Innovation That Matters

264 million people around the world are affected by depression | Photo source Clare&me

An AI-powered mental health companion

Health & Wellbeing

An app uses AI to provide clinically-proven mental health therapy

Spotted: There has been increasing acknowledgement of the importance of mental health issues in global development in recent years. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression is one of the leading causes of disability, while suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. Yet at the same time, there is a lack of treatment options available – especially at an affordable price. Healthtech start-up Clare&me is on a mission to make mental health care more accessible.

While talking therapy has been shown to be effective in treating many of those suffering from anxiety and depression, the demand for trained therapists far outstrips the supply. Clare&me offers an affordable option by using an artificial intelligence platform to engage in verbal conversations with users. The platform is designed to ‘feel human’ and to deliver clinically-proven approaches to behavioural therapy – offering affordable psychological support regardless of location and time. 

The company was founded in 2021 and has recently announced a pre-seed funding round of €1 million. The round was led by Munich HealthTech Fund YZR, early-stage venture capitalist Antler, and business angels, including Hans Raffauf. The platform will eventually charge a subscription fee but the prototype is currently offered for free while it is being tested in the UK.

Co-founder Celina Messner, describes the challenges in providing mental health treatment, saying, “Maintaining and promoting mental health of individuals is one of the greatest current challenges society faces. We want to proactively contribute to closing the gap between the need for and the supply of mental health support, which we can only achieve together – with stakeholders in the healthcare system, politicians, companies and developers of innovative technology.”

The growing awareness of mental health issues has led to a number of innovations in this space. Some, such as a lighting panel that helps elevate mood of those working from home, seek a prophylactic effect while chatbots and apps aim to give users practical care. 

Written By: Lisa Magloff

Mental health is a complex issue, and those in need of urgent help can find information about the services available on the United for Global Mental Health website.



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