Brian Mullen

Brian Mullen

Has mental health become the largest overlooked health issue in our society?

Brian Mullen, PhD, innovation strategy manager of the Brigham Innovation Hub, penned a recent article for, explaining how mental health is our greatest unmet medical need. More than half of our population is facing mental illness, including addiction, and only a small percentage are receiving adequate care. Mullen describes the acute need for innovation in this field.

“The great challenge historically to innovate in mental health has been the lack of knowledge and ability to measure,” Mullen writes. “However, with the technology explosion in the last 30 years, we now have a much better understanding of how the brain works.”

In addition to highlighting the challenges surrounding the lack of knowledge and ability to measure, Mullen also draws attention to other important concerns about mental health: the need for it to be understood as a separate domain from consumer health and medicine, the need to have specialized engineers in its field and the overall need to advocate for its improvements.

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