Digital twin platform syd gets deployed by NHS, closes first workplace wellbeing deal in US and kicks off independent studies.
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With its syd platform for AI-powered workplace wellbeing, UK-based iamYiam is aiming to help employers get proactive about employee health – an issue that costs the economy billions each year. Having made steady progress since its commercial launch in 2019, syd is now being rolled out by the NHS in the UK, as well as with corporate clients in the US, UK and Northern Europe.
Longevity.Technology: The use of technology to address issues in the area of workplace health and wellbeing is widespread, but many applications only deal with single issues or aren’t sufficiently focused. Through syd, iamYiam aims to change that, and we spoke with the company’s founder and CEO Lorena Puica to find our more about the company’s recent progress.
Acting as an employee’s “digital twin”, syd leverages the findings of more than 20,000 peer-reviewed research papers and analyses 720 biomarkers to address a broad spectrum of issues relating to employee wellbeing. By guiding employees to improve their quality of life, syd also aims to help organisations improve their own performance.
“What we have seen from companies since COVID-19 came along is a growing interest in wellness, wellbeing and preventive health technologies that aggregate everything under a single platform – and this interest has shifted from being a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’,” says Puica. “We’ve been working on this platform for five years and now it seems like many organisations are starting to align with our vision of the future.”
Corporate commercial engagement
The key commercial progress for iamYiam comes from the corporate world. A significant increase in inbound enquiries over the past six months means the company has had to build out its capacity to target corporate health and wellbeing directly.
“It’s an area that we need to capitalise on – we’ve already signed three deals in the corporate space over the last two months in the US, UK and Northern Europe,” says Puica, highlighting the company’s first US engagement with ground medical transportation firm GMTCare. “In the first phase, we’re rolling it out for their employees and, if this works out well, we’d also be looking to provide this to their patients as a second phase.”
“The engagement with GMTCare is an important first step in our US entry strategy – it gives us a chance to better understand the customer needs across three different states with the goal of launching more broadly in the US in 2022.”
Much of syd’s early traction has been with distribution partners who specialise in the employee wellbeing sector, and the company has continued to expand in this area, recently securing a new agreement in the Gulf region.
“The GCC region is putting more and more emphasis on life quality and indeed a specific agenda to address it,” says Puica. “So there is good momentum to grow in that market, and we’ll be launching an Arabic version of the product within the next two months.“
Another partnership recently agreed will see syd deployed by the one of the largest benefits platforms in Europe.
“We will become their key product across wellbeing that captures life quality elements, mental health, emotional health, financial health, as well as our genetic analysis component that further enhances that dataset,” says Puica.
Puica tells she is both “excited and elated” at recent progress in the UK, which has resulted in an engagement with the North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) of the NHS.
“The NHS has gone through incredible pain over the past 18 months, and its staff are the ones that have taken the brunt of the intensity,” says Puica. “That will have had an affect on their mental health, emotional health, potentially financial challenges and more. So over the past nine months, we’ve been working towards signing a contract and launching with our first CCG. We’ve been rolling it out for the past six weeks, and the initial reception from staff has been incredible.”
Over the next six to nine months, iamYiam aims to demonstrate the benefits of syd to the NHS, and then to roll it out across other CCGs.
“Regarding our path forward with the NHS, I’d like it to be in partnership with other companies and organisations that are already providing services across all of the CCGs,” says Puica. “We’d like syd to provide a digital twin for every employee in the NHS – and to ultimately see it used as a tool by the NHS to measure life quality of patients as well.”
Validating the syd platform
Despite the fact that syd’s AI algorithms are built on a wealth of proven scientific research, iamYiam is still focused on proving the effectiveness of the platform to impact on wellbeing.
“We have taken the step of engaging in our first randomised control study, with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust,” says Puica. “This is a mental health study that aims to both validate syd’s predictive power – to spot that your risk of depression is rising – as well as its use as a tool for risk mitigation and support for people that are already experiencing symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression.”
A second study involving syd is also underway at the University of Zurich, which is using syd to conduct a research project in collaboration with a Swiss insurance firm. The study of university students aims to ascertain the type of goals people set, and whether there is a link between personality types and, ultimately the achievement of those goals.
“This type of research has never been done before and we already have around 900 people in the study since starting three weeks ago,” says Puica. “We’ll start the analysis in July and we’re expecting the first papers starting to come out from that study towards the end of Q3.
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