Procedures providing a clear insight into somatic illnesses, such as X-ray photography, are basic equipment for diagnosis of physical problems. However, do we have procedures that provide a similarly clear insight into psychological issues? How can we support subjective tests with objective measurements? How can we provide goal-oriented suggestions for therapy or behaviors in everyday life based on these measurements?
Mental health as a challenge in society
The awareness for mental health has increased over the past few years, but the number of people affected by it as well as the extent of its influence on economic aspects is still underestimated.
It isn’t one in a thousand, but one in ten people in the EU who suffer from a mental illness to such an extent that they are unable to live a normal life, be successful or have a fulfilling life. In addition to this individual fate, the consequences to society are substantial – the costs mental illness in the EU is 800 billion Euros per year*, roughly 3% of the gross national product and is thus higher than cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer combined. In the US, a similar development is being observed.
The pressure to reduce these costs is high. The need for an all-encompassing way to provide care for those with mental illnesses is rising consistently.
New approaches which allow for a diagnose in early stages, effective therapy and active prevention are required to fill the supply gap.
*„Cost of disorders of the brain in Europe 2010“, Gustavsson et al.
How can technology contribute to addressing these challenges?
The BEE Group focuses on developing solutions using the EEG. The following domains are the center of all activities of the group:
We are convinced that psychotherapy can be made more effective through technology – but what role does EEG play? Are there technical processes with which we can optimize the self-regulating ability of the human brain and thus regulate symptoms of mental illnesses?
How can EEG based technologies contribute to a personalized therapy which is designed specifically for each patient? How can these technologies be used to evaluate progress and success of this therapy?