Interview With The Founders Of Mental Health App VOS - Jiri Diblik & Ondrej Kopecky
Jiri and Ondrej will present their mental health app and answer questions at the VOS Investors MeetUp organised by Grammig Advisory on 08 December 2020 at 5PM CET.
Register here: https://bit.ly/3kjUDJ4
Jiri and Ondrej, I am excited to speak to you about mental health today as you launched a product to tackle this problem. You developed VOS, an app that helps people with mental health issues. How did this idea emerge?
As I started in online business pretty early (13 y.o.) I was always reading and learning how to improve myself. Since that time, I have been fascinated by mental health and my feelings. How do I feel? Why one day I am lazy, and another I am full of energy and super productive? Why sometimes I am not able to make important decisions and other days I have a clear mind? I believe that in today's world with all the available technologies around us we are able to create a unique tool for better well-being. With VOS we decided to connect the latest technologies with science to make people stay happy and more productive.
Which technologies do you use? AI, machine learning?
At VOS.health we connect cutting-edge digital technologies with mental health. We encourage people to take care of their mental health, perform self-reflection exercise, and track not just their daily steps, but also their mood. For the development, we are using the newest approaches of using AI and ML to understand the users, analyze them, and score their mood and behavior.
While we started gathering the first data for our analysis we realized that there is a correlation between big data (users activity, work hours, screen time, weather, public events, …) and the data inputs from our users, which we could use for smart recommendations to help them prevent a decrease of their mood, and thus productivity.
Did you also have the support from mental health specialists, e.g. psychologists, psychiatrists or therapists?
We knew that only the design and technological approach is not enough to be able to secure the promising goals we have. We have currently 3 psychologists on our board as rigorous advisors. On a larger scale, we have partnerships with the researchers from the University of Oxford (UK) and the University of Palacky in Olomouc (CZ), where we will hold research studies about the data and VOS as an app.
What was their role in the development process of VOS?
Their focus was mainly to make sure that we are implementing evidence-based psychological methods in a correct manner. As our features are based on proven methods to make people feel better in an offline world, we have to be sure that we do not invade it by implementing it inside the app.
So how does the app work exactly?
VOS is a digital mirror, a tool for self-reflection, and a complex place for your mental health. We are building a place for well-being and to teach people self-reflection. VOS is currently available as an app for iOS and Android. We will soon release the Web App, Apple WatchOS, Slack extensions, or Google Chrome extension.
Current features - B2C
Self-reflection diary - VOS asks you one unique question daily, which was prepared with the help of mental health professionals. You can answer with text, audio, or add images. You will receive the same question next year again and you can track the progress of how your life changes.
Mood Check - Every day you can easily swipe how you feel. The app offers you to capture the mood on a daily basis.
Integrations - Connections to Apple Health, Google Fit, or other 3rd parties sources. VOS integrates data from 3rd parties about your physical health and the environment you are in. Data like sleep, steps, sports activity, ECG, but also weather and a lot more.
Mood analytics (Coming soon) - VOS automatically, anonymously, and securely analyze your mental health data and brings you smart recommendations.
App For Business
Upcoming platforms for businesses offer secure and trusted analytics tools. No one and never is able to access the personal data of some users. We are aggregating big data about the company and show anonymous company mood reports.
This is just the beginning...
Who do you target as users? Surely VOS cannot replace therapy, or can it?
Everyone. No one wants to hear it but our users are literally everyone who can use a smartphone on a daily basis, but the main part is people working in the office or right now with the Covid-19 at the home office. Most of our users are women (65%) the age of 20 - 40 y.o. Right now we are mainly targeting English speaking countries - North America, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. VOS is currently available in 3 languages and another 3 are coming in the following weeks.
Replacing real face2face therapy is really tough. Human touch is very important. With VOS features we are focusing mainly on the prevention part and help you not to need a therapist. In our pipeline of future features, we are planning to add a possibility to have an online video call with a therapist (“Uber for therapist”) inside the app for the users who will need or simply want.
If I understand correctly, you launched a similar app previously for trial purposes and it was very successful. Why the need for a new app altogether?
Yes, we did a PoC (Proof of concept) at the beginning of 2020 called Q365. We gained approx. 80.000 users. We are currently not making any updates on Q365 anymore. With this PoC, we tested how people are willing to use journaling and self-reflection and their willingness to pay the subscription for it. We validate this thesis successfully. After the validation of the first app, we raised our Pre-Seed investment round and started developing the VOS.health ecosystem from scratch with the best possible technologies and approach. The main reason for the rebranding and remake was the scalability of the technologies and also the brand for the users. We need to be attractive for the general public without a difference in sex, and with Q365 we saw that the design approached just women.
So, what is the business model behind your app?
Have you secured an investor yet?
Yes, we already got our Pre-seed investment from Miton, which enabled us to develop the VOS app and prepare it for scaling in future rounds as we expect our user base to have around 1.000.000 users during Q2 2021. We are currently filling the next round with other VCs and private investors.
What makes your app interesting for investors?
There is a rising demand for well-being programs and apps both in the general public and enterprises. With VOS we are approaching the market with an easily scalable platform and a well-experienced team behind the product. All together with our MVP version, we have around 100.000 B2C users and already 5 LOIs for the B2B programs.
Overall it’s always about the vision and our goal is to create an ecosystem for mental wellbeing which reveals even new business models around, providing us even diversification in the scalability of the whole platform.
Is there still an opportunity for additional investors to join?
Yes, we are currently filling out our Seed round investment which will be closed in Q1 2021.