With the pandemic, a large number of employees found themselves in a new reality, having to completely shift their work environment. This drastic change affected people’s workflow, effectiveness, teamwork capabilities and mental state. To facilitate their personnel’s well-being and to prevent mental health issues from occurring, businesses need to support their employees more than ever. Due to the normalisation of remote working, companies have a much harder time and less capability to help their employees and ensure their well-being. Thus, designing tools to constantly monitor and support the comfort of employees could massively assist industry, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to prevent mental issues from occurring. in the current circumstances. The most effective way to address this need is to deal with one of the four key roadblocks to widespread use of these instruments: accessibility, affordability, engagement and social stigma related to mental health problems.

What is the current situation/existing inefficient solution?

Even though there are solutions for narrow areas and issues, there is no holistic solution to provide well-being support in the remote work context and address the deterioration of well-being early on.

Stakeholders affected by this problem

Enterprises, especially SMEs, employees.


How will the solution change the lives of beneficiaries?

The solution will allow employees to find support in the remote work setting and SMEs to maintain the well-being of their workforce, which will prevent mental disorders from occurring and eliminate treatment costs for employees. For SMEs, this will decrease losses incurred, allow them to build a stronger protection system for their employees and change the workplace climate for the better.

How will the solution impact European industry?

When spread throughout industry, the solution will facilitate its transformation towards more preventative disease management frameworks. It will boost the competitiveness and resilience of industry by supporting the employees of a potentially unlimited number of SMEs and positively affecting corporate support standards and the workplace climate. It will also contribute to the digital and green transition as defined in the European Industrial Strategy Update.

What are some of the actions that could be taken to solve this problem?

The problem may be solved by designing means of supporting employees’ well-being or ways of analysing data for possible indicators of a problem. The participants may also create roadmaps to address the issues discovered and increase the happiness of employees. To be effective, the solution should address one or several issues that hinder the development of well-being support of employees by SMEs: accessibility, affordability, engagement and social stigma.

What are the technical methods that could be used to tackle the challenge?

Telemedicine, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, automated therapy, VR, augmented reality, etc.

Technical and non-technical specific requirements for the solution?

The solution must be aligned with EU legislation, including European regulations on personal data protection (GDPR) and medical device regulations, if applicable. The regulations may depend on the functionality of the solutions.

Support for the teams tackling this challenge

Psious will share their market knowledge and expertise in business development of digital solutions for mental health through mentoring.

Datasets available for the hackathon

No specific datasets are envisaged.

Post-hackathon support

Psious is interested in continuous collaboration and mentoring of the winning team and will consider providing assistance in piloting the solution.

About the challenge partner

Psious, a Barcelona-based start-up, has developed a virtual reality platform for treating phobias and anxiety disorders. The platform comprises over 70 VR 'environments' catering to specific disorders, with 15,000 patients treated across 50 countries.