Depression, anxiety and stress in the work place can all have a big impact on a company’s bottom line, a risk that SOMA Analytics is looking to lessen by providing tools to measure the factors.
The business, which is one of the GrowthBusiness 2014 Tech Innovators, is being taken seriously by big business.
Based in: London and Munich
Founded in: 2012
No. of employees: 6 full time
Company founder: Johann Huber
Johann Huber is a digital health entrepreneur who was awarded the status of HSG entrepreneur of the year 2013 in Switzerland and holds a masters in business innovation (St. Gallen) as well as a bachelor in engineering (Germany). Alongside that, Huber secured several merit based scholarships and founded two business prior to SOMA.
Background business profile:
SOMA Analytics is a London-based B2B digital health start-up. The company’s world patent-pending technology is able to gauge the user’s stress level on a scientifically validated basis by using smartphone’s sensors only. SOMA assists individuals in dealing with work-induced stress by providing tailored feedback and helps companies to improve the workplace by providing stress-data. SOMA Analytics took part in the Healthbox Accelerator programme 2013 in London and closed its first equity financing later that year.
As a company run by founders who are officially still students, SOMA Analytics has pulled expertise from a number of different academic routes. From mechanical engineering, to statistical analysis to business, it’s perhaps no surprise that the start-up is building out such a niche offering.
It was because a fellow student had been diagnosed with depression, under the noses of friends who had no idea, that Johann Huber and the team set about using technology to pick up on the gradual changes that occur.
From the outset it was described as more of a science project than a company, finding out if changes associated with depression and related conditions could actually be measured. A professor in Munich gave the ‘project’ access to a sleep lab, allowing the team to compare readings from a prototype with those from the laboratory.
Despite being a business service offering now, SOMA Analytics was first devised to be an application for the clinical market as they saw it working for recurring bouts of depression.
‘Then we realised that we could have a bigger impact if we put ourselves on the preventative side of things,’ Huber explains.
‘What we are seeing is that companies are getting worried about the impact of stress on their bottom lines, and we now have the tool to give them the numbers to quantify, compare and benchmark.’
All of the readings compiled by the SOMA Analytics technology are personalised, different from the traditional consulting companies that would be called upon to manage such issues before. It’s also a step up from the normal HR employee satisfaction surveys, information that only pinpoints a specific point in the year.
‘As a user you have full control over when and where you are measured. We normally roll it out as a programme that staff go through, measuring themselves with their smartphones – then they get daily tips and feedback on how to sleep, organise their work and not to drink coffee,’ he adds.
- Started piloting with two international blue chip companies (pharma and auditing)
- Three major research projects with world leading scientific institutions centered upon SOMA technology
- Product launch on android and apple smartphones
- Named one of the world’s ten most promising uses of digital technology in 2014 by UNESCO Netexplo
- Executing further pilots with blue chips (3 agreed & 3 pending)
- Publication of research studies in peer reviewed journals
- Linking employee stress data with corporate performance data
- Raising Series A Venture Round
SOMA Analytics’ world patent technology uses smart phone technology to calculate stress on a scientifically validated basis. The following behavioral patterns are measured and analyzed:
- Sleep quality (through movement patterns)
- Voice emotions during phone calls
- Cognitive abilities/fatigue through typing behaviour
Kelaa – Your mental resilience workout:
A scalable and validated smartphone app that endeavours to help companies in building a more resilient workforce, engage employees more effectively, encourage productivity and save on healthcare costs, all of which is evidence based. Kelaa is able to provide personalised resilience tips based on SOMA’s measurements.
- UCL, UK (joint research on voice and emotion measurement with smartphones)
- Guy’s St. Thomas’ Hospital, UK (joint research on sleep measurement with smartphones)
- Major US hospital group, USA (joint research study on resilience interventions with smartphones)
- Healthbox accelerator (seed round)
- Angel syndicate (angel round)
Unit 6 104 Clifton Street, London, EC2A 4DF
Tel: +44 7746 1516 04