In episode 10, we have a conversation with Dan Seider, founder and CEO of Misü. Dan talks to us about his experience living with bipolar disorder, getting diagnosed, how he thinks about his mood states on a regular basis and taking medication (Lithium). We also talked about how Dan became very aware of his mood state after his diagnosis. Dan’s personal desire to track his own mood state over 100,000 times, drove his efforts to try to automate the mood tracking process.
Dan’s startup, Misü, is solving a problem that many people struggling with mood disorders, and people who seek to be aware of and improve their emotional wellness have. He has developed the first automated mood tracker. No hardware required.
Dan talks to us about the product he is building, and we talk more broadly about the mental health tech ecosystem as well. Dan is one of the most connected people I’ve met in the mental health tech ecosystem. If the idea of technology applied to mental health problem sets is interesting to you, then you should reach out to Dan.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE DISCUSSED:
- Dan talked to us about his diagnosis with bipolar disorder 8 years ago.
- He shared how he realized that he needed help, how he found help, and where he went to get it. Dan has a psychiatrist in his family, so that made it a little bit easier, but he, just like everyone else, started his journey by going to the emergency room and eventually found his way to medication, support groups, etc.
- We talked a lot about how important it is to track and measure mood states, and how he found his way to building a business around doing so. Dan shared about how he’s building a tool that will automatically track mood for people using the technology in our everyday lives.
- Dan has extensively researched the policy, legal and regulatory environment around mental well-being as it pertains to how things impact us (social media, tech, etc.). We talked about Dan’s excitement to see major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and others work to be able to measure how content impacts consumers’ long-term mental well-being and start optimizing for that. Some of this is driven by a desire to help humans, and some is driven by policy and legislation that is coming soon that will force some changes in this area.
- Dan gave an overview of his startup, Misu, that analyzes emotional state through the webcam on your computer and detects emotional state automatically. There are many applications of tracking this data, and Dan goes into them in detail. Dan shares how he came up with this for his own personal use and how he uses this tool himself.
- Dan explained that he sees a future where there is a derivatives market that collects payouts paid to certain companies for positive impacts on consumer’s mental health. The key to getting there is automatic mood tracking, like what Dan is building at Misu.
- Dan gave an overview of the mental health tech startup ecosystem. He is one of the most connected people in this nascent market. Dan talks about what tools are out there now, what could be developed realistically, what he uses, and what he would like to see developed.
- We talked about the technology capabilities that are leading to this boom in the mental health tech market such as machine learning, voice recognition, bio-markers, etc.