At the start, there were seven of them! Hypno VR, Kwit, Moka Care, Petit Bambou, Qare, Resil Eyes Therapeutics, Tricky, these expert start-ups in the world of e-mental health created the Mental Tech collective in March 2022. Joined since by around twenty start-ups and health professionals in the sector, they intend to advance the place of technology in the treatment of psychological or psychiatric illnesses.
“This specialty has lagged behind others in terms of the appeal of technology, while digital is proving to be a tool that can improve patient care,” insists Pierre Gadéa, treasurer of the Mental Tech collective and leader of C2Care. Hospitals and professionals remain the first to convince even if the collective also sets itself the objective of decompartmentalizing the public debate to contribute to making mental health a major cause of public health.
“Covid has shown that mental health is essential. One in five people in the world is affected by a psychiatric pathology, whether for depression or addiction.” By federating, the members also wish to democratize and accelerate uses but also to strengthen the economic contribution of the sector and its impact.
Virtual reality and psyche
“The richness of the collective is its diversity of solutions.” It is difficult to name all the applications and technologies used by the members, although some, such as Petit Bambou, adopted by 44 million users with its relaxation sessions, or Kwit, which supports three million people in quitting smoking, be made famous. From relaxation to post-traumatic stress, through emergency medical consultations on video and applications to combat stress in the workplace, there is no shortage of tools.
Among them, virtual reality has made its way into practices where a health professional speaks to the psyche. Hypno VR has thus specialized in the development of digital therapies combining medical hypnosis and virtual reality to manage pain and stress. “The use of hypnosis also makes it possible to reduce the absorption of drugs before an operation, for example.”
For its part, C2Care has opted for exposure therapy to condition the brain and fight against phobias in a progressive way by creating environments. “Virtual reality achieves better results than appealing to the imagination and is as effective as in vivo therapy while maintaining control over the environment.”
Pierre Gadéa also emphasizes the value of virtual reality in reproducing a situation, particularly in complex cases such as fear of flying or drug use. Together, the two start-ups have already deployed nearly 2,000 virtual reality headsets in France. “We are ahead of the UNITED STATES or Spain on this subject. France is among the countries that use this technology the most in the treatment of mental health.
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The Mental Tech collective puts technology at the service of mental health
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