rTMS: repetitive Magnetic Stimulation for Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD)
1 in 4 Canadians has a degree of depression serious enough to need treatment in their lifetime
Over 4M Canadians and 300M people worldwide (2018) are affected by the disease
30-60% of depression patients are treatment resistant (TRD)
TRD costs Canadian economy $32.3B each year (lost productivity and health care cost).
North America (US) makes the top 5 regions affected by the disease
Depression is the most common form of mental illness, affecting around 300 million people worldwide. It negatively impact the way a person thinks, feels and acts. It typically results in feelings of extreme sadness and a loss of interest in things previously enjoyed. Depression can also lead to further physical or mental conditions, impacting a person's ability to work and function.
Symptoms can vary widely but are often reflected as:-ongoing feelings of extreme sadness (beyond the grief of loss), typically lasting longer than a few weeks: moods causing the person to want to be alone and withdrawn from others, the outdoors, activities, interests and society, thoughts & feelings of suicide, large changes in appetite (increased/decreased), difficulty thinking, concentrating, and performing tasks in or out of the home, increased fatigue, loss of sleep, or desire to sleep excessively, feelings of worthlessness, pointlessness, low self-esteem and guilt, can result in obsessive behavior such as pacing or wringing hands, impact on relationships, which can result in neglect of duties and relationships (esp. children).
Other medical conditions can simulate these symptoms, such as thyroid issues, brain tumours, malnutrition/vitamin deficiencies, etc. so it is a crucial to rule these possibilities out first. In any case, depression impacts not only the person experiencing it but those around them as well, such as family members, friends & co-workers. Chances are that if you don't experience depression yourself, someone close to you will, as 1 in 4 people experience debilitating depression it in their lifetime. The biggest factors in the causes of depression include: BIOCHEMISTRY (such as low neurotransmitter production in the brain), GENETICS, PERSONALITY TRAITS (low self-esteem, stress, anxiety, pessimism), & ENVIRONMENT (exposure to trauma, violence, neglect, poverty, chronic illness, etc).
A diagnosis of depression needs to be performed by a trained medical professional after an interview and physical examination. The good news is the majority of people 80-90% experience some relief to the treatments. These typically include: 1) Medication - non addictive anti-depressants that are used to help adjust one's brain chemistry 2) Psychotherapy - therapist trained in helping someone work out their issues through communication, problem solving, and perspective redirection 3) Self-help/Coping - exercise, nutrition, perspective change & education can all assist in helping a person cope on their own 4) Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) - a series of 6-12 sessions of electric shock therapy performed under general anesthetic to help re-wire the brain. This treatment has been used since the 1940's and has also helped improve patients with bi-polar disorders & schizophrenia
5) rTMS - one of the newest forms of depression treatment beginning to become more readily available and accepted is Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS). This involves transmitting short magnetic (non-invasive) pulses to the brain to stimulate the brains neurons to reset neurotransmitter levels. RTMS has not only been found to improve patients suffering from depression, but also schizophrenia, cognitive disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder.
The issues facing mass deployment in hospitals are the size and cost of these devices. As they are fairly expensive and few hospitals have them, they are more reserved for clinical trials which take months and sometimes years to get patients booked for them. As the side effects of this treatment are demonstrably less than the others mentioned (psychotherapy taking sometimes years to yield results), it is a better choice for patients who qualify and can get access to one.
As many patients appear to become more resistant to other forms of treatment, rTMS is becoming the favourable alternative for those patients who are resistant to other forms of treatment. The cost of this technology to hospitals yields a huge opportunity for Telemag Health to develop a portable-sized rTMS device, affordable to affordable to smaller hospitals, clinics and doctors' offices. As such, we are looking for investors to help us develop a unique technology that will help save lives as well as be profitable venture for our partners.
rTMS is an innovative, non-invasive treatment for many mental health disorders widely used in the US and Europe to treat depression but the present solutions are bulky and require a hospital, university or well-equipped private clinic to conduct the treatment
–> rTMS uses magnetic pulses directed into the brain to alter neuronal responses
–> rTMS has proven effective in countless clinical trials around the world over many years
–> rTMS has essentially zero side effects
–> rTMS is approved by FDA and Health Canada
The unique technology (patent pending) allows the use of household voltage and thus permits remote treatments at 1/4 the cost of institutional units
Because of the unique coil design and proprietary circuitry, our device can literally be plugged into the wall (120V) and used in the comfort of a home
More powerful than battery operated depression treatment devices and is as powerful as clinically used rTMS machines
Two main components (coil and power supply) allow for lower device cost overall.
CSA /TUV approval for small batch production for clinical testing in controlled setting (eg patient safety, electrical interference)
Clinical trials begin / Demo sites arranged with key stakeholder groups (hospitals and existing rTMS clinics in Canada)
End of clinical trials / FDA approval
Volume manufacturing and ISO/worldwide approvals / Marketing, training, installation
George Hathaway, PEng is responsible for scientific and engineering “hands-on” project management from concept to completion and is the chief designer with final oversight and accountability whilst focusing on the overall company growth.
Joe has engineered and managed various projects including the design of the power supplies which support the aircraft and radar systems aboard the CN77 aircraft carrier and the first test platform for the F35 fighter; he is accustomed to various specifications such a CSA, UL, CE, SEMI S2 and military specs.
Iana Dogel, PhD, MBA worked on commercialization of a micro-fluidic technology out of the University of Toronto, took nanotechnology-based start-ups to the international markets, and performed companies’ due diligence and technology assessments (life sciences) for successful investments.
Jim Segala, PhD holds advanced degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Physics which allows him to engage in a wide range of areas where he can utilize his expertise. Dr. Segala has performed computational chemistry, biology, electrodynamic, and mechanical system analysis.
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, UBCDirector, Non-Invasive Neurostimulation Therapies Laboratory & Schizophrenia ProgramMichael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar.
Child and Adolescent Imaging Research (CAIR) Program, Alberta Children’s Hospital
Investigator, BC Children’s HospitalAssociate Member, Department of Anesthesia, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of British ColumbiaDistinguished University Scholar, University of British Columbia Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science, University of British Columbia