Psiconnea, an innovative health and wellness app founded by Rosa Becerril, is revolutionising the field of psychology. Working with a team of psychologists, health experts, and state-of-the-art AI technology, the start-up’s aspirations are sky high.
“We’ve got the world in our sights,” said Rosa, a clinical psychologist whose ambition is matched only by her enthusiasm.
Combining their expertise, passion, and a shared entrepreneurial attitude, Rosa, Psiconnea’s CEO, and Carolina, their marketing partner, have created a pioneering new platform supported by the EIT Community AI that’s carving a space for itself at the intersection of traditional therapy and digital technology.
Using AI to know yourself
Drawing on her experience as a clinician, Rosa recognised that some of her clients needed a different kind of psychological support which traditional therapy sometimes failed to offer.
A patient of mine helped me realise that people can lack understanding about their own minds. The idea for the app and company came from the desire to fill this gap in understanding.
Rosa Becerril, CEO of Psiconnea
This pivotal moment became the catalyst for the birth of Psiconnea, an app that bridges the gap between psychology, wellness, and technology. Alongside Carolina and a team of psychotechnologists, the group set out to create a platform that could use the burgeoning field of AI to revolutionise mental health support.
“There are plenty of apps that refer users to psychologists,” Carolina says. “But that’s not what we wanted to do.”
Instead, the goal was to leverage AI technologies to provide practical tools that connect individuals seeking to improve their mental well-being through virtual communities. The app's user-friendly interface allows individuals to track their progress, set goals, and access a wealth of resources.
An app that creates new support networks
Central to Psiconnea’s approach is the power of community and positive psychology. Rosa, specialising in individuals struggling with aggression, realised that teaching alternative behaviours such as assertiveness was part of the solution. But many of her patients found applying these new approaches in real-life situations challenging. She envisioned a community-driven platform where individuals facing similar issues could support one another.
“But after failing to find anything, I decided to build it myself!” she says.
What convinced me was Psiconnea’s unique combination of psychological expertise and advanced technology. I was attracted by the opportunity to work on a project that sought to reduce the psychological consequences in people's lives through technology.
Rafael Salom, Coordinator of Innovation and Psychotechnologists at Psiconnea
With a PhD in Cognitive Processes from Nebrija University, Rafael explains how the app differs from other chatbot-driven marketplaces that focus on referrals rather than in-app help.
“Its main innovation lies in the use of artificial intelligence algorithms that analyse users' psycho-emotional states and issue personalised recommendations accordingly. This solution has been developed by a team of our psychotechnologists working alongside developers. The aim was to combine specialised knowledge in mental health with the latest technologies, thus offering a complete solution tailored to each user.”
Whether identifying early signs of distress or suggesting coping strategies, Psiconnea's AI-driven features make mental health support accessible, intuitive and proactive. Its innovative approach not only empowers users but also challenges societal misconceptions around mental health.
Updating the algorithm based on user feedback
The group conducts periodic research and updates to optimise the algorithms they use to better identify and understand psycho-emotional states. Recently, they have integrated new functionalities and tailored content to provide a more personalised and effective experience for the app's growing user base.
“User feedback has been fundamental in this process, as it has allowed us to continuously adjust and improve the application to better meet needs and expectations,” says Rafael. “Thanks to this, we’ve been able to open new projects such as the identification, prevention, and intervention of suicidal behaviour and even cardiovascular diseases.”
The main challenge we faced was making potential customers and businesses understand our vision. We devised a new method that our psychotechnologists demonstrated worked much better than current methods and things grew quickly from there.
Rosa Becerril, CEO of Psiconnea
The platform gained over 20 000 users in eight months. They were able to use the app's comprehensive toolkit designed to empower users in their journey toward mental well-being, from mood trackers to guided meditation sessions. Rosa believes the collective wisdom and shared experiences of this fast-growing community fosters resilience and practical problem-solving in a community setting, alleviating the stigma attached to mental health issues in many communities.
“This stigma means people can often feel alone even when surrounded by others. We want to use technology and data to recognise people's emotional states and create a supportive community where individuals can find understanding and practical solutions for their challenges,” says Rosa.
By highlighting positive aspects of users’ lives, Psiconnea helps individuals shift their perspectives and discover their own capabilities. In addition to cultivating supportive communities, the app offers tailored training programmes to address specific problems, equipping users with the skills they need to navigate life's challenges and providing personalised recommendations and interventions.
“The word therapy still scares people. But our method is very efficient,” Rosa says, seeing Psiconnea as a way to circumvent hesitation felt by many when seeking out mental health support.
Transforming their business through the EIT Community
Rosa and Carolina explain that their journey with Psiconnea had been greatly advanced by their collaboration with the EIT Community’s AI programme, through which Psiconnea gained invaluable resources, mentorship, and a robust network of professionals passionate about helping entrepreneurs drive positive change.
“Finally, this is the question I've been waiting for!” says Rosa, her face lighting up. “EIT Community is not just a community; it's a platform that can genuinely transform your business and expand your knowledge. The community is filled with amazing, highly skilled professionals who are genuinely passionate about supporting each other.”
With trademark enthusiasm, she extolls the virtues of the programme for young entrepreneurs seeking to get their projects off the ground. “If you're someone with a great idea, I strongly recommend exploring the programmes EIT Community has to offer.”
Through this collaboration, Rosa and Carolina have gained the resources and support to amplify their impact and drive positive change, impact which they hope to be able to scale.
The EIT Community provides us with the legitimacy and connections to make such collaborations possible. In the coming years, we hope to further leverage this network and expertise to expand our impact and bring positive change to mental healthcare.
Rosa Becerril, CEO of Psiconnea
The group also received EUR 20 000 in funding from EIT Community AI Challenge, which directly helped them expand their international reach.
“In a pioneering collaboration, facilitated through the EIT Community AI Challenge, the EIT Health partner SERMAS identified a critical challenge in mental health support for young individuals,” says Magí Lluch-Ariet, an analyst at EIT Health.
“The challenge sought to identify early symptoms associated with a high risk of relapses in mental health issues and provide tailored interventions to complement conventional approaches. Psiconnea's exceptional solution earned them the prize in our AI Challenge competition.”
Winning the challenge, Carolina says, “helped us begin the process of realising our platform and translating it to English and Portuguese, making it easier for us to enter the international market and get to more people worldwide."
Looking to a world where seeking help is seen as strong
Looking to the future, Psiconnea envisions a deeper partnership with EIT Community, particularly in the healthcare and governmental sectors. Their aim is full platform integration. “We want to integrate our platform into hospitals and work with governmental bodies to reach and assist a broader population,” says Carolina.
Rosa and Carolina envision a world where seeking help is a sign of strength, rather than weakness – something that we take responsibility for both individually and as a community. Through Psiconnea, they aim to create a space where people feel comfortable discussing their mental health challenges openly and honestly. And by fostering this supportive community, Psiconnea encourages conversations and can help normalise people's everyday struggles. “It’s about highlighting that no one is alone in their journey,” says Rosa.
With Psiconnea, the future of mental well-being is well within arm’s reach for people across the continent and beyond.
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