PWC x Beyond Blue Report Shows Organisations can Expect a 2.3 ROI When Implementing Mentally Healthy Workplace Strategies.

Smart companies are making the investment in employee health including employee benefits such as gym memberships, healthy delivered lunches, employee rewards through programs such as Reward Gateway and extended leave, but is it enough to keep staff happy within the workplace?

Recent analysis has shown the annual cost of mental health to businesses costs $10 billion in Australia alone. To further elaborate, we have highlighted some key points from the PwC x Beyond Blue report ‘Creating a mentally healthy workplace‘ – ROI analysis, published March 20, 2014, are below:

  • Mental health conditions present substantial costs to organisations. However, through the successful implementation of an effective action to create a mentally healthy workplace, organisations, on average, can expect a positive return on investment (ROI) of 2.3.
  • Every $1 spent on successfully  implementing an appropriate action, there is on average $2.30 in benefits to be gained by the organisation.
  • The annual cost of mental health to Australian businesses is $10 billion and the economy $20 billion (Chair of the National Mental Health Commission).

We predict by 2020, companies will be investing more into the mental health of their staff, focusing on systems and networks which empower the employees to quickly utilise the support mechanisms. This will lead to a higher level of productivity, happiness and perhaps overall staff retention and of course, the 2.3 ROI.

You can download the PwC report here.

Disrupting Healthcare: The Technology And Innovation Making Waves

Social Health Innovations Amanda Johnstone 2.png

As the CEO of healthcare technology company Social Health Innovations, I am asked daily about my insights into innovation in the healthcare sector. Here is a glimpse at what I have been privy to in the last 24 months:

Hospital to Drugstore / Pharmacy Datashare:
I was involved in due diligence in Q1 of 2014 for Ramsay Health Care surrounding the sharing of patient data from Ramsay Hospital sites across to Ramsay branded pharmacies/drugstores. I surveyed the target patient groups and the interest was overwhelming. There was resistance surrounding privacy - however I made reccomendations that patients could use fingerprint, voice or facial recognition technology to verify their patient records across the multiple sites. The innovation was well received by Paul Ramsay and the participants alike.

Apple ResearchKit is an open source framework introduced by Apple  that allows researchers and developers to create powerful apps for medical research. I would encourage you to check out some case studies on their website; the uptake amongst participants has been great. 

I have just written a short note on the importance of the urgent need of gamification of the health / wellness tech sector - you can give it a read here. I have no doubt there will be a huge shift in user experience / user interface design of current medical technology. 

A survey by New York University reported nearly half of mobile consumers/patients are resistant to uptake in the healthcare sector at the moment. We are using this as the backbone for our business at Social Health Innovations.

"I believe people should be as addicted to their mental health app, as they are to Facebook, Candy Crush or Tinder. The magic is in the design and constant iteration - the health sector MUST embrace gamification in order to keep patients engaged.


The PSFK Future of Health Report by Piers Fawkes is an exceptional download for anyone wanting to know more.

- Amanda Johnstone

The Unshakable Importance of Gamification in Health and Wellness Tech

At Social Health Innovations we use a collaborative approach in designing and building our technologies. The process of taking our technology to market has been a slow, yet considered and tested approach.

We take design and gamification very seriously.. perhaps more seriously then any other mental health technology platform.

But Why So Serious?
Recently, a survey by researchers at New York University School of Medicine’s Population Health department of than 1,600 smartphone users, assessed their experience downloading health apps. The most damning insight comes from the question of why they stopped using the apps they downloaded.  Nearly half, or 44 percent, said it took too much time to enter data. Another 40 percent said loss of interest was a factor and 36 percent pointed to hidden costs. More than one-third said the apps were confusing to use and 30 percent said they did not like that the apps shared their data with friends.*

An Introduction
I (hello, I am Amanda Johnstone - the Founder and CEO of Social Health Innovations) also conducted due diligence in Q1 of 2014 for Ramsay Health, which unveiled key findings into healthcare technology and patient/user experience. My background in market research and due diligence gave me a firm understanding that consumer insight must be the foundation to any brand or technical positioning. In a world (healthcare) riddled by red tape, this would prove to be the most important challenge of my career to date.

I believe people should be as addicted to their mental health app, as they are to Facebook, Candy Crush or Tinder. The magic is in the design and constant iteration - the health sector MUST embrace gamification in order to keep patients engaged.

Our Conclusion
With nearly half of mobile health users not enjoying their experience, we needed to ensure our technology was addictive, beautiful and simple, in order to cut through and build a platform that will achieve results. 

