Thymia raises $1.1m for video game-inspired tool to assess and track depression
Thymia has raised a $1.1m pre-seed round to scale its platform to assess for and monitor depression. The Thymia technology removes the subjectivity from mental health assessments: instead of answering questionnaires, patients play specially designed video games which use cutting-edge Neuropsychology, Linguistics and Machine Learning to detect signs of depression, as well as monitor whether symptoms are improving or worsening over time.
Through its online platform, Thymia will empower clinicians to make faster and more accurate clinical decisions by making mental illness as objectively measurable as visible physical conditions.
Kodori AG and Calm/Storm co-led this round, which was also joined by Form Ventures and included backing from Entrepreneur First.
The software then identifies data patterns indicative of depression to help pinpoint a diagnosis more quickly and accurately. Crucially, it will also show if any treatments (whether therapies or medications) are working. This can save huge amounts of time and money by finding the right combination of treatments for a patient more quickly. In addition, the platform means clinicians can continuously and remotely monitor their patients at home in the weeks between in-person appointments.
This injection of pre-seed funding will be used to gather additional data needed to enrich and expand the Thymia product, as well as to grow the startup’s technical and commercial teams.
Emilia Molimpakis, CEO and co-founder of Thymia, says: “Thymia was born when a close friend of mine tried to take her own life. Her friends and doctors missed the signs that she was so seriously unwell, not least because the process of accessing the right treatment was based on out-dated methodologies not fit for the complexities and nuances of an illness like depression. Depression is a massive, constantly growing societal and economic problem; it is a leading cause of disability and suicides and costs the UK economy billions annually in lost productivity. COVID-19 has further compounded the issue, unleashing a mental illness “tsunami” due to a lack of in-person appointments, but also its harsh societal effects – social isolation, employment loss, bereavement and grief. From January to March 2021, the ONS found 21% of UK adults reported depressive symptoms, double that observed pre-pandemic.
“Despite this, GPs and psychiatrists are using the same diagnostic questionnaires that have been around since the 1960’s. Rating how sad you feel on a scale of 0 to 3 simply is not enough to capture the subtle nuances of early signs of depression nor track the complexities of ongoing mental illness, but our clinicians have not been given a better option. This means too many cases go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed, and too many patients wait years before the right treatment is found. We want to empower clinicians and patients themselves with better tools.”
Lucanus Polagnoli, Founder and Managing Partner at Calm/Storm, says: “We’re very excited about Thymia. It’s going to bring the same level of objectivity to mental health that we expect in the realm of physical health. Emilia & Stefano impressed us from day one with their passion, academic prowess, and rigorous commitment to building a truly inclusive mental health tool.”