Viviana Romero, Katy Celina Sandoval
Gamification App for Improved Mental Health Clinical Treatment
As graduate students from a neuroscience and healthcare background, Viviana Romero and Katy Celina Sandoval joined the Quebec Scientific Entrepreneurship Program (QcSE) to explore entrepreneurship as an alternative career path. “Academia was always the goal, but the program opened our eyes to the many opportunities that exist in the industry.”
They recognized mental health is a growing issue, with many not having access to health practitioners. They participated in the McGill Neuroscience Lean Startup Program and joined the QcSE program to understand the market opportunity before taking the leap.
Viviana and Katy are creating an app that uses gamified micro-tests to measure changes in cognition, mood, and health behaviours over time to automate the psychiatric assessment process and expand its scope to be more informative for clinician treatment planning through brief and repeated micro assessments about momentary experiences.
Viviana and Katy learned how to better identify product-market fit for a solution by understanding their target customers and their needs. They appreciated applying design thinking methodologies to develop their solutions, “we did not expect that the program would touch on so many areas pertaining to business and entrepreneurship.”
The duo was surprised to see that entrepreneurship was more common than what they had initially thought, “embarking in entrepreneurship as a scientist appears to be scary at first, but, thanks to the program, we learned it is not as uncommon and scary as we once thought!” They appreciated meeting fellow participants, scientific entrepreneurs, and discovering the many opportunities available to them in the Montreal ecosystem.
Now that they identified the market opportunity, they are further refining their solution and prototype and have recruited team members.