Olympic Legend Michael Phelps Joined the Board of an Australian Mental Health Startup
Olympic champion and swimming legend Michael Phelps has joined the board of Sydney-based medical technology startup Medibio Limited, the company announced in a press release.
Medibio "has developed an effective objective test to assist in the diagnosis of depression, chronic stress and other mental health disorders," according to a company statement. At the center of these tests are a "series of algorithms that test biomarkers gleaned from wearable devices to identify various psychiatric disorders," as SportTechie reports.
The app is going through clinical trials at Johns Hopkins, the University of Ottawa and other institutions, SportTechie reports. Medibio is seeking to gain FDA approval by 2018.
Phelps, who with 28 medals to his name - including 23 gold - is the most decorated Olympian of all time. But Phelps has also been a mental health advocate for a number of years, describing his struggles with ADHD as a kid in an interview with Benzinga last month.
"For me, to open up about my story, hopefully we can have other people open up about their story as well because we know they are out there," said Phelps. "Nobody’s perfect, we are all human beings, and we do go through the same things in life. For me for the longest time I could never ask for help, I am trying to encourage people to go out and ask for help."
Athletes that spend so much time and dedication practicing and preparing for their sport, especially an Olympic athlete, are susceptible to depression after competition is over.
“As an Olympic athlete, I can speak for a couple teammates that have gone through depression. You build up for four years, you get to that peak, and two days after the Olympics have started you're done, and then it’s like, 'well where do I go from here?' That’s where athletes can find themselves in trouble," said Phelps.
Phelps served as the honorary of National Mental Health Awareness Day 2017 for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He also received the organization's Special Recognition Award.