Finland is the happiest nation for the second year in a row and the whole Nordic region tops the ranking. Then how come 12% of the population in the region are still suffering from loneliness, while stress, anxiety and burnout are also on the rise? The metrics focus on well-being in terms of personal safety, a sense of community and trust in the public services and education, but do not cover every aspect of happiness and mental health.  

Mental health conditions are on the rise

Mental health conditions have become a major challenge across the Nordics in recent years, manifesting as increased experiences of social exclusion, depression and other mental well-being challenges. One of the biggest reasons is the increasing amount of challenge placed on our mental well-being in today’s world, from work to home life. Many also suffer from loneliness and a lack of a close friend, which gets even more critical with age.

Practicing mindfulness, seeking therapy or simply recognizing the symptoms early on can help solve certain issues, but these solutions are not as widely spread as they should be. Also, self-diagnostics can be misleading without deeper knowledge on mental well-being.

How might technology help?

According to StartUpHealth’s report, mental health is a domain that digital health investments increasingly focus on. Companies providing mental health solutions received record breaking funding in 2018, $602M across 80 deals, tripling this segment’s funding since 2014. And what can support these mental health solutions? While digitalization and increased screen time are often seen as contributing to poor mental health, technologies such as AI can become a part of solving well-being challenges. In the digital health sector, AI is one of the trending technology types attracting more and more funding. So, mental health solutions + AI could be a match made in heaven.

Do you have a solution on how AI can enhance and empower mental well-being?

Look no further: join the HumAInity Open Innovation Challenge by Accenture, where you or your team can win up to €20,000 to help develop or scale your idea, and help improve mental health.

“Although the Nordic region is ranked high on the global happiness rankings, approximately 12 percent of the total population in the Nordic region are struggling or suffering from issues such as loneliness, stress, anxiety and burnout. Although digitalization and increased screen time are often seen as contributing to poor mental health, at Accenture we strongly believe that new technologies such as artificial intelligence can also be part of the solution,” says Daniel Hjelte, Nordic AI Lead, Accenture.

“This is such an important topic, and we are thrilled to organize the HumAInity challenge. We hope to identify game-changing innovations that can help address mental wellbeing in the Nordics. We also aim to create awareness to the important topic of the intersection between humans and machines. We are looking for tomorrow’s game changers,” Daniel Hjelte says.

Key focus areas of the challenge are loneliness, stress, anxiety and depression. Whether you are in the idea development phase, have a prototype or a product already in the market tackling one of these issues, this is your chance.

Apply by 7 July here.

Be prepared to answer questions about the mental well-being benefits of your idea particularly in the Nordic region, about the extent of AI usage, the biggest challenges you face and how winning HumAInity Challenge would make a difference for your idea or product.

Accenture HumAInity Challenge