We are building Earkick to empower you to master mental health, so you can meet your true potential.
Today, mental health only gets attention when people are heading towards a crisis and the damage is already done. Reactive care is unsustainable and the underlying problem is: we can’t change what we can’t measure. Current solutions provide feedback on the mental health state only via self-reports and manual input.
At Earkick, we want to change that: With automated measurements and actionable suggestions based on real data. Sign up to our beta.
The Importance of Mental Health
It has become clear that we are in the midst of a global mental health crisis. While the number of affected people is skyrocketing, there are not enough traditional resources available to tackle this problem at scale. Mental health issues are very frequent and can affect us all already at an early age. Delays in treatment are not only common, they also increase the probability of developing additional physical and psychological disorders. This all results in lost productivity costing the global economy $1 trillion each year — increasing at a 22% CAGR. Scalable, affordable and accessible solutions are therefore urgently needed.
Why it concerns us all
COVID has made people more aware that mental health is real, widespread, and expensive. Mental health issues affect strong and healthy people. Some deal with them earlier, some later, but nobody can escape them — yet. To see issues coming is therefore crucial and would be game changing. The earlier a trend towards a decreasing mental health state is met with actionable suggestions, the better mental health can be managed.
However, to manage or change a potentially unhealthy trend, we need to measure mental health continuously.
Current solutions lack objective tests to assess mental health conditions. They rely on self-reports and questionnaires that require people to read and type at length. A plethora of digital tools is available, but they lack a common metric and are difficult to compare. There is room for bias as memories tend to be subjective and prone to inaccuracies.
Imagine trying to find out whether someone has diabetes without using sensors, just by asking “how do you feel on a scale from 1 to 10”? Picture how the answer would define how people will get tested, diagnosed and treated.That’s what psychiatry is doing for mental health, right now.
How Technology can help
Technology has evolved rapidly in recent years, opening opportunities to change how mental health gets measured.
As a matter of fact, the human voice contains a lot of information about mental and physical health. It’s not about the words the individual says, they need not even be tracked. However, each voice is unique and can reveal deviations from a healthy baseline long before perceivable symptoms develop. And there is more: Smart devices are widely used to measure the user’s physical health such as heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV) as well as the quality of sleep.
Biosignals captured by smartphones and wearables in combination with visual and environmental data create a full picture of the user’s mental health status and help to track the efficacy of interventions in real time.
Also, approaches around deep tech are changing rapidly — almost on a weekly basis. Recently, few-shot learning approaches and transformer-based models are getting a lot of attention from the community as they outperform other state-of-the-art approaches.
With this, we want to make mental health monitoring automated, effortless and — by orders of magnitude — better than the state-of-the-art.
Of course, privacy is guaranteed as no raw data is leaving the device. No conversations will be stored or uploaded anywhere. Only anonymized binary data will be used for further processing.
A Companion for You
Our long-term vision is to build a voice-based approach just like the one shown in the movie “HER”: a solution that listens to the user like a true companion while providing great service. It will automatically keep the users’ mental well-being in check, motivate them to accomplish things, alert and guide them in challenging situations, read and organize messages, coach with communication, anticipate needs and help with data-driven decision making.
Imagine you wake up in the morning and Earkick will encourage you for the day with an affirmation to give you a good start. Then Earkick will ask you how you’re feeling while capturing your voice and face for a few seconds. During your commute you will tune into content that is suggested based on your real data to help you build resilience for upcoming challenges. At work you decide which meetings are the most important ones to have Earkick listen into. This will help you understand how you come across to others and Earkick will coach you if needed. Right after the meeting it will let you know how you sounded and how much space you took up during the conversation, so you can make adjustments and progress towards your self-defined goals. Before going to bed you would share with Earkick about your day, what you need to remember and how the interactions made you feel. No need to write it down, Earkick will keep the journal for you.
Let’s say you’ve been using Earkick for a few months and it has listened to you on a daily basis. Recently, Earkick has been detecting specific changes in your voice and facial expression. After tracking this trend for several weeks, Earkick asks you to pay more attention to conscious breaks before certain afternoon meetings, suggesting specific actions that have shown to work best for you. It may even suggest an appointment with a therapist, because the detected changes can correlate with the start of a mental health issue.
More health, less care
By silently monitoring peoples’ mental health state and anticipating unmet needs, Earkick will benefit individuals, companies and society at large. The time to leverage technology is now, in the midst of the mental health crisis. Together we can fundamentally change the way we measure, monitor and treat mental health. Instead of fighting the uphill battle for enough care, we will be able to double down on what everyone deserves: Good Mental Health.
Help us bring this mission to the next level and get early access.
At Earkick we are building a free anxiety tracker to follow our great mission in order to make the wold a less anxious place.