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NeuroFlow has developed a suite of tools to empower mental health providers and their patients. Whether in the office or at home, we’ve got you covered.

Why engagement matters

Research by the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that 70% of people who drop out of mental health treatment do so after only one or two appointments. That means there’s plenty of room to improve when it comes to encouraging patient buy-in for therapy, especially early in the process. According to NAMI, one of the largest barriers to patient engagement is an unwillingness or inability to use creative and innovative approaches.

And that’s exactly where NeuroFlow comes in. Built from the ground up based on feedback from hundreds of mental health providers, our platform promotes user engagement through effective monitoring, positive reinforcement, and targeted guidance. We know that seeing is believing, so we created a way for patients to see the positive progress they’re making in treatment, one step at a time. Providers benefit too, as NeuroFlow aggregates patient generated data from multiple sources into a single, easy to use dashboard.

Treatment doesn’t end when a session is over. All the white space between weekly or monthly sessions is filled challenges at work, responsibilities at home, and everything else that life can bring one’s way. Commonly, patients struggle to comply with therapy homework, limiting the overall effectiveness of treatment. Meta-analyses have shown a significant relationship between homework compliance and clinical outcomes, indicating just how crucial this component is to treatment success.

In order to support a fully-rounded treatment plan, NeuroFlow gives providers the ability to assign homework that can be completed directly within NeuroFlow’s platform and tracked for compliance. Patients can run sessions with wearables, write journal entries, and utilize content on NeuroFlow’s website to better manage their mental health outside of the clinic. Better yet, our incentive program leverages principles from behavioral economics to keep patients engaged by rewarding them for healthy behavior such as completing homework. It’s completely free to use and gives patients the opportunity to earn perks from participating retailers.

Because engagement is so critical, we decided not to stop there. Over 40 years of research has revealed caring letters to be one of the only interventions that reduces suicide mortality rates based on randomized controlled trials. With that in mind, NeuroFlow created an automated email system that periodically sends encouraging notes and motivational messages to patients. These letters require no action by providers and are an easy, effective way to reassure patients that they’re not alone. Sometimes an timely reminder that we are going to be okay makes all the difference – NeuroFlow is proud to be there for you and your patients.

The Science Behind NeuroFlow

Much of mental health treatment is reliant on subjective and self-reported measures. Even when patients want to to share how they feel, it can be difficult to paint an accurate picture without any concrete data. Fortunately, decades of research have demonstrated that physiological measures can leverage what is going on in a patient’s body to better understand what is happening in their mind.

Electroencephalography (EEG) was first recorded in humans back in 1924 and measures the activity of brain cells (neurons), which pass along information to each other via ions across membranes. This creates electrical potential differences (voltage) forming intricate wave patterns that can be measured by non-invasive electrodes.
Over the past decade, there have been incredible advancements in hardware to make high quality EEG data much more cost-effective and accessible. NeuroFlow leverages commercially available EEG wearable devices to analyze data from the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a part of brain heavily involved in emotional regulation and executive function. Dysfunction of the PFC is associated with many neuropsychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), drug addiction, autism, and depression.

Using complex mathematical analyses, these signals can be decomposed into frequency bands that describe different types of brain activity. Quantitative EEG (QEEG) analyzes how much influence each frequency band has on the total signal at a given point in time (relative power), which provides valuable insight into the real-time emotional state of the user, such as their relaxation or focus levels. Additionally, NeuroFlow has developed an algorithm based on peer-reviewed literature and augmented by extensive R&D that provides a window in the user’s calmness. In real-time, our Relaxation Index decreases in power as one’s mind is more at ease, which is valuable in demonstrating the effectiveness of techniques such as guided meditation and breathing exercises. Patients can also track their progress over time using the Relaxation Index as they practice mindfulness skills throughout treatment.

Many people already use devices to monitor their heart rate (HR) and track how that changes based on exercise, sleep, and more. But what else can we tell from our pulse? Taking a closer look, there’s a wealth of data we can draw upon to interpret the dynamic balance of our autonomic nervous system.

If you’re nervous or anxious (fight or flight mode), many things happen inside your body due to increased sympathetic nervous system activity: you might start sweating, your heart rate likely increases, and your pupils typically become dilated. When you’re completely relaxed (rest and digest mode), much of the opposite will occur as your parasympathetic nervous system dominates. These two systems regularly keep each other in check, and understanding when the balance shifts towards one way or the other is useful for monitoring overall well being.

Heart rate variability (HRV) describes the consistency of time between consecutive heartbeats, which is indicative of healthy sympatho-vagal balance (between fight or flight and rest and digest). When visualizing HRV over time, specific patterns emerge that can differentiate between calm and anxious states. There’s also many time and frequency domain HRV metrics that are useful in determining relative influence from either component of the autonomic nervous system.

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Wearables and Hardware

NeuroFlow utilizes existing wearables to collect both EEG and HRV data for analysis. Not all devices are created equal, however; there are several things that we take into consideration:

  • Data quality – NeuroFlow careful tests devices to ensure that the data received is sensitive and accurate enough to utilize for analysis
  • Artifacts – NeuroFlow utilizes various methodologies for detecting and resolving artifacts, as well as indicating a strong wireless connection to the wearables used
  • User-friendliness – NeuroFlow cares about your workflow and strives to integrate with devices that are as convenient as possible

NeuroFlow is currently compatible with the following devices:

  • Muse EEG headset
  • NeuroSky (coming soon)
  • Polar H7 heart rate strap
  • Wahoo TICKR
  • Kyto ear clip
  • Cosinuss One ear piece
  • And several more on the way!

Since we are a hardware agnostic platform, let us know if there’s another device you’d like to work with by emailing info@neuroflowsolution.com.