Where It All Began
Initial consultation began with the board of Australian not-for-profit RUOK – after an invitation was extended to us from board member, Jack Singleton. In a series of three workshops with suicide prevention and mental health experts, the idea was significantly refined and targeted to a place that was lacking globally – simple and seamless communication of emotions. These experts provided insight, feedback and constructive criticism to the idea.

The Design Process
Following consultation, Australia’s most sought after graphics designer; Oliver Rozynski (looking happy below in black) was then engaged to bring the idea to life. Rozynski is known for his skills of making complex instructions simple and client list boasts News Corp, Qantas and HP. The process of design, road mapping and UI began – a unique 3D concept for mental health was born (and patented).

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The Build
Our Head of Technology, Bachir El Khoury (pictured cheerfully above in grey) was engaged in 2015 to bring the designs to life – making them engaging, immersive and interactive. El Khoury specialises in gamification (and is the brains behind the addictive game, Slots Showdown and produced the animation and design on major titles including The Hulk, Fantastic Four, Elektra, Wolverine, The Punisher and Silver Surfer.) As Head of Technology, he leverages his qualifications in Software Engineering, Social Psychology, Gamification and Design to bring Looper to life and constantly iterate.

Further Testing
In mid to late 2015, another testing phase commenced across Australia and the US, where focus groups and insights were gathered surrounding semantics, design, functionality and colours. We visited Sydney, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  

Hearing feedback is our favourite part of the process, to see real-life users fall in love with the project and provide pathways to make it even more engaging. 100% of people tested asked when they could use the product with their families or colleagues.

We refined our product with our internal team, doctors, service providers, marketers, HR organisations, parents, grandparents, corporations, rehabs, lived experience of suicide survivors, friends, children, teachers, those at-risk, pilots - you name it. 

We also listened to recommendations from leads from Twilio, Stanford, Apple, Freelancer, Virgin, Stereosonic, Dropbox, Reward Gateway, UTS, PSFK and advisors to NATO and the US Government. There wasn't a stone we left unturned - or any advice we did not listen too.

The Result 
Our offering was again slashed in half and refined, to keep the technology and simple, seamless and addictive as possible. Messaging was taken out of the matrix and many processes were stripped back. A global demand was also requested for our technology to plug into pre-existing technologies so our team are building that out now.

Global Scientific Advisory and Accountability
Tweaks are now being made to our software, most importantly with constant refinement from our global scientific team of doctors and researchers. This is to ensure not only include behavioural insights such as cognitive behavioural therapies are not overlooked in our technology, but to guarantee we measure our results as we launch with research.

In Closing
In my year and a half of running research and development at Social Health Innovations, I’ve only come across one health / wellness app that stands out amongst the masses. I’d like to personally commend relaxation application Pause for their breakthrough designs (as pictured in our header). We are however excited for the growth in understanding of the necessity to improve design. Please do reach out if you would like to speak with any of my team or I for advice.

On behalf of the extended team, advisors and investors at Social Health Innovations, we look forward to rolling out both our enterprise and community platforms in 2016 and perhaps even working with you. I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments below.

Warm regards,

- Amanda Johnstone, CEO and Founder of Social Health Innovations

Social Health Innovations Named as a Finalist in the Talent Unleashed Awards


Social Health Innovations today received a nod from the 2015 Talent Unleashed awards.

The global awards, driven by recruitment powerhouse Talent International spans across five categories, including: 

  • Best Tech IPO/Venture Capital Raising
  • Best Digital Business (SME)
  • Most Disruptive CIO/CTO
  • Best Start Up Community or Social Impact
  • Best Start Up Environmental Impact

Social Health Innovations has been shortlisted in the Best Startup Community or Social Impact category. This category recognises the inspirational work of people who are using technology to confront the world’s most difficult problems.

Richard Earl, Founder and Managing Director of Talent says:

"The technology sector is driven by many fantastic, yet unheralded individuals and organisations who are inventive, inspirational, and passionate about making a difference. Our intention and purpose is to champion these people across the globe. This is a call to action! A movement. We’re saying: stand up, be bold, be courageous, be transformative.."

The esteemed judging panel include:

Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson is the founder of Virgin Group. At just 16 Sir Richard founded his first business a magazine called Student. A mail-order record business followed, leading to a chain of record stores which later became the world famous Virgin Megastores. The Virgin brand grew rapidly in the 1980s with the creation of Virgin Atlantic, alongside expansion of the Virgin Records music label. Since 1999 he has developed a number of mobile phone businesses around the world, two successful airlines in Australia and America and a world leading health club chain Virgin Active. Branson is currently focused on Virgin Galactic, a ground breaking commercial spaceflight company which will launch space flights for a new market of ‘space tourists’.

