2022 Solv[ED] Youth Innovation Challenge
In-Sync is a health-tech solution that provides optimum mental health care to people with mental illness and emotional needs through the use of artificial intelligence and the power of people
Short Solution Description:
The solution is provided through a proprietary mobile application that has an artificial intelligence chatbot working on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) - a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior and emotions.
Human connections are vital while treating mental illnesses; therefore, users can join needs-specific therapist-monitored support groups for free on the mobile application. For many, a support group may fill a gap between medical treatment and the need for emotional support. Users can also decide to have private therapy sessions that permit audio, image, and video messages in a text-based chat room at an affordable price.
In-Sync also leverages the notification feature on the app and newsletters to push mental-health education and awareness campaigns when live events aren’t occurring. The program utilizes text SMS for rural communities to sensitize, create awareness and provide primary mental healthcare services.
The problems of unaffordable and inaccessible mental healthcare coupled with the limited human resources are the critical issues that In-Sync is actively trying to solve. Nigeria has Africa's highest caseload of depression and ranks 15th in the world in the frequency of suicide, according to WHO. There are less than 150 psychiatrists in this country of 200 million. Most of them are in private practice because many government hospitals do not have provisions for mental healthcare. In fact, nine out of every ten doctors in Nigeria seek to leave the country and find work elsewhere. With an estimated 40% of the country's population living below the country's poverty line, mental health care has become inaccessible.
What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year?
The barrier faced by In-Sync currently is a limited capacity for technical skills. Acquiring more knowledgeable and skilled hands has proven to be very expensive hence product development has suffered some setbacks.
Another barrier faced involves financing. In-Sync is currently continuing to sensitize and run mental health campaigns across rural communities that may otherwise get left behind and also onboard more therapists across the country and ensure they're adequately trained on the ethical use of the product. They need more funds to quicken this process and to spread awareness.