The pandemic, combined with the continuous instability prevailing in the labour market and by extension in the global economy, has had a very serious impact on the mental health of citizens. The successive lockdowns, the restrictive measures, the economic crisis and above all the uncertainty about the future, have dramatically increased the diagnoses of mental illnesses.
According to a clinical study published in the prestigious journal “The Lancet”, depressive and anxiety disorders during the pandemic worsened significantly worldwide. In the period from January 2020 to January 2021 there was a rapid increase in confirmed phenomena of depressive disorder, with women and younger people being more affected, compared to men and older people.
The psychological impact of the pandemic has highlighted the need for massive investments in national health systems and in this context, one sector that is recording rapid growth rates is that of healthtech startups and mainly of those dealing with mental health issues.
One of these Startups is Wave, which leverages technology to address the mental issues that, based on the data, plague young people. According to the founders of the company, 75% of Gen Z, are not satisfied with their emotional well-being, while looking for new solutions given the high cost of a traditional therapeutic process.Apart from meeting the growing needs of young people in mental health issues, Wave has developed a digital platform and a series of digital tools, and early next year is expected to launch its first app in pilot form.
According to the founder and professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, Sarah Adler, the app will provide users with an interactive experience along the lines of a video game. Through a series of special “exercises” the app will cause the same neurochemical reactions in the users’ brains as a psychoanalytic type session. In particular, the application will be addressed to users in the form of personal questions about their work, hobbies and values, so that they can come into “contact with their feelings.”
Wave’s project has already found a response in investor circles. The company participated in a funding round in the summer where it raised 2 million dollars. Well-known VCs such as Hanna Grey, K50 Ventures, Tribe Capital, Alumni Venture Group, Verissimo Ventures also participated in the funding.
“We believe that in order to reach out to new users, we need to meet them where they are, especially the Gen Z who spend much of their day on smartphones. Our goal is to create a digital ecosystem that will provide interactive experiernces by exploiting the greatest advantages of video games, which we use as a basis for our applications.”