Belfast-based Syndeo wins funding to develop wellbeing tool for virtual learning

AI company gets £50,000 to develop tool to support students’ mental health

Oliver Lennon, chief executive of Syndeo.

Oliver Lennon, chief executive of Syndeo.

 

Belfast software company Syndeo has won funding to develop a mental health and wellbeing project to help people adapt to virtual learning as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company, which specialises in artificial intelligence (AI) enabled solutions for customer communications, was selected by Innovate UK to receive almost £50,000 in funding to develop the Syndeo Digital Wellbeing Coach in partnership with Oxford Brookes University. The platform aims to will help people adapt to virtual learning with the best possible levels of mental health and wellbeing.

The Digital Wellbeing Coach will use Syndeo’s AI technology to guide people through course materials, while also monitoring their emotional reactions, prompting them to use mindfulness exercises and goal-setting activities. It will incorporate knowledge and insights from experts in Organisation Behaviour at Oxford Brookes.

“We are proud to have been selected to receive this funding award which recognises the expertise of the Syndeo team and our ability to bring this innovative and unique offering to the market,” said Syndeo chief executive Oliver Lennon. “We are excited to work with Oxford Brookes University, assisting the education sector and indeed commercial organisations in adjusting to the new normal as we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis. The education world has been changed by Covid-19 and it is vital that real time solutions are developed to accommodate the new educational reality.”

The coach will be integrated into learning management system Moodle, and will be fully configurable by the course moderator, providing a system that can be largely automated and scaled, while also having the ability to be completely personalised for participants.

“We, here at Oxford Brookes Business School, see the Digital Wellbeing Coach adding great value to those participating in our happiness through goal-setting training,” said Dr Christian Ehrlich, senior lecturer in organisational behaviour at Oxford Brookes University. “Beyond the application within this training course the Digital Wellbeing coach has great potential for a much wider application particularly for those participating in distance learning.”