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

Team Lead

Opeyemi Etiwe

Solution Overview

Solution Name


One-line solution summary.

Insync 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.

Elevator pitch

What is your solution?

Insync is a health-tech solution that provides optimum mental health care to people who have mental illness and emotional needs through the use of artificial intelligence and the power of people.

We are providing our solution through our 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.

Also, we understand that human connections are vital while treating mental illnesses; therefore, users can join needs-specific therapist-monitored support groups for free on our 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 we aren't doing live events. We utilize text SMS for rural communities to sensitize and create awareness and provide primary mental healthcare services.

What specific problem are you trying to solve?

Nigeria, the seventh-largest country in the world, 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 most government hospitals do not have provisions for mental healthcare. WHO estimates that fewer than 10% of mentally ill Nigerians have access to the care they need. Among Nigeria's healthcare woes is the emigration of its physicians. Nine out of every ten doctors in Nigeria seek to leave the country and find work elsewhere.

Also, according to the 2019 National Bureau of Statistics report, an estimated 40 percent of the country’s population lives below the country’s poverty line. These numbers preceded the coronavirus pandemic, which has increased poverty throughout the country. This means that working and middle-class people living with mental health conditions are priced out of healthcare while low-income earners cannot even think of seeking mental health care. 

With the absence of a financially accessible mental healthcare system and living in a stigmatizing society, the mentally ill are expected to cope and function properly. Some of them find alternative means, such as finding comfort in the company of friends and family, but these strategies are often short-lived.

In summary, the problems of unaffordable and inaccessible mental healthcare coupled with the limited human resources are the critical issues In-Sync is actively trying to solve.

Who does your solution serve? In what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Our solution is targeted at people between the ages of 16-50 who live in semi-urban to urban areas and can use mobile technology and rural communities where text-based therapy can be accessed via mobile phones.

Nigeria has over 60 million people suffering from one form of mental illness or another. There are currently less than 250 psychiatrists in the country; hence, traditional therapy is greatly limited in its reach, expensive, and inaccessible to many people, especially in rural communities.

In-Sync leverages AI to simulate a natural therapy experience, provides free therapist-monitored support groups, facilitates text-based therapy for rural communities, and runs awareness and sensitization campaigns to various target communities. We believe that at least 2 million people will benefit from In-Sync within the next five years.

By using AI, we’ve decreased the dependency on the already scarce human resources for primary mental healthcare, and with our safe spaces, users can get free access to therapy. We offer subsidized fees for our premium services that allow users to pick from a pool of certified care providers based on their purchasing power and geographical location.

Lastly, there is widespread ignorance about the causation and remedies available for mental illness within our target communities. Very few people attribute mental illness to brain disease; many others attribute it to spiritual attack, punishment for evil-doing, and illicit psychoactive substance use, among other things. Hence, the need for awareness and sensitization campaigns.

What steps have you taken to understand the needs of the population you want to serve?

At In-Sync, understanding our potential users' problems was critical to proffering solutions. We used the design thinking methodology to develop our solution and ensure human-centered inclusivity—as solutions regarding mental health cannot be effective if done in exclusion.

We began by empathizing with people to understand their pain points, experiences, and motivations. We conducted online interviews because the anonymity of respondents had to be maintained. Our questions were broken into three areas;

First, we wanted to know more about users and their communities to understand their experiences. Second, we dived the processes, practices, and emotions people experience around seeking mental healthcare, whether or not they have considered seeking any form of help, and why they haven't. Lastly, we had to understand how the product we created would function within the users’ lives.

Mental health caregivers were not excluded in our research process. We had respondents from various states across Nigeria to understand the different prices at which they offered their services and their willingness to adopt seemingly new technology in administering care.

Part of the In-Sync team has also worked professionally as counseling psychologists, while some have volunteered as caregivers for NGOs involved in mental healthcare.

Which aspects of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Improving healthcare access and health outcomes; and reducing and ultimately eliminating health disparities (Health)

Our solution's stage of development:

Prototype: A venture or organization building and testing its product, service, or business model

Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution—in other words, what have you accomplished to date?

In-Sync is at its beta-testing stage; we have successfully built a working version of our mobile application and are currently testing our prototype within a small group of respondents.  We successfully enrolled 25 mental health professionals across Lagos and Oyo state, Nigeria, and one rehabilitation Center in Akure, Ekiti State, Nigeria. 

We have seen 85% positive feedback on In-Sync’s use. More importantly, we are currently re-iterating on some of the features, such as the AI chat-bot, by expanding the data sets to allow better communication with users.

We’ve made significant progress in building our current version, and in about two months, we will be carrying out our pilot tests.

Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

Oyo, Nigeria

Team Lead:

Opeyemi Etiwe Oritsematosan

More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new use of an existing technology (e.g. application to a new problem or in a new location)

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Our solution is powered by our mobile application with an Artificial Intelligence component - a chatbot working on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy. 

Using a combination of natural language processing, carefully constructed writing, a sense of humor, and psychological expertise – primarily in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the bot asks its user how they are feeling and how things are going with them in brief daily conversations. It then stores all text and emojis. Its questions and responses become more specific over time, referencing previous discussions like a secret but thoughtful friend and companion in your pocket. The bot addresses mental health and wellness by monitoring users' moods and needs.

Although this technology is not entirely new, we're applying it in a new location where access to mental healthcare is almost non-existent, and those with mental health issues are often neglected.

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Software and Mobile Applications
  • Other

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Nigeria

How many people does your solution currently serve, and how many do you plan to serve in the next year? If you haven’t yet launched your solution, tell us how many people you plan to serve in the next year.

