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16: Creating a Platform to Improve Employee Wellbeing with Soma Analytics

15MWTD - Soma Analytics
In this episode, we talk to Christopher, one of the founders of Soma Analytics. They have developed a tool which supports organisations to improve the mental wellbeing of their employees. We talk about how their unique approach seeks to improve the human potential of a workforce, how they are testing the tool with big name companies, and how they secured vital EU funding.

Also covered in this episode:

– What is Soma Analytics?
– How Soma helps the workforce.
– How they secured big companies to use the App.
– Evidence of the effectiveness of the app.
– How to acquire EU funding.
– Advice for healthcare entrepreneurs.

What is Soma Analytics?

“Soma Analytics has created an app for mental resilience. It’s a platform for preventative mental health for employers and organisations.”

An employee can track their mental health and complete various programs within the app. The employee’s information is sent to the employers. The app has a dashboard for employers that shows in an anonymised and aggregated way the results and improvements in the mental health of employees over time. The company was started because they had a friend in university who went through a depressive episode due to work related stress.

How Soma improves the workforce

“Mental health and stress is increasingly becoming a problem for organisations.”

Staff leave jobs simply because they’re under too much stress. Soma recognised every function of an organization gets measured to the X degree, except human resources, which is actually the most important asset.

“The app helps in having insights in how employees feel in an organisation, hence improving the productivity and wellbeing of the workforce.”

How they secured big companies to use the App

The app is different from many other apps serving a similar purpose directly to customers such as Headspace. Soma operates on business to business basis and caters for both the user and the buyer (organisation).

“We roll the application out over different sites in a large workforces creating communications, campaigns and excitement. We believe this approach is quite unique since it’s targeted specifically at employers.”

Evidence of the effectiveness of the app

Soma seek to be science-backed and evidence-based. Recently, they undertook a small randomised controlled trial with healthcare workers at the Mayo Clinic. Also, they are funded by the European Union under Horizon 2020 where their main aim is to validate their solution in a mass control trial across different organisations in Europe.

How to acquire EU funding

It can be challenging to acquire EU funding as funding is available under many different topics. For example, under the Horizon 2020 there are different aspects funded under academic research as well as in innovation, startups and SMEs.

“You have to work through the topics to find which suits you best. You can use the funds you get for research as well as developing the product but that depends on the framework of the funding you’re applying too.”

There are organisations in the UK that can help people acquire such funding. SAS ventures is one great organisation that could help.

Advice for healthcare entrepreneurs

“Mistakes are common in entrepreneurship, doing things iteratively is important and it is part of the lean startup methodology.”

Reading the lean startup method early on is a key recommended action.

Learn more about SOMA Analytics on

To find out more about Soma analytics please go to Soma-analytics.com or Twitter: @Somaanalytics
If you are interested, Soma have a newsletter where you can get all the information on their events or webinars.

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