Aimentia, a start-up using AI to treat mental health, secures a EUR 500,000 investment boostAimentia's technology facilitates the diagnosis and monitoring of, and therapy for, patients with anxiety, depression, phobias, bipolar disorder and suicidal thoughts for primary healthcare centres, schools and businesses
The AI platform provides round-the-clock tools and services and has more than 31,000 users in Spain, Argentina, Mexico and Chile, with the participation of more than 120 schools
A quarter of us will suffer from some mental health condition over the course of our lives, according to a number of reports by the WHO. Indeed, in Spain, this issue is the second-most common cause of sick leave. With the mission of helping ensure early diagnosis and offering patients personalized care, start-up Aimentia has created an artificial intelligence platform for identifying and effectively monitoring those experiencing some kind of mental health problem who are potentially at risk. To tackle the challenges posed by this health issue, the entrepreneurial project has secured €500,000 of private funding, a sum that could rise to €800,000.
In the words of Edgar Jorba, Aimentia CEO and co-founder, who is studying for the Online MBA at the UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya), mental health conditions are becoming a "silent worldwide epidemic, which needs to be tackled with innovation and the development of new technologies". The WHO estimates that, between 2010 and 2030, the cumulative cost of treating mental health will total some $16 trillion.
Given the scale of the challenge, Aimentia has implemented its platform not only in Spain, but also in Argentina, Mexico and Chile, and already boasts more than 31,000 registered users, both patients and professionals, at more than 120 schools. "Mental health is still regarded, unfortunately, as a stigma," noted Edgar Jorba. "And that's why we seek to democratize access to this care model, based on research and smart clinical tools that go far beyond a mere video call," he added.
AI for a rapid response
Designed with a flexible structure and with an in-house programming language that integrates a variety of different data sources to create tailor-made solutions flexibly and quickly, Aimentia Health is a cloud-based platform providing mental health tools and emergency services for all manner of users, both patients (adults, children and adolescents) and professionals (specialists, school representatives and other workers).
The platform provides professionals with a technology for the rapid recognition of crisis cases, with the personalization of diagnoses and the monitoring of therapies for patients with anxiety, depression, phobias, bipolar disorder or suicidal tendencies. "Aimentia Health's future applications will also encompass substance abuse and eating disorders", added Jorba.
One of Aimentia Health's standout features is associated with its interview system that, according to the start-up, refers patients to therapy "up to 80% quicker than other methods". As its CEO noted, their digital solutions "are based on clinical data to ensure the rigour of all their procedures".
Services for schools and businesses
In addition to being focused on mental health professionals and primary healthcare facilities, Aimentia also offers services for schools and businesses. In the case of the former, the start-up's solutions are aimed at young people aged between 12 and 18, "the age range with the highest rates of self-harming behaviour, which is one of the warning signs of potential thoughts of or attempts at suicide", indicated Jorba.
In the business world, the platform is beginning to help organizations in the early detection of workers with stress, depression or anxiety. The company is currently providing a free-of-charge analysis, prior to offering advice to foster a positive work environment, prevent risks and provide workers with the necessary support.
A growing entrepreneurial initiative
Aimentia has successfully completed a drive to secure private funding of €500,000, to reach more countries and increase the number of mental health conditions addressed. Additionally, to help with its expansion, the start-up has enjoyed the support of the UOC, ACCIÓ (the Government of Catalonia's Agency for Business Competitiveness) and the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technologies (CIMTI), not to mention being a winner of the UNICEF Lab programme.
In 2020, this entrepreneurial project won the Ramon Molinas Foundation Prize for social impact, as well as the Public Prize, each valued at €2,000, from the UOC's annual entrepreneurship support programme SpinUOC, promoted via the Hubbik platform.
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