Today I’m really excited to announce my next venture, Sensae - a mental wellness company offering personalised tactile stimulation to automatically monitor and manage both stress and anxiety.
There are not many issues that impact society so negatively as Stress and Anxiety. In fact one in five people in the Western world is suffering from issues related to mental health and wellbeing. Stress and anxiety are becoming increasing contributors to both mental and physical health issues. Strangely, as a society, we still focus on physical health, but rarely speak openly about mental health. It is still taboo. We feel uncomfortable … We need to start talking not about mental health issues, but focus on mental wellbeing and how a deeper understanding of mental states can improve our health and our lives. We have to manage stress and learn to use it as a positive force.
Stress is part of me. As entrepreneurs, we are permanently dealing with risk and a lot of uncertainty, which is a perfect field for stress and anxiety to grow. Luckily, I never directly suffered from it. Positive stress actually became my friend, my ally to push my boundaries. But it wasn’t given for free and I learned to deal with my limits with the support of my family and regular self development practices such as meditation and my daily 5 Tibetan morning exercises. I made it to find a work life balance that works for me. I realised that many of my friends and relatives were not as lucky and as I’m driven to make an impact, I started to think on how I could help and contribute to finding a solution to this global issue.
Within the last few years, friends, family and close people shared with me their wellness challenges and how they were challenged by mental health issues. It became a positive obsession for me. Working with my co-founder and neuroscientist Daniel Lyngholm on haptics technologies, we discovered how much the sense of touch plays an essential role in our emotional life and our social interaction. We observed that despite its powerful cognitive capabilities and its healing potential, the sense of touch was largely neglected in health tech. We saw a missing link to prevent pain and sicknesses, shift part of negative stress into a positive force, and improve the lives of many among us.
This was Sensae’s inception, a company we created in Copenhagen in Denmark with the mission to improve people's lives by designing forward-thinking preventative mental health & wellness technologies. Our vision is to develop technology that automatically restores our balance by monitoring stress and applying personalised haptic biofeedback to help our instinctive physiological stress-responses to align with our well-being objectives.
This is the right moment to build such a company. We see amazing communities of self-development growing fast under mindfulness leaders such as Calm, Headspace ore Meditopia. Hardware technology has matured thanks to novel haptic actuators, while advances in AI facilitate utilisation of data to personalise technology and further increase devices’ effectiveness. Most importantly, state-of-the-art physiological sensors and groundbreaking research in neuroscience have uncovered mechanisms that have enabled effective interfacing with emotional pathways through touch. As a result, an emerging trend of wearable devices is enabling a push beyond the passive monitoring and toward proactive wellness assistance devices!
We believe that such an emerging trend in mental health is an absolute necessity! We aim at building a stress monitoring ecosystem by offering preventative and consumer focused mental wellness experiences to help transform and improve the lives of millions of people who are fighting the silent killer. If you want to know more about Sensae, feel free to get in touch, literally!
Olivier de Simone, co-founder & CEO