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Program & Replays

Technology and Mental Health

Broadcast on June 28, 2021
With Michiel Rauws & Poonacha Machaiah
Hosted by Cassandra Vieten, PhD

About 1 in 4 people need access to mental health support, and every 40 seconds someone in the world takes their own life. Technology can help to address the unmet needs in mental health support. Poonacha Machaiah and Michiel Rauws talk about how technology can help to bridge the gap, describe how emotional artificial intelligence chatbots are helping with suicide prevention and veterans among others, and how people can explore technological approaches for themselves.

In This Session:

  • How technology is being applied to promoting mental health
  • Emotional artificial intelligence (AI) and how it is currently being used
  • The X2 digital mental health coach is evidence-based and backed up by 20 research studies, and has de-escalated 3,000 suicidal crisis situations
The views expressed are specific to the author/speaker and may vary from the perspectives of The Shift Network's participants, staff, or other speakers.
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Michiel Rauws

Founder of X2 AI for Mental Health Chat Support

Being a longtime peer-support counselor, Michiel Rauws decided to start X2 AI, a company providing mental health support through conversations with an AI digital coach. Over 19,000,000 people and thousand of employers have paid access to the service where 5,000 counselors can take over any conversation, or deliver therapy in parallel.

Over 10 scientific studies have already been published by Stanford, Northwestern, and Duke Universities, proving the efficacy of the service. Randomized controlled trials found the automated chat service to decrease symptoms by as much as 18% for anxiety (GAD-8), and 28% for depression (PHQ-9). Moreover, X2 AI was awarded over $1,200,000 in grant funding from NIH, NIMH, PCORI, to support 13 additional ongoing studies.

X2 has customers in four verticals: employers / EAPs, healthcare systems / payers, higher education, and non-profits, and works with companies including Johns Hopkins Medical, Coca-Cola, AARP Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, County of Monterey, Northwestern University, and The Chopra Foundation. Michiel holds the position of chief executive officer, after previously gaining experience in corporate finance, risk insurance, and innovation, working for a variety of companies, including IBM and Marsh / Mercer.

Poonacha Machaiah

CEO of The Chopra Foundation and Co-Founder of the Never Alone Movement

Poonacha Machaiah, CEO of The Chopra Foundation, is a global thought leader with unique abilities to combine the well-being and technology domains. Among a new breed of social entrepreneurs, he applies his experience from 25 years as a business executive in Fortune 100 companies and entrepreneurial initiatives to address societal and well-being challenges.

This led him to co-found the Never Alone initiative, as well as launch the Warrior Monk brand, targeted at creating a positive societal shift through the compassionate transformation of humankind. He also formerly held senior management positions at Nortel, Iridium, Motorola, and Sasken.

Michiel Rauws & Poonacha Machaiah