There is a HUGE amount of research driving this sort of invention that has NEVER been seen before.
The research focus for the past few years on Alzheimer's, Parkinsons, Creutzfeldt–Jakob's Disease, ADD/AAHD as well as depression studies, endocrinology and even the fields of artificial intelligence, neural sciences and cybernetics have synergistically started to dovetail together and are providing huge amounts of very precise data on how the brain and nervous system work.
It is the first time we have ever had the technological tools to actually map and experiment real-time with the brains multifaceted processes--electromagnetic, hormonal, etc.--while it is working.
This isn't like the days when we used tap hammers to drive metal rods into people's brains to see if it might help. We can now watch in real time the molecular, chemical and physical changes happening in the brain as we interact with it. The understanding of the brain is greater than it has ever been in history and this may be one of those watershed moments where whole new realms of treatment and cure become available.
Depression is one of the biggest issues because it affects everyone in the world and there are so many areas affected by it and causal to it that a lot of information and research is needed. If you have ever known anyone "chemically lobotomized" as the means of managing their symptoms, you'd understand why any sort of experiment that might give hope is worth it to a lot of people.
They recently just lab demonstrated a machine that allowed to computer wired couples to ask and answer each other's questions without saying a word and in future plan to do trials with comatose and brain dead patients to see if they are capable of "yes-no" conversations.
I have a friend who was just prescribed Abilify and for her it works wonders--she said the "cloud is gone" and she feels perfectly normal...yet the adverse effects for people who don't respond well to the drug are frightening. We need a lot more alternatives.