Uncategorized — 09 June 2017
Image: Aqua Sphere

Image: Aqua Sphere

Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps has been appointed to the board of an Australian tech company that focuses on diagnosis of mental health disorders

Former competitive swimmer Michael Phelps has this week been appointed to the Board of Directors of Medibio, a NSW-based medical technology company that specialises in diagnosis of mental health disorders.

Specifically, Medibio has developed a diagnosis aid for depression and other mental health issues that is the product of more than 15 years of research at the University of Western Australia.

The test uses patented (and patent pending) panel circadian, sleep and autonomic system biomarkers to objectively quantify and characterise mental illness.

 Having Mr Phelps join the board is a considered move to include someone who has first-hand experience of mental health issues.

At a recent US event he opened up about his battle with depression, a health issue that is estimated to cost Australia $12.6 billion annually.

“For me, getting to an all-time low where I didn’t want to be alive anymore, that’s scary as hell,” said Mr Phelps, who retired from professional swimming last year.

“It was then that I finally decided that I needed help and that I could not do this alone.

“Life is tough. And it’s tough for everyone,” he told the audience.

Mr Phelps has since used Medibio’s technology to analyse his own datasets and see how the technology can make an impact in diagnosing mental health issues.

“I personally suffered from mental health challenges from my teenage years on, and only fairly recently – after reaching a point of desperation – did I acquire the understanding, treatment and support I needed, which has truly changed my life,” said Mr Phelps.

“The ease and objectivity with which Medibio’s technology can accurately help to diagnose mental health will make a profound difference in people’s lives.”

AJP has recently explored how pharmacists can get involved in supporting people with depression and other mental health issues – read more here.

This piece was originally published on ‘AJP’ June 6 2017.

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