As a countdown to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at Davos, we’re profiling all 30 of our fellow 2011 Tech Pioneer award winners. Check our full profile series to learn more.
What they do:
Neuronetics has created a new treatment for depression, called the NeuroStar Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy System. TMS is not a drug treatment and is non-invasive; it uses magnetic field pulses to increase brain activity and release mood-elevating chemicals in areas of the brain linked to depression. The treatment is a 37 minute outpatient produce, has no systemic side effects, and doesn’t require anesthesia or sedation. TMS has been around for a while, but Neuronetics is the first company to get FDA approval and provide reproducible results.
Why it’s cool:
It’s true that depression treatment has made leaps and bounds in the past half-century. However, drug treatment doesn’t work for almost 30% of patients. More than 50% of patients are loath to take their medication because of its side effects–weight gain, loss of sex drive, and sleep disorders, among others. TMS gives many of these sufferers another chance at health.