Interview with Ross Harper, CEO and Co-founder at AI Therapy Platform: Limbic

Ross Harper

Limbic is a mental health software platform that provides end-to-end software for IAPT services. Our platform has been designed with involvement from patients, clinicians, IAPT leads and Innovate UK.

Our mission is to amplify the powers of clinicians to help tackle mental illness in the UK.

How did you come up with the idea for Limbic?


We started building based on the idea of the core technology predicting emotional and mental states via fitness trackers. From a technical perspective, it did really well, outperforming all the existing benchmarks and getting published in peer-reviewed journals. However, while the tech itself was impressive, there were some hurdles on the business side. Because we didn’t make our own hardware, our customers were the wearable manufacturers themselves.

Meanwhile, I was having constant conversations with mental healthcare professionals who were informing me of the issues in mental healthcare. We realised pretty quickly that our core tech could help clinicians monitor their patients’ at scale to help solve a serious supply and demand issue. Moreover, we uncovered a fundamental need for better information transfer between patients and clinicians, and that an AI therapy assistant could improve the lives of both sides, while reducing treatment costs. So, while we built the technology, Limbic was actually ideated by mental healthcare professionals and patients.

Since launching our software, there has been a consistent customer pull for Limbic and we’re continuing to develop the product accordingly.



What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?


I would stress the importance of gathering data to inform decisions. I often find it easier to theorise and rationalise my way to conclusions, but that doesn’t make them right. The fastest way to land on the correct answer is to act, gather data, update assumptions and repeat. This can be applied to anything, from launching a beta product, building a splash page, measuring sign-ups or talking to the end-user. It can be a double-edged sword though. Take caution to collect the correct data and be mindful of not being overly influenced by one person’s opinion.



What can we hope to see from Limbic in the future?


We’re on a mission to bring AI to psychological therapy, but that’s not a simple process.

Fundamentally, psychological therapy has human aspects to it, so we are focused on augmentation rather than automation.

Beyond our existing digital triage software, we’re working on a number of new products that solve the supply-demand problem in mental healthcare by amplifying the powers of clinicians to help their patients. We believe that by supporting clinicians and patients throughout therapy, our AI assistant will improve recovery rates and reduce treatment costs for the approximately 80 million people in therapy for common mental illness worldwide.