There is no blood test or thermometer that can help diagnose depression or mental health conditions, explains neuroscientist, Dr Emilia Molimpakis. Instead the way medical professionals assess depression is limited to questionnaires and self-reporting by patients, which simply aren’t as accurate or reliable as the tools you’d use to assess physical illnesses like diabetes. Fortunately, Emilia is tackling this issue through her research and shares how specific biomarkers – like the sound of your voice or facial microexpressions – can actually reflect a person’s mental health state. Combine this research with some very cool video-game technology and you have Emilia’s special video games that can track a patient’s mental health biomarkers over time and support doctors in treating them more accurately. Emilia is a neuroscientist with a PhD & post-doc from UCL in Linguistics, Neuroscience & Psychology. She is an expert in using language as a biomarker for cognition – there are fewer than 10 people in the world doing exactly what she does! Her startup, thymia, uses video game-inspired technology to help doctors quickly, accurately and objectively assess and monitor depression via digital biomarkers. Emilia won the Young Innovator’s Award 2020-21 and was recently named one of the top scientists for mental health worldwide. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Emilia Molimpakis Molimpakis

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