Can Video Games Spot Depression? Thymia Thinks So!

By Nicholas Say Nicholas Say has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on July 1, 2021

Thymia, a gaming startup looking to make mental health assessments faster, recently raised €920k in a pre-seed funding round. The round was co-led by Kodori AG and Calm/Storm, while also counting with the participation of Form Ventures and Entrepreneur First.

The British startup was founded in 2020 by neuroscientist Dr. Emilia Molimpakis and theoretical physicist Dr. Stefano Goria with the purpose of removing subjectivity from mental health assessments, something that can negatively impact the diagnosis of mental health conditions.

By merging video games with cutting-edge neuropsychology, linguistics, and machine learning, Thymia is creating a solution that can detect the signs of depression and monitor the evolution of those undergoing psychological or psychiatric care.

Machine learning is one of the most popular approaches to Artificial Intelligence (AI), as it allows computers to learn from predicting and analyzing the results based on data acquired from hundreds of subjects.

Emilia Molimpakis, CEO and co-founder of Thymia, referred to the importance of improving the diagnosis and monitoring of depression by stating:

“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.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 264 million people of all ages suffered from depression. For this reason, the organization has made repression “one of the priority conditions covered by WHO’s mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP)”.

Thymia has already partnered with important research institutes such as University College London (UCL) and King’s College London. These partnerships will help escalate the technology developed by Thymia to be applied to other cognitive disorders.

With mental health awareness programs increasing around, the gaming startup is expected to gather increasing attention in the future, especially at a time when objective testing is becoming increasingly important in the mental health sector.

By Nicholas Say Nicholas Say has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Nicholas Ross Say is a news desk editor at Grit Daily. An award-winning journalist, he covers the daily startup beat. He grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has lived in South America and South East Asia. At present, Nicholas lives in Southern Vietnam where the Sun shines, and the noodles flow like wine. He's written for Blockonomi and Coin Journal, among others.

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