George Eleftheriou, CEO at Feel.
Feel: A Digital Therapeutic Solution for Mental Health Feel developed by Sentio Solutions Inc. took part in the 34th Edition of the WT | Wearable Technologies and proudly won the “Top Public Award”. The disruptive start-up founded in 2015 impressed the wearable audiences and jury of the Innovation World Cup Series with the emotion-sensing wristband and app, that allows continuous monitoring and real-time personalized interventions for individuals suffering from anxiety and depression. Feel made a big leap to the Semi-finals of the 11th IoT/WT Innovation World Cup®, stand among the promising winners of the WellTech Challenge and top the Healthcare category. Check out their story of success and explore how mental health issues can be solved with Feel.
1. HOW DID THE JOURNEY BEGIN?
Back in 2015, the co-founders of Feel, George Eleftheriou and Haris Tsirbas, both struggled with their mental health. Depressive burnouts and panic attacks led them to start psychotherapy. Even though it was a good investment in themselves, they quickly realized that there are many flaws in the healthcare system.
Psychologists, psychiatrists, and patients rely on outmoded forms of analysis to diagnose, evaluate, monitor, and intervene in the treatment process. Unlike all physical disorders that can be monitored e.g. measure glucose in the case of diabetes, there are no objective data and tools for mental health and no mental health support outside the therapist office. More than that, an appointment at the psychologist most of the times is expensive. Therefore, many people end up without getting help. And this is what they decided to change together.
2. WHAT ARE THE MOST MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR?
Feel has been awarded and recognized as “TransTech 200” in 2016, “Pioneers Athens”, “Insurance Shaper of the Year 2017”, MITEF Greece Startup Competition and “Top Public Vote” Award at the 2019 US WT | Wearable Technologies Conference. Moreover, we have closed our seed round and have raised a total amount of $1.8 million from Anthemis Exponential Ventures, SOSV, Make in LA and angel investors.
3. WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU FACED IN YOUR JOURNEY?
We would say that stigma was a great challenge. We had prospective investors suggesting that we shouldn’t talk about personal experiences because it would hurt our chances of getting an investment or asking if we are still in psychotherapy to understand if we are “sane” or capable enough. The lack of objective metrics exacerbates this stigma, since mental health remains as something ineffable, something that cannot be quantified.
5. WHAT IS COMING IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
The development of biomarkers for management and evaluation of mental illness, indicators of relapse, mood swings, depressive episodes, panic attacks and more.
6. WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
We want to elevate the digital era, in which even though there is plethora of solutions, there is still subjectivity, self-diagnosis and stigma. We strive to bring to life the Augmented Mental Health era. Our next step is to begin deployments with major Health Plans and Employers in the US and Europe.
6. HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE IOT/WT INNOVATION WORLD CUP®?
We are very excited to have won the “Top Public Vote” Award at the 34th WT | Wearable Technologies US. It shows that people really need such a solution. The Innovation World Cup® gave us the chance to spread our idea and vision to many more people. It was a great opportunity.
7. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR THE FUTURE IOT HEROES COMING FROM THE INNOVATION WORLD CUP®?
Choose a cause that you really care about. And choose people who care as much as you do for the cause to make a team.
Understand how Feel Wristband works and acknowledge the power of technology in recognizing human emotions. Enhance individuals’ mental well-being and learn to obtain a fulfilled life.