Ægir Health provides mental wellness tracking and collaboration tools for school children.
In the Nordics, 13.5% of young people struggling or suffering with mental health issues, namely depression, anxiety, and stress. Surveys indicate that there’s a growing mental healthcare crisis, for instance1:
- An SOU report (2006) about young people, stress and mental health reports that the number of girls aged between 15 and 19 who were treated in hospital for depression increased eight times between 1980 and 2003
- 20% of young people [in Sweden, early teenage years] want to harm themselves
- Surveys show that between 20 and 40 percent of [Swedes] have mental health problems at any one time… 5-10 percent, have such serious problems that they need psychiatric treatment
Early detection is key, as “half of all mental health problems having their onset before the age of 14” and “Mental health problems, however, influence adolescentsʼ social, intellectual and emotional development and have been linked to psychiatric disorders throughout adulthood”2.
Ægir Health’s solution is to provide classrooms with a SaaS-based tool which connects students, parents, teachers, and counselors all with the goal of improving the mental well-being of their students.
The platform asks students 3 questions each day related to their mental wellness at school, at home, and with their friends. Students will see a history of their responses in order to track these three mental conditions. They’ll also be able to reach out to parents, teachers, and counselors via the application, enabling students to share their current mental wellness.
The main benefits of Ægir:
- Early detection of mental health concerns, resulting in increased mental wellbeing for students
- Reduced stigma around mental health discussions
- Improved classroom culture
Long term societal impact includes:
- Improved education and workforce involvement, especially during the critical early adult years
- Reduction of inpatient psychiatric service need, offset by increasing (but less expensive and more effective) outpatient services
Building healthy habits early and reducing the stigma of mental wellness issues can have a dramatic impact on the long term success of a child’s transition into adulthood.
We’ve spent a lot of time crafting the experience of Ægir.
An emphasis has been placed on striking the right balance between the seriousness of mental health and creating a fun experience that students will want to use. For instance, the “streaks” functionality encourages students to build healthy habits over time, but doesn’t strive to create an unhealthy addiction.
There are roughly 4.5 million students in the nordics, of which, approximately 2 million are in Ægir’s target primary and secondary school demographic3.
Beyond the Nordics, there is large expansion potential into Europe, North America, and select APAC countries, with an estimated combined 110 million students.
Given that this is a SaaS-based solution, Ægir’s pricing will likely be as a per student subscription model, roughly 10 EUR per student, per year. Ægir’s goal would be to have multi-year contracts, with discounts available for large volume and longer term contracts. This subscription model is in-line with competitors in the space, and familiar to educational institutions.
Both Alex Patow and Emil Broman come from a technical background with a wide range of experience across multiple industries. They both have a deep passion for mental health awareness and education. Additionally, Emil’s wife is a kindergarten teacher and Alex’s mother is a board member at multiple children’s literacy organizations in the Richmond, VA, USA area.
Despite the progress made during this hackathon, there’s still a large amount of features that can be added to Ægir:
- Trend series analysis could be used to distinguish between actual wellness trends and cyclical patterns
- Views for school counselors and parents
- Improvements to notifications and gamification
A pilot program in a select number of Nordic schools and/or partnering with child psychology or educational institutions could help to better understand stakeholders and establish product/market fit.
Overall, we’re really excited to share with you the progress that we’ve made on Ægir Health over the past 3 days and hope to continue working in this truly impactful space.