Wysa is a global leader in AI-driven mental health support, available both to individuals, through employer benefits programmes and healthcare services.
We believe access to support should be available whenever people need it. Stigma prevails, so we take away the need for people to ask for help and eliminate the need for people to make a judgement call on when they should seek professional support.
Proven to improve depression and anxiety scores by an average of 31%, Wysa’s AI-first approach enables employees to improve their mental health before symptoms become severe, by understanding an individual’s needs and guiding them through interactive cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) exercises.
Wysa’s clinically safe AI encourages users to take additional support, whenever it’s needed, by guiding them towards Wysa’s human coaching, employer benefits programmes (EAP) or national crisis lines. Wysa has helped over 5 million people through 500 million AI conversations across 90 countries.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Stress and burnout had taken its toll on me and started to suffer from depression. We were also caring for Ramakant’s father who was bipolar. We use our phones all day every day, and were fascinated by how they collect a massive amount of data on us.
So we developed a machine learning platform that would analyze all of these data points to put together a view of someone’s mental health. A clinical trial followed which showed that the app could identify people who were at risk of depression with up to 85% accuracy. The trial also showed that the app was a powerful platform to interact with people who were suffering with their mental health amd that Wysa wasn’t just identifying those at risk from depression, but actively helping to improve their mood.
Encouraged by the feedback the app was expanded, with elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) added alongside a library of interactive content and an emotionally intelligent AI-chatbot Wysa launchwed worldwide. We’ve since received more than 180 personal messages from people who claim the app has saved their lives.
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How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?
We’ve really started to explore some of the societal effects on mental health care – and one of those is the workplace. We are working with some of the world’s biggest employers to enable them to deliver AI stepped mental health care to their teams. Because although Employee Assistance Programs are becoming more common, only 7% of employees take them up.
A third of people have clinically significant anxiety and/or depression, twice the reported prevalance. Stigma prevails, lack of time has an impact, or support isn’t available when people want it. 4 in 10 SOS flags to Wysa are in the night. 35% are most stressed the night before they start their working week. These are times when typical EAPs aren’t available or accessible.
Unlike a phone in their pocket – always there, always on, always ready. It makes financial sense too – a company of 50,000 people could save 30 million USD a year by integrating Wysa AI stepped care into their health and wellbeing model through increased productivity, reduced presenteeism and absenteeism, and associated healthcare costs.
What can we hope to see from Wysa in the future?
Wysa is working on multiple language support including Spanish and Hindi. We are looking at other ways to access Wysa, such as Whatsapp, to make sure people can access support wherever they are and whatever messaging platform they choose.
Wysa is also looking at how ChatGPT and new AI models can further enhance the user experience.