KTP secured with Lumien, product of software firm Evolyst, to enhance the ability to manage workplace mental health

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) will see Aston’s academics incorporate a sophisticated machine learning (ML) capability into the Lumien software platform to deliver predictive data analysis of workplace mental health and wellbeing.

Within the framework of the recently awarded KTP, academics from Aston’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences will deliver the expertise needed to apply sophisticated ML to enhance functionality and deliver an advanced version of the Lumien platform at scale. This will enable Lumien to increase revenue via an advanced offering, provide predictive data analysis of workplace mental health and deliver innovative software to improve productivity through preventive mental health strategies. The embedded ML skills will allow continual development of the platform post KTP.

The Lumien analytics platform allows clients to manage and support employee mental health and build a positive mental health and wellbeing strategy. Lumien is a SaaS platform (Software as a Service) which allows companies to use Lumien as a starting point to their mental health and wellbeing strategy, utilising it internally, or with an external provider.  The system provides all employees with a tool which anonymously shows them their own mental health and wellbeing data, whilst recommending tips, resources and events/activities loaded on to the platform by the employer. The employer receives aggregated data reports in the background, allowing them to see where their employees need support, and what effect this has on their productivity and bottom line.

Lumien’s clients are now seeking further proactive support rather than reactive support in order to predict a team's mental health and the effect of management decisions on productivity. This has driven the development of an advanced version of the platform to provide predictive analysis, facilitate high level decision making & ultimately prevent mental health issues via early intervention.

The Lumien platform has provided help to multiple companies, supporting thousands of employees already, but now requires specialist expertise to take the platform to the next level, meeting demand and achieving growth. The complex combination of AI/ML techniques with multi-stranded datasets and an understanding of mental health issues/metrics/diagnostics underpinned by the social and psychological considerations is best suited to the academic team and so through a KTP.

Christopher Golby, PhD, director and co-founder of Lumien said: “We at Lumien are extremely excited about this opportunity, and the support we will receive. We’re on a mission to empower people to take control of their own wellbeing, and having supported thousands of employees already in this, the expertise provided by Aston University will allow us to take this a significant step forwards, providing more personalized support for individuals, and allowing more strategic support for companies. We see this collaboration and partnership as a way to accelerate our growth and change how companies handle mental health and wellbeing, moving from a cautionary, reactive approach, to a proactive, strategic manner, which supports all those involved.”

Throughout the partnership there will be various obstacles the academics will have to overcome. The biggest challenge will stem from migrating Lumien’s current system to an automated model with personalization involved. Then, Lumien will have to ensure that its infrastructure can cope with the rapid growth expected from this advancement. For this, the KTP will expedite Lumien's skills in ML which would have taken several years to accumulate without the KTP. Agile working will overcome the challenges of training the Lumien team in new techniques.

The Academic team on this KTP includes, Dr Christopher Buckingham who is Reader in Computer Science. His first degree is in Psychology with a Masters and PhD in Computer Science. His research focuses on socio-technical aspects such as how technology can address sociological and psychological issues.

Dr Christopher Buckingham said:

“It is a wonderful opportunity to help Evolyst improve mental health in the workplace and fits very well with our own research. The KTP will link Lumien to our own GRiST decision support system that is in use by the NHS to assess and manage risks associated with mental health problems. The KTP will provide employees and organisations with a complete solution, where people are supported both within the workplace and, if people have more serious problems, with expert clinical advice outside it.”

Dr Felipe Campelo's research focuses on the development of integrated solution frameworks for prescriptive data analytics, effectively connecting data mining, statistical modelling, optimisation and multi-criteria decision making, which will be invaluable in supporting the data analysis and predictive modelling Lumien requires.

Dr Luis Manso, Lecturer in Computer Science has research interests in various aspects of artificial intelligence, and will support this KTP with his expertise on data structures and relationships between data.

The academic team has extensive experience of data analysis and software development creating the perfect opportunity to drive this KTP to its full potential.

Once completed, this project will produce a number of benefits beyond the business case, in supporting organisations to implement supportive strategies to manage employee mental health.

  • The KTP will enable organisations to better plan and manage risk, create a supportive work environment to increase employee wellbeing, prevent issues and ultimately improve productivity.
  • The KTP will provide rich data on the effects of age,gender and industry on occurrences of mental health issues to inform future research.
  • The KTP will enhance Lumien's reputation as a trusted provider, with the potential to apply for awards.
  • The KTP will support additional job creation at Lumien as it realises its growth plans.

The project outcomes will be integrated into Aston's curriculum via e.g. teaching case studies. This will ensure future graduates are well prepared to strive in real workplace scenarios and appropriately equipped in software development.

Expected project finish date: 2022

This project is co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) is a UK-wide programme that has been helping businesses for the past 45 years to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base. Aston University is the leading university within the Midlands for KTP.

To find out more about how your business can benefit from working with Aston University, please email  rke@aston.ac.uk  or call 0121 204 4242.

To view more about the lumen platform, simply visit www.lumien.io and book a demo.