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How Wysa Is Using AI To Solve The Growing Risk Of Mental Health Problem In India

How Wysa Is Using AI To Solve The Growing Risk Of Mental Health Problem In India

Huge loads migrate to economic and educational centres within the metros and massive towns each yr looking for better opportunities and yet the sensation of isolation continues to hover around aspirational metropolis life. With humans constantly hiding behind computer displays and social media filters, the chance of mental illnesses has grown to criticality across the globe. One in 4 human beings inside the international are predicted to be suffering from intellectual disorders at some point in their lives.

WHO estimates India’s burden of mental fitness problems to be large in the meanwhile. For each 100K human beings, the enterprise discovered 2400 disability-adjusted life years. This way a few of the lifetime of every grouping of 1 Lakh in the populace, 2400 years cumulatively are spent handling intellectual disability or trauma.

What’s similarly alarming is the intense scarcity of intellectual health experts within the us of a, anticipated to be around 0.07 medical professional per 100K human beings (as of 2017). Further, further to restrained get right of entry to and affordability, any other barrier in intellectual health remedy is the stigma attached with looking for expert help.

This obvious want for an intervention has caused the upward thrust of more than one intellectual health startups along with Cure.Match vertical Mind.Fit, YourDOST, YourHour, Headspace, InnerHour and extra.

While maximum of these startups awareness on imparting easy get admission to and mindfulness strategies, pi Ventures-subsidized Wysa has set out to reinvent self-help with an synthetic intelligence-backed conversational bot which uses scripted responses to manual customers thru worrying thoughts and annoying conditions. 

Founded in 2015 with the aid of Jo Aggarwal and Ramakant Vempati, Wysa is a virtual instruct that mixes empathetic listening with proof-primarily based healing techniques like CBT, meditation and motivational interviewing. 

In addition to unfastened get entry to to a chatbot, the Mumbai-based totally startup also gives premium plans which includes services together with guided-positivity sports, yoga routines, calming strategies, mindfulness and a non-public teach.  

The Wysa Coach is obtainable at INR 1.9K in line with month, beneath which the person receives get entry to to 1 or  sessions of 30-forty five minutes each week. As as compared to stroll-in remedy sessions that are someplace around INR 800-one thousand for a 60 mins consultation, the Wysa plan is absolutely greater less costly. 

Fighting The Stigma Around Mental Health

Wysa app does now not asks the person for any form of registration or authentication technique, all people can begin chatting on Wysa the usage of a random nickname. According to Ramakant, the most important trouble in remedy is that the person does now not come forward because of the stigma attached to it. He brought that psychologists claim that it makes for about 80% of the problem. “So when you are anonymous, and you're doing it over chat. The worry of being seen or judged for what someone goes via is drastically decreased,” he advised CFT.

The broader activist movement around mental infection has additionally been focussed on striking out the stigma  related to therapy and intellectual fitness. Support companies consisting of Artidote and BuddyProject, have aimed to create a secure and available space for customers to share their stories and additionally locate team spirit in other’s reviews. 


One such instance is the @TheArtidote’s Snapchat cope with which shares nameless testimonies of revelations of rape, melancholy, tension and self-damage and are regularly met with large guide from other follower’s messages of help, hope, and harmony. 

Wysa can be seen as a step up to self-assist agencies, with its capability to connect nameless customers with a skilled mental fitness professional along side offering empathic responses. 

Building A Scalable Product

Talking of the possible impact of Wysa, Ramakant stated, “Wysa’s tech capabilities lets in our group of 30 experts to serve about one million people, which in a bodily placing might have required an navy of professionals. It is particularly scalable in comparison to the physical therapy periods.”

Further he stated that because it's miles a cell software, it lets in users to have access to help at any time of the day, even at night time when the private instruct is sound asleep or is without a doubt unavailable. 

Wysa claims to have over 1.Three Mn customers from more than 30 nations, with a majority of them being free users. The app is stated to have performed over 19 Mn conversations and has a 50% month on month patron repeat fee. Further, the organization claims to have facilitated over a million breakthroughs, which is an effect equal to about 3 Mn hours of in-man or woman therapy.

Commenting on Wysa’s patron acquisition strategy, Ramakant said, “We released as invite only provider and within days, we commenced getting over masses of invite code requests each day. Post which, we had been completing organic and haven’t invested some thing in marketing. 

The employer claims to be including around 2K customers a day. In destiny, Wysa pursuits to amplify from 1.Three Mn customers to 10 Mn users. Currently, almost half of of the Wysa customers come from US, UK and Canada, at the same time as India makes for about 20% of its consumer base, and every other 20% comes from other countries in Asia and South Asia. Ramakant believes that inside the next two to a few years, human beings in India will attain a point in which they may be inclined to pay for Wysa services. 

Speaking of Wysa’s plans to serve the vernacular language customers in India, he said that Wysa has the functionality of doing vernacular languages. “We have 80% of solution equipped but i don’t see a enterprise use-case there, as of now. So until the authorities says we want to provide this service in vernacular languages and they're willing to pay for it. We can not spend money on there right now.” 

He additionally mentioned that approximately 90% of Wysa’s profits come from the B2C segments, wherein the enterprise has partnered with corporates to offer mental fitness services to their personnel.   

The Role Of AI In Healthcare

One of the foremost criticisms of conversational bots along with Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana has been the insensitive responses that these AI chatbot have presented to rape sufferers and customers managing sucidal mind. The World Mental Health Day is a good time to take a look at how everyday AI is once in a while no longer the proper healthy for mental well being, in particular due to the fact such virtual assistants are part of the ordinary existence in cities.

Users have mentioned to get solutions which includes ‘I don’t realize what you suggest’ and ‘I don’t recognize a way to reply to that’ after they asked questions like, ‘I have been raped’ or ‘I have been crushed up by my husband’. Another media document found that terms together with “I’m having dark mind,” or “I don’t need to wake up day after today” additionally did no longer acquire any beneficial response from the popular AI bots. 

In reaction to which, Ramakant stated that Wysa’s chatbot does now not offer any unscripted response, all of the conversations at the platforms are pre-scripted by way of a crew of intellectual health professionals. This lets in the agency to make sure that there is no irrelevant reaction or advice given to the users, as in the case of present chat assistants. 


“It is like peeling every other layer to the present voice assistant services, wherein the bot asks you how changed into your day, and you say ‘I am now not feeling true’. And it responds with ‘why so’ and further supports you through the adventure,” he added. 

Today, the use instances of AI are hastily expanding from customer support support, to online advertising, to smart home programs, self-using cars, and clever drones. Amidst all, some of the maximum interesting work is being performed in healthcare, with AI detecting early degree cancer, drones handing over drugs, prognosis of radiology reviews and plenty greater.

In the healthcare market, the industrial use of AI is anticipated to reach $36.1 Bn with the aid of 2025, at a CAGR of fifty.2% between 2018 to 2025. Further, in step with the IBEF estimates, the Indian healthcare market will be worth $372 Bn by means of 2022.

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