Tools #healthtech
21 September 2023

Thymia : The AI fighting mental illness, becomes free for World Mental Health Day

Mental health tech startup Thymia is giving out free AI-powered “Mental Wellness Checks” to employees from this month, to empower employers to better understand and improve the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce ahead of World Mental Health Day.

“When thyme is burned, it puts to flight all venomous creatures.”, said Pliny the Elder

Thyme, a herb indigenous to the Mediterranean region, is a plant stepped in mythology since Ancient Greece.

Ancient Greeks believed thyme and its extracts could restore vigour and mental acuity. They also burned it as a religious incense to give them courage.

The herb is also often used in cooking. The smell alone can bring back anyone who lived in this part of their world back to their childhood, when things seemed lighter, happier, easier.

Therefore, the scent of thyme is one of happiness. It makes us lighter, alleviates our mind from every day’s problems, and through its leaves provides mental acuity and the courage to keep going.

As people get further away from nature, Thymia‘s mission is analyse people’s behaviour in order to prevent burnout, depression, and other mental health issues, and give them the best diagnostic so they can retrieve the joy they once felt so clearly.

Thymia: A remedy for mental health issues

Thymia is a pioneering mental health tech startup based in London. Founded by neuroscientist Dr Emilia Molimpakis, theoretical physicist and AI expert Dr Stefano Goria and healthcare growth specialist Gabrielle Powell in 2020.

Combining the power of cutting edge AI and neuroscience with the flexibility and engagement of video games, Thymia is bringing about a paradigm shift in how mental health is tracked, treated and spoken about.

Instead of answering subjective and often biased questions, patients are invited to play simple but engaging video games on their platform. The games utilise neuropsychology, linguistics and machine learning to detect signs of mental health conditions and their core symptoms. This helps clinicians to diagnose conditions, but also to see whether patients are responding to treatment over time.

The technology has also been translated to be used for mental wellness. The company helps mental health and corporate wellbeing providers to spot indicators of mental wellbeing such as stress, exhaustion, burnout and mental strain to power earlier and more effective interventions for mentally healthy teams.

Free and for all : Improving mental health and wellbeing

From this month, Thymia will be offering its Mental Wellness Check tool (officially known as Thymia Helios) to companies for free to help them assess and support the mental health of their teams. The tool is the only one of its kind that can identify the specific drivers of mental wellbeing  like burnout, stress, tiredness, and confidence, by analysing a few seconds of speech alone.

Thymia’s AI models have been developed using over 170,000 minutes of voice data collected from almost 6,000 individuals: the largest dataset of its kind globally.

Companies can now sign up on thymia’s website to obtain complimentary access to the online Mental Wellness Check tool for all their employees. Employers will get a unique URL to share with their workers, who simply need to follow the URL to access the tech.

The Mental Wellness Check involves completing a 30 second reading activity. The tool then uses AI to analyse the voice recording, including the pitch and pace of speech. The employee will see their own scores live, giving an instant overview of their mental wellbeing status. Once all employees have completed their check, the company will receive a “Mental Wellness Pulse” report with summary scores for their workforce’s stress, burnout, tiredness, irritability and confidence levels.

The technology provides employers with anonymised insights to help them invest in the right wellbeing solutions for their teams to nurture happy and healthy minds, as well as track trends and provide suitable interventions if indicators flag any common issues, for example, if staff are experiencing high amounts of stress or burnout.

“It’s critical that we keep a close eye on our mental health and seek help quickly if we notice any changes. Employers also have a responsibility to pay closer attention to the mental health of their employees. After all, many of us spend the majority of our weeks at work, and work can play a big role in stress, anxiety and mental strain. By making mental health more easily measurable, and supporting employers to invest in the right interventions, we hope to improve mental health outcomes and reduce stigma surrounding mental health at work.” says Dr Emilia Molimpakis, neuroscientist and CEO and co-founder at Thymia.

The tool will be available for use for free on World Mental Health Day (10th October) and employers can sign up here to get involved.