A team of researchers from the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics at the University of Galway in Ireland are seeking to address the problem of well-being issues in the workplace. The team has partnered up with IntouchCX, a global contact centre outsourcing company to explore the application of its Lua Health technology which is designed to reduce stress and improve employees’ day-to-day well-being and lives by identifying mental health related issues early.   

An estimated 12 billion workdays are lost annually due to depression and anxiety, costing the global economy nearly $1 trillion, UN agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labor Organization (ILO) reported in 2023.

Dr Mihael Arcan said “We have spoken to senior HR executives across the world as part of a customer discovery journey and they all told us that they their biggest mental health challenge is getting their interventions to their employees at the right time. People don't know they need help until it's too late.”

IntouchCX is a global contact centre outsourcing company that is innovation-led, focused on employee well-being, and has an intrapreneurial environment that supports the incubation of innovative ideation with applied research. IntouchCX Superpunch is the organisation’s employee engagement platform that drives performance and culture.

Paula Kennedy Garcia, EVP Global Innovation and Product Strategy at IntouchCX said “Superpunch Care is the latest innovation to our incredible employee experience platform and elevates well-being accessibility for our associates around the world. Designing a digital-first solution speaks to the engagement preferences of our workforce, with AI intelligence that recommends personalised resources at a time that matters most to them. Our teams are really excited about this new innovation, which is a perfect synergy for our strong culture of care and we are delighted to partner in research with Lua Health to explore the growing challenge that businesses face today.”

Lua Health's privacy-aware software can measure and help an individual to manage their personal well-being. Most individuals ignore signs of stress until it reaches a crisis point at which stage it is hard to treat and ends up costing both the organisation and the individual. Lua Health’s proprietary AI algorithm identifies signs of stress at the earliest onset and helps guide employees to appropriate scientifically backed treatments to stop the condition from escalating.  

Both teams will explore whether employee well-being issues can be addressed more effectively with proactive interventions, using Lua Health solutions. The research aims to explore innovative approaches to help employees understand their well-being in real-time, and know what resources and support is available to them. The software is powered by state-of-the-art natural language processing and machine learning. Dr Mihael Arcan, Fionn Delahunty and Kieran Fegan comprise the Lua Health team, which is supported by Enterprise Ireland through its commercialisation fund. They will be creating a spin-out company to make the Lua Health technology available to the global workplace market later in 2023. 

The project is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under Ireland's European Structural and Investment Funds Programme 2014-2020.