The number of people that will directly benefit from In-Sync via our channels (mobile application, SMS-therapy, and in-person community awareness campaigns) is highlighted below:

  • Mobile Apps (IOS/Android)- 10,000 direct beneficiaries in year 1

  • SMS therapy - 300 direct beneficiaries

  • Community Awareness Campaigns- 20 communities with a totaled estimated direct impact to 10,000 people

In-sync will meaningfully impact 20,300 directly and 35,000 people indirectly in the coming year.

What are your impact goals for the next year, and how will you achieve them?

At In-Sync, our Impact goals are;

  • To cause a noticeable improvement in the lives of our users by providing quality connections, low-cost therapy, and comprehensive support to those suffering from mental or emotional needs so they can live happier and healthier lives.

  • To reduce the disparities that exist in seeking and accessing mental healthcare by leveraging technology to facilitate treatment.

  • To mitigate the stigma attached to mental illnesses by educating and sensitizing people on optimal mental healthcare.

  • To create more economic and financial opportunities for mental healthcare providers by expanding their reach and improving their service delivery methods.

How are you measuring your progress or planning to measure your progress toward your impact goals?

We are measuring success based on the following indexes;

  1. Reduction in suicide mortality, substance use-related deaths, and other deaths attributable to mental disorders.

  2. The adoption rate of our technology by mental healthcare providers and those with mental health issues.

  3. The overall improvement of health-seeking behavior and access to mental healthcare to the most disadvantaged populations in Nigeria

  4. By how much we have made the cost of treatment interventions affordable to our users— including pharmacological, psychosocial, rehabilitation, and aftercare services.

What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year?

The barriers that In-Sync currently face are;

  1. A shortage of Technical Skills- We currently do not have enough Machine learning engineers and back-end developers to finesse our mobile application and release better versions. We require a more technically competent team. 

  2. Cultural Barriers- With the high stigma and erroneous cultural beliefs associated with mental health in marginalized communities, our technology might come off as new, especially to our target population(s) in rural communities. Hence, initial adoption may take a while to educate users on In-Sync’s use.

  3. Marketing Costs- To reach our intended users, a large share of financial obligations would go into marketing, advertising, awareness campaigns, and programs. Therefore, the high marketing costs will pose a market entry barrier.

About Your Team

How many people work on your solution team?

In-Sync has 10 full-time staff, 20 contract therapists and 10 Volunteers.

How long have you been working on your solution?

The In-Sync team has been working proactively to develop the In-Sync platform for over 18 months.

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

We have an active core executive team, namely; 

  • Opeyemi Etiwe, the Team Lead; has over four years of experience in project management, Innovation, and business development. Named Global Student Entrepreneur of the year (Nigeria) by Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), Etiwe is passionate about creating digital solutions around mental health. 

  • Fatoke Motunrayo, our Operations Lead, with over three years of experience in development, startup, and organizational management. An award-winning social entrepreneur with an academic background in Guidance and Counseling. She has worked with several local and international organizations such as UNICEF, UNESCO, YALI, AREAi, MANI, World economic forum Global Shapers, Theirworld, amongst others, to provide equal access to education for children and youth in marginalized, remote communities. 

  • Adetutu Sadiq, a graduate of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley, is a digital health Innovator and growth strategist with vast experience building health startups in Kenya and Nigeria, such as Ilara Health and Cleo.

  • Faithwin Gbadamosi, our community engagement manager, is an experienced program manager who has worked with Hult Foundation, SEIH, and others. She majored in Health Geography and has worked on several community projects such as the Enactus Project, LearnAgain, and the Ace5 Initiative. Faithwin is passionate about social development and inclusiveness.

  •  Daniel Oghenekevwe Chenube works with our product team. He is a venture builder and a product manager obsessed with solving important problems and building products that people want. He has over three years of experience working with early-stage startups and pursuing sustainability and social impact projects.

What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

In-Sync currently partners with private counseling agencies and public healthcare associations. They include;

  • Adomat Counseling Services, a counseling agency that focuses on reaching rural communities via radio and outreaches.  We also leverage their access to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) around building rehabilitation centers for substance abuse-related illnesses.

  • Occupational therapist association of Nigeria to ease enlisting professional certified therapist unto the In-Sync platform

  •  The University of Ibadan, Psychology Department on research and development and guides on counseling best practices.

Your Business Model & Resources

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The HP Girls Save the World Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.


Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The Pozen Social Innovation Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.


If you selected Yes, explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The Pozen Social Innovation Prize to advance your solution?

Mental Illness among women and girls is on the rise. One in five women (19%) experience a Common Mental Disorder such as anxiety and depression, compared with one in eight men (12%). There is clear evidence indicating that women’s mental health in developing countries is linked to their violence and abuse experiences. 53% of women who have mental health problems have experienced abuse. In comparison,  more than three-quarters of women (78%) who have faced extensive physical and sexual violence in both childhood and adulthood have experienced life-threatening trauma, and 16% have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Moreover, Studies in Nigeria have shown that depression is common among women of childbearing age, with women living in low- and middle-income countries being particularly at high risk. Nigeria has reported a preponderance of females as victims of depressive mental disorder, with 64.4% females having depression compared to 35.6% in a study of ambulant patients attending outpatient clinics in South-eastern Nigeria. This finding is in tandem with the global gender epidemiological pattern for depression.

Hence, the need for increased mental health care service and dedicated helplines for psychological support for women and girls as part of the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pozen Social Innovation Prize will enable In-sync to provide these vulnerable and at-risk women and girls easy and convenient access to 24/7 mental health care and access to a trained therapist at a very subsidized rate. We are making our solution readily available, easily accessible, and highly affordable for these vulnerable women and girls.

Solution Team

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