An AI-powered platform from start-up thymia that uses video games to improve the speed and accuracy of mental health assessments is set to roll out internationally this month, to test its effectiveness at scale and across cultures.  

thymia has been created by UK scientists and makes use of video game-inspired activities and artificial intelligence to help clinicians accurately and objectively assess symptoms of mental health conditions. It has already been trialled in the UK by thousands of patients to fine-tune its performance.  

The AI mental health start-up will be expanding into mental health clinics and mental wellbeing providers in the UK, Spain, Brazil, Indonesia, Greece, Nigeria and the US.  

Patients play specially designed video games and then neuropsychology, linguistics and machine learning are applied to detect signs of mental illness and to determine how well people are responding to treatment over time.  

The tool will analyse patients’ voices, facial expressions, movements and behaviour to determine whether a patient is exhibiting signs of a mental health condition. The platform can detect clinical symptoms of depression, anxiety and ADHD, as well as non-clinical indicators of mental wellness, such as exhaustion, stress, agitation and levels of self-esteem. 

According to the company, the thymia platform can dramatically reduce the time taken for diagnosis, enabling clinicians to put in place the right intervention earlier, as well as give insight into symptom changes between appointments.  

Dr Emilia Molimpakis, CEO and co-founder at thymia, said: “We’ve tested the platform extensively in the UK and have had an overwhelmingly positive response from patients. The next step is scaling up so we can see how different patient groups respond and prove the platform’s value across different countries and cultures.  

“Our platform is language agnostic, which means there’s immense potential for it to completely transform how mental health and wellness is assessed and monitored globally.”  

According to Molimpakis the platform also has the potential to monitor peoples’ mental health when they’re gambling; enhance mental health support offered in corporate wellness packages by making it more targeted; and improve the efficacy of digital mental wellness apps by allowing providers to measure their impact. 

The platform uses multimodal ethical AI to deliver a more accurate picture of a patient’s mental health. The models have been developed using thymia’s proprietary data set of over one billion data points collected from over 5,000 individuals with depression, generalised anxiety, ADHA and health age-, gender- and language-matched controls.  

It is the largest dataset of its kind globally, and the AI models are the only ones to exist that combine voice, video and behaviour data in this way.  

Molimpakis added: “Over the next year we’ll be working closely with our new partner clinics and wellness providers to monitor patient progress and gather feedback from clinicians and users on their experiences interacting with the platform.  

“This feedback will be invaluable as we continue to expand into new countries and user groups over the coming months, and also develop the platform to identify a wider range of mental health conditions, including dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Autism.”