Home » Episode #445: Solving Mental Illness Through Technology | Dr. Bechara Saab of Mobio Interactive

Dr. Bechara Saab is a classically trained chemist with a passion for understanding the intricacies of the human mind. After completing his Ph.D in neuroscience at Mount Sinai in Toronto, Dr. Saab pursued a career as a principal investigator at the University of Zurich, where he opened his own laboratory. Through his work, he made a groundbreaking discovery - a strong correlation between the lack of exploratory drive in individuals with mental illness and their symptoms. This revelation prompted him to delve deeper into the field of mental health.

He faced a major obstacle in his journey however. Situated in a psychiatry hospital, he witnessed how his colleagues, despite their passion and dedication, lacked access to objective tools when delivering treatment. This limitation had hindered the progress of psychiatry for centuries. Determined to change the landscape of mental health treatment, Dr. Saab recognized the revolutionary potential of objective measurement in the field. The ability to treat the brain as a physical organ and measure its activities objectively could pave the way for more effective therapies. Dr. Saab began working on innovative methods to measure and analyze brain activity, enabling further precision for psychiatric treatments.

His relentless pursuit to understand the inner workings of the mind and commitment to bridging the gap between psychiatry and objective medicine, has the potential to transform the field of mental health. With his groundbreaking research and dedication to improving therapeutic approaches, Dr. Saab is on a mission to revolutionize the treatment and understanding of mental illness.

Bechara states, "The complexity of the brain mathematically indicates that not only are no two brains alike, but there have never been any two brains alike in history, nor will there ever be . . . no matter how long we exist as a species."

Some key moments: 

  • Chemist turned neuroscientist researches motivation and mental illness.
  • Rewiring brain through activity and meditation training.
  • Meditation improves focus and endurance.
  • Human face analysis and biomarkers for emotions.
  • Categorizing digital therapeutics as medical devices.
  • 14 full-time staff + 250 global partners. Singapore headquarters. North America focus.

A few key takeaways: 

  1. Utilizing Technology for Diagnosis: Mobio utilizes smartphone cameras and technology to diagnose stress, mental illness, and other underlying conditions. By harnessing the power of smartphones, they are able to create objective tools for mental health assessment.
  2. Importance of Brain Plasticity: The brain is constantly changing and has a remarkable level of plasticity throughout a person's life. This means that people can enhance their brain's functionality through engaging in activities repeatedly and through meditation. These activities can lead to rewiring the brain and result in increased resilience to stress, improved focus, and the ability to overcome phobias.
  3. Mind-Body Connection: The brain is in constant communication with the rest of the body. Breathing plays a significant role in modulating brain states. Slowing it down through practices such as breathing through the nose can create a positive feedback loop, helping individuals achieve a more relaxed state of mind.
  4. Holistic Approach to Brain Health: In addition to technology-based diagnosis and brain training exercises, Dr. Saab emphasizes the importance of overall health factors like exercise, good sleep, and a healthy diet as crucial components for brain health and slowing down the aging process.
  5. Integration of Brain Optimization in Fitness Studios: Dr. Saab suggests infusing brain optimization techniques, such as mindfulness training and meditation, into the programming of fitness studios and health clubs. By incorporating these practices, individuals can experience improved mental recovery after strenuous exercise.


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