Mind-Mapper is a start-up based in Northern Ireland developing a new technology destined to address several in situ problems faced by psycho-therapists. Indeed, the idea behind Mind-Mapper is based on three observations.
Firstly, it’s very difficult for therapists to evaluate the progress of their patients. Therapists evaluate their clients by using a scaling method of 1-10, however this can be very subjective as one persons 4 could be another persons 6 depending on their interpretation of their current circumstances and emotions being experienced. Therefore, it is very difficult to have neutral, objective data to attest if the therapy is effective and which kind of therapy is working for each patient.
Secondly, therapists face real barriers to access data about brain activity in therapies. If you are not working in a research centre or willing to pay a huge amount of money, you’ll miss out on the already-not-so-dense scientific data available.
Thirdly, mental health is the number one cause of disability in Northern Ireland, yet access to care in that sector is a problem. Sometimes considered as a non-tangible science, mental health care is very poorly covered by health insurance.
To address these problems, Tara Nicholas and Naomi du Bois, the founders, are working on developing the Mind-Mapper solution. In order to observe brain activity, a device with sensors is needed. Therefore, Mind-Mapper is developing a two-part solution: a software and a headset.
The software will be unique and designed by Mind-Mapper itself. It will be compatible with Mind-Mapper’s headset, however, the founders are looking forward to making their software accessible for all headsets. Indeed, they are deeply motivated by the will to ensure affordability and ease of use for the wide range of end users who will benefit from the data the headset produces.
In that regard, the founders aspire to build a headset with a limited number of sensors needed to monitor the connections between the brain networks and emotions. With this goal of affordability, Mind-Mapper plans to offer its headset on lease or sale, to adapt to all budgets.
“It is a non-invasive headset to use during therapy sessions. Therefore, the therapist can track progress overtime. It would be game changing for therapists to access such data as they would have objective evidence to validate the effectiveness of their therapy” explains Tara. “To keep it short, it’s like a Fitbit but for mental health to allow the therapist and their clients to monitor the changes in their brain activity as they progress through therapy giving visibility to a currently invisible illness” adds Naomi.
The founders hope that “Mind-Mapper will provide evidence-based therapy, allowing the therapy to be reimbursable or a part of medical or social care”. They are both convinced: “it’s possible to do but it will take time”.
Moreover, Mind-Mapper is born out of the joining forces of its founders.