For rebooting mental health with AI to capture in-the-moment mood shifts
Therapy sessions can provide mental health professionals powerful insights into a patient’s state of mind—but they don’t always paint the full picture. Facundo Carrillo saw an opportunity to fill in some of the blanks with AI. Joining forces with neuroscientist Mariano Sigman and engineer Raul Echegoyen, he helped develop Sigmind in 2018. Designed to help mental health providers track mood shifts more frequently, the technology uses regular prompts and voice recordings to gather data. That information is then analyzed for speech shifts that might point to mental health changes.
Today, the company offers a variety of solutions, from a complete electronic health records platform—including a mobile app for patients—to a software-as-a-service cloud solution that integrates the company’s technology into other existing platforms.
We talked with Carrillo about building a data-driven solution:
What was the inspiration behind Sigmind?
I hold a PhD in computer science from Buenos Aires University. During my studies, Mariano Sigman and I presented to psychiatrists and psychologists in many academic forums. Every time, mental health professionals would approach us to ask about the latest advances in computational psychiatry. At that time, we couldn’t offer them any solution. We were doing basic research with no direct application.
When I was in the last year of my PhD program, I traveled to a conference in the U.K. and met my friend Raul Echegoyen. While we were drinking a beer in the same pub where Watson and Crick announced the DNA structure, we talked about the problem that Mariano and I were struggling with. We realized that we could create a way to help mental health professionals and patients by creating a deep technology startup.
What was your biggest lesson learned in the development of Sigmind?
That the user's experience is as important as the science behind the product.
What’s your project management superpower?
I have a great ability to concentrate.
How has the pandemic changed the way you manage projects?
The pandemic taught me that it’s necessary to be less stressed to obtain better results at work—not the other way around.