in times of the corona crisis this topic is more important than ever. Let’s look at the specific figures: every year roughly 28% of the german adult population is affected by a mental illness and this only includes the registered cases.

The project

It is our goal to develop a method in cooperation with the university Heilbronn to diagnose mental illnesses like depression more targeted, earlier and more reliably.

Already today some doctors use EEG data to support the diagnostic process. However, the evaluation is pretty subjective and requires a lot of practice and measurements that are easy to interpret. Also, this only works well for clear-cut cases. As a result many primary care physicians who often see patients with depression for the first time do not have the necessary equipment and expertise. This is where we come in.

Aim of our project is the development of a diagnostic system which can generate an automatic evaluation with the help of artificial intelligence based on the previously measured brain waves. A reduced medical EEG system is used for this purpose. We offer practices a leasing model for the equipment if they wish because a medical EEG device costs about as much as a mid-range car. The wide availability of our system is a central point in the development.

The automatically generated report is supposed to enable us and our colleagues to intervene sooner and provide better treatment options. Being able to make a diagnosis in the early stages of an illness minimizes the danger of a delayed or incorrect treatment.

Until everything runs as planned, it will still take 2-3 years. But for now the first is done!

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