Steve Wozniak
A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years, Steve Wozniak has helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products the Apple I and II and influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year, he introduced his Apple II personal computer, featuring a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive. The Apple II was integral in launching the personal computer industry. Wozniak is Chief Scientist at Primary Data and is a published author with the release of his New York Times best selling autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon by Norton Publishing. His television appearances include reality shows Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and The Big Bang Theory.  In 2014, he was awarded the Hoover Medal, a prestigious honor given for “outstanding extra-career services by engineers to humanity,” and was inducted into the IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame.

Dan Radcliffe
Dan is the founder of International Volunteer HQ, the world’s leading volunteer travel company. A young, disruptive entrepreneur with a global mind-set, Dan is the prototype of what the next generation of entrepreneurs will aspire to. Established in 30 countries IVHQ is the world’s leading volunteer travel company, providing responsible, affordable volunteer programs in countries including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal, Peru, China, Morocco, Bali and Madagascar. IVHQ is having a positive social and economic impact on communities around the world and changing the lives of millions with over 50,000 volunteers having dedicated more than four million hours of community service in areas of Teaching, Childcare, Community Development, Medical, Construction and Wildlife Conservation. In recognition of his achievements, and the impact of IVHQ, Dan has received numerous awards including the 2014  Ernst Young New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year.

Cliff Rosenberg
Clifford Rosenberg has a distinguished 20-year career in the digital space, both as an entrepreneur and executive. He is the Managing Director for LinkedIn South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 380m members around the globe of which over 7m are in Australia. In this role, Cliff’s focus is driving awareness and uptake of LinkedIn’s products, including recruitment, marketing and sales solutions. Since January 2010, Cliff has set up offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, growing the local team to more than 240 staff, including sales, marketing and public relations personnel. He is also a Non Executive Director of ASX listed Nearmap (NEA) – a company specialising in the generation and sale of high quality maps for use by a broad range of businesses and Non Executive Director of Pureprofile – a leading market research, panel provision and customer database management company.

Patrick Grove
Born in Singapore, Patrick Y-Kin Grove founded Catcha Group, an investment group controlling media, new media and e-commerce companies in emerging markets, in 1999. His expertise includes mergers and acquisitions and extraction of investment value in high growth, media and technology environments, and he has developed a number of significant media and internet businesses across Asia, taking four from startup to IPO. These portfolio businesses are worth in excess of $1 billion. Grove has been independently recognised with numerous international awards, including New Asian Leader by the World Economic Forum (2003) and by the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Singapore as Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2004.

Yat Siu
A serial technology entrepreneur based in Hong Kong, Yat Siu is founder and CEO of Outblaze, a conglomerate specializing in gaming, cloud technology, and smartphone/tablet software. In 2009 Yat sold Outblaze’s messaging division to IBM, which used it to set up IBM’s LotusLive iNotes to deliver business-class email services to SMEs. The transaction resulted in the establishment of the first cloud lab in Hong Kong by a major multinational technology company. After the sale of assets to IBM, Yat focused Outblaze on B2C digital entertainment products and services. Yat is a director for TurnOut Ventures, a partnership between Outblaze and Turner Entertainment, as well as co-founder of Animoca, a major developer and publisher of smartphone games, and of Animoca Brands, a spinoff focusing on branded mobile games that is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. In 2012 he set up ThinkBlaze, the research arm of Outblaze dedicated to investigating socially meaningful issues in technology. Yat has earned numerous accolades including Global Leader of Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum, and Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the DHL/SCMP Awards. He is a supporter of various NGOs and serves on the board of directors for the Asian Youth Orchestra.

Jane Tewson
Jane is a passionate campaigner with a global reputation for inspiring individuals and organisations to work together for positive social change. To date Jane has founded five charities, all of which are flourishing today.  Jane is well known for her lateral thinking and creative initiatives including Comic Relief in the UK, better known as Red Nose Day which recently raised its billionth dollar, best-selling books including Dying to Know – bringing death to life and most recently jewelry made out of recycled landmines encouraging people to realize things are not always as they seem. She is currently the Founder and Director of Igniting Change (formerly Pilotlight Australia), a purposely tiny organisation that ignites social change by combining the extraordinary lives of some of the world’s most influential leaders to those on the fringes doing it really tough. She has been recognised for her achievements, including being awarded a CBE in 1999 for innovation in charity, named as one of the top ten innovators in the UK by The Times Newspaper in 2001, and was the Ernst and Young Australian Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007.



A sincere thank you to all the team in front and behind the scenes who have supported the company so far in our mission to lower the rate of suicide, globally. 
- Amanda Johnstone,  Founder and CEO