Brain stimulation tech startup Flow Neuroscience taps Babylon exec as its new CEO to lead next phase of company growth
In early 2020, we wrote about Flow Neuroscience after the Sweden-based medical device and mental health startup joined the ORCHA App Library, an app developed by ORCHA, the world’s leading health app evaluation and distribution organization. Since our last coverage, Flow has grown exponentially and also expanded its reach.
Today, Flow announced it has appointed Erin Sivyer Lee as CEO to lead ambitious plans to provide an accessible depression treatment at scale to address the 280 million people suffering from depression globally.
Erin joins Flow Neuroscience from Babylon Health- a global leader in accessible and affordable end to end digital care- where she was VP of Global Operations and led the rollout of Babylon in the US. Her career also includes a diverse set of executive roles at UBER and Google. At Flow, Erin will focus on driving global growth for the brain stimulation company to make the depression treatment readily accessible to US populations and pave the way for reimbursement within the UK and EU.
Commenting on the appointment, Erin Sivyer Lee said, “I have always been drawn to the teams and technologies focused on improving human experiences on a global scale. The Flow team has built a truly transformational hardware-enabled platform that I believe will fundamentally change the way we understand and treat disorders like depression.
Covid has accelerated the prevalence of mental health disorders, with a 27% increase in major depressive disorder and a 25% increase in anxiety disorders worldwide. We know that there is a meaningful proportion of the population whose needs are not met by existing treatments and many more who are looking to take more control over the way they treat and manage their mental health. The Flow platform solution empowers individuals to better understand their brain, symptoms and causes of mental health disorders while treating depression in a personalized way with powerful results.”
Founded in 2016, Flow has also developed the first, and only, medically approved home brain stimulation treatment for depression. The headset and accompanying therapy app empower and motivate individuals to take control, self-manage and reduce the risk of depression with effective, non-pharmacological, digital alternatives.
The Swedish born, hardware-enabled, behavioural health company, founded by clinical psychologist Daniel Månsson and neuroscientist Erik Rehn has grown from humble beginnings to fill the treatment gap between medication and therapy, with its first solution – Flow – being the only drug-free, at-home brain stimulation depression treatment of its kind to be medically approved (Class IIa CE marked medical device). Whilst commercial success is key, science will remain at the forefront. Previous CEO, Daniel will assume the role of Chief Clinical Officer to propel the application of home-based brain stimulation as a treatment for depression and clinical study collaboration commencing during 2022 in areas including Bipolar disorder, depression in adolescents, PTSD and complex patients.
Daniel Månsson, co-founder and CCO of Flow Neuroscience, comments: “Following a strong recruitment process, I’m confident that there is no one better to lead Flow Neuroscience. Erin brings a unique perspective from leading high-performance teams at some of the most successful companies in the world. Coupled with this, she has a personal passion for transforming how we treat depression and manage wider mental health.
Over the past 3 years, we have shown, alongside a diverse range of clinics, researchers and doctors, that the Flow treatment works to reduce depression with fewer side effects than standard treatments. With Erin in the lead, we are now ready to take the next step to ensure there is a Flow in the hands of everyone who needs it.”
Stimulating the future
Since launching in the UK & Europe in 2019, Flow has over 2000 active patients every month, with 81% experiencing a reduction in their symptoms in the first three weeks of the treatment programme. Addressing the biological and behavioural aspects of depression, the Flow treatment allows for results to be brought to patients’ homes without the need for compromise, providing an alternative option that could address the 50% of people not responding to traditional treatments.
Khosla Ventures, together with Swiss Health Ventures and Zühlke Ventures, led the company´s Series A in June 2021 to empower the reach of the transformational treatment and expand the executive team, starting with Erin.
Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, said: “Flow Neuroscience has created a potentially groundbreaking treatment based on technological innovation and scientific prowess to tackle one of the world’s most costly and devastating problems – depression. To bring this treatment to the millions of people suffering globally, we need the right team to execute and with Erin at the helm, we have no doubt of the future success in achieving this mission.”