Start-ups actively develop mental health care programs for COVID-19 depression.

As daily life is paralyzed due to the prolonged COVID-19, more and more people are suffering from “COVID-19 depression” as well as people who feel depressed and lethargic, as well as fear of when they may be infected. One in four Korean adults experience more than one mental illness such as depression and anxiety in their lives, but only 15% of them are treated by experts. This is due to Korea’s unique cultural environment that does not seek medical treatment for fear of the gaze of people around it.

The global mental healthcare-related market is estimated to be around 100 trillion won. Lyra, a U.S. mental care startup, has already been reborn as a unicorn company with a corporate value of $1 billion (about 1.1545 trillion won).

In Korea, more and more startups are developing higher-quality computer programs for those suffering from psychological difficulties, including medical staff responding to COVID-19 who are in urgent need of professional mental care. Omni C&S is a mental health platform startup that developed and commercialized Omni-fit Brain, a mental health management solution based on brainwave pulse wave biosignals. Omni-fit Brain is an EEG measurement sensor attached to the headset that analyzes the user’s EEG for one minute to diagnose mental health, and after diagnosis, it leads to personal training such as games, meditation, and listening to music and starts healing. Online mental healthcare service company 40FY Co., Ltd. provides customized mental care programs for medical personnel responding to COVID-19 at Seongnam Medical Center. For those who are worried that they will be known for their mental counseling, Humart Company introduced a psychological counseling messenger called “TROST.” Customers can be connected to a professional psychological counselor 1:1 to receive counseling via chat or phone. The TROST app verifies the counselor’s academic background and career, recommends counselors that suit the client’s keyword and preference style, and allows all consultations to be conducted anonymously. In addition, TROST secured psychological and emotional data and learned it through artificial intelligence, and based on this, it launched a 24-hour mental care chatbot TT. Hidden Track has created a group psychological counseling and mental sharing program to reduce the cost of patients receiving counseling.

According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups on 492 startups in 2020, the medical industry was ranked first in promising industries. Among them, the medical field that takes care of mental health is also expected to grow significantly during the COVID-19 era and until the post-COVID-19 era.


Categories: Tech&Innovation