Mental illness will have an impact on 45% of Australians at some point in their lifetime. While the world is becoming increasingly aware of mental health conditions, little is being done to redefine the diagnostics. Currently, the gold standard in the diagnosis of mental illness is The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM5). While structured diagnostic interviews conducted by an experienced mental health professional are valuable, there is a high degree of variability and subjectivity that accompanies them. The reliance on self reporting and divergent survey criteria raises multiple issues that may hinder a timely and accurate diagnosis.
That’s where these guys come in.
Medibio (ASX: MEB) is a technology company working towards the widespread use of objective, quantitative measures to diagnose and screen for mental health conditions. The Company “envision[s] a world where data empowers mental wellness” and is one step closer to realising that vision with the award of a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The Company’s “Method and System for Assessing Mental State” is a computer-implemented assessment software that processes heartbeat data obtained overnight.
The use of physiological markers to diagnose depression is unique and trials are currently underway to validate the software, MEB-001.
The patent strengthens the Company’s intellectual property and bolsters their existing corporate health offering, Ilumen, an app that provides “data-driven feedback to help employees take an active role in their own mental wellness”.
The ability to diagnose depression in an objective way could revolutionise the way we look at mental health diagnoses, treatment and progress tracking. If Medibio can nail their tech they may have a very powerful tool on their hands.
FDA approval remains the primary target for Medibio which was knocked back in December 2020 due to insufficient clinical data. However the Company is planning to resubmit their application to the FDA later this year following further studies that produce “clinical data that better reflect[s] the proposed intended use population,” as per FDA feedback.