Updated: Jun 7, 2022
Mental health issues have come into a clearer focus amid the pandemic. Depression became endemic, but it still too often goes undetected. Even when it does, healthcare providers struggle to meet demand. Two women engineers — both of whom experienced depression and had trouble finding therapy — thought the answer might be helping medical pros detect depression.
Kintsugi is a startup that wants to put technology to work on the problem. Co-founder and CEO Grace Chang saw this as an access issue: Both founders experienced bouts of depression and found it difficult to get clinicians to help, leading them to think about it from their perspective as engineers.
They figured that if it was possible to identify the people who need therapy the most, it would be easier to achieve the goal of directing those people to suitable treatment. So Chang and co-founder Rima Seiilova-Olson built an API to detect signs of depression through voice.
“We saw this as an infrastructure problem where you have so many people trying to jam through that front door, but not a lot of visibility as to who is severely depressed and who is in this low to moderate phase. And if we can provide this information to those practitioners, we can really deeply affect the specific problem,” she said.