3 Mental Health Startups Set To Change The World
There’s no doubt that living conditions for most of the world are better today than they were 200 years ago. People live longer, are healthier, face fewer wars and food shortages. We have problems that have accompanied those advantages – climate change, online bullying, identity theft (to avoid that last you need the best VPN for iPhone or Android). But we’re definitely better off.
Well, sort of. In spite of our lives being easier on a practical level, rates of depression are much higher now than they were before. You can attribute this in part to much greater awareness of depression and therefore more reported cases.
However, there is also a very human reason for this. When you have to focus on survival, you don’t start thinking about meaning. You don’t have time to brood when what you need is food.
Fortunately, the problem has caused young developers to get creative, and we are now seeing an upsurge in startups generating innovative technological solutions to mental health problems.
The following 3 startups are truly changing the world.
The name is slightly misleading, because it implies that the bot is experiencing the “woe”. What Woebot really is is the mindchild of a team of Stanford researchers. It’s a text-based bot that checks in with you everyday and imparts advice based on CBT methodology. It is incredibly simple, but research has shown significant results for those who interact with it for just two weeks.
As of yet, it does not use machine learning, but rather algorithms and scripts. If it works so well now, we can only imagine what it has in store.
The aim of DOT is to “decode ADHD”. This startup uses headsets developed to assess a child’s brain functions, provide help with diagnosis, and activities specifically designed for the child’s purposes. It is a holistic approach to treating ADHD in a more scientific way. Instead of a doctor simply prescribing ritalin, the child gets a program devised for his or her needs.
There’s still so much to be learned about ADHD, which is another benefit of DOT. Their findings will help researchers understand the disorder better, and come up with bigger and better treatments.
Youper is one of a range of startups designed to help people who suffer from anxiety. Rather than simply giving you advice or meditation techniques, Youper takes you through day-to-day situations that will help you overcome anxiety, one bit at a time. With the help of an illustrated story of a fellow anxious person, Youper asks you to try things according to your level of anxiety. This may be as simple as complimenting a waiter or more difficult, like allowing yourself to be vulnerable around friends.
Mental health issues are very real in this day and age. Just because our lives are more comfortable, does not mean we are necessarily happier. However, technological advances are helping to solve the problem by innovating new approaches to age old issues.