Inspiration

We launched AeBeZe Labs and Moodrise to help address the rising mental health crisis in America and around the world. It was and remains our express goal to develop and deliver tools to counter anxiety, boost emotional resilience, improve behavioral health, and establish a new authoritative standard in Digital Nutrition™.

Even before the onset of COVID, the average American consumed an estimated 12 hours of digital assets every day. Many of these materials actively depress mood, elevate anxiety, and amplify distress. We decided to design and deploy a range of behavioral-health-optimizing products for the web, mobile, and wearables, to help mitigate the negative impact of digital content, track mood with unprecedented fidelity, and help people everywhere better understand the contents (or the consequences) of the content they consume.

Drawing on a compendium of scientific literature, AeBeZe Labs pairs curated content with simple interventions, contextual reminders, and transparent labeling, leveraging neurological responses to digital assets in order to elevate mood.

What it does

AeBeZe has been described by various media outfits as the future of pharma—the first company to address behavioral health by leveraging mood-altering molecules in your brain. We rely on content to trigger the release of the neurotransmitters that govern mood.

Internally, we think of each Moodrise treatment as a potent, bite-sized dose of Digital Nutrition.

Our products rely on peer-reviewed scientific literature that categorizes content based on its ability to trigger the release of GABA, Dopamine, Oxytocin, Endorphins, Acetylcholine, or Serotonin.

Our current suite of tools includes:

  • Moodrise: The first smartphone application to deliver on-demand Digital Nutrition; available on the App Store and Google Play
  • Moodrise 1000: A collection of the top 1000 hours of Digitally Nutritious content across the world’s major content platforms, reviewed by PhDs, clinicians, and researchers, and classified according to its verified Digital Nutrition value; available at https://moodrise.co/1000
  • Pillcast™: An auditory experience delivering better Digital Nutrition; available via your favorite podcast source, or through Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Daybreak: a product suite currently in use by the U.S. Air Force
  • YouMood: a digital nutrition tracker for YouTube

The Moodrise app delivers a bright constellation of curated images, videos, and audio, designed to positively (and specifically) impact brain chemistry and help elevate mood. We pair proven science with the power of storytelling to help users feel better. The Moodrise app also empowers users to track and monitor their moods.

AeBeZe Labs also hosts an annual awards ceremony called the Moodrise 1000, an expert-curated library of digital content, supported by PhD clinicians and researchers. We classify the world’s best content according to verified Digital Nutrition values.

Rather than organizing videos, films, clips, and music by genre, we’ve identified the healthiest assets and options across the world’s most popular platforms: Amazon Prime, Netflix, YouTube, and Vimeo. We’ve classified them by neurotransmitter and by desired mood-state.

How we built it

For the core Moodrise mobile product, we developed the world’s largest and most targeted database of peer-reviewed scientific literature, linking specific content with the release of specific neurotransmitters.

We then took a hyper-curatorial approach, organizing specific provisions of content by desired mood-state(s), and pairing each video, clip or piece of music with supporting scientific literature. Post-doc PhD’s were tasked with assessing, affirming, and validating all pairings of content with specific scientific literature. We then added mood-tracking features based on the Likert scale, and created the consumer-facing app called Moodrise.

We emulated this process for the audio programs we call Pillcast, and replicated the approach when developing the Moodrise 1000 awards.

To create the digital nutrition tracker—which identifies, surfaces, and labels videos according to their neurotransmitter contents—we relied on the same scientific database, which documents how various topics and treatments in video content function as Digital Nutrition interventions. Then, our team engaged in nutritional “genoming” across the content universe of YouTube. Labeling neurotransmitters in videos, channels, categories, and ~3K topics that are presented in videos. Associative learning and language modeling was employed to make inferences about previously unencountered content. For example, a particular channel may be assigned a Digital Nutrition fingerprint by its associatability with other channels, and by all of the topics covered by the sum total of all of its videos, each of these topics having been genomed by our science team. Such a Digital Nutrition fingerprint is currently available for all YouTube videos; we intend to extend this capability to other major content sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snap in the next several months.

Challenges we ran into

Today, an estimated 300 million people around the planet are clinically depressed; hundreds of millions more experience anxiety every day, or suffer from a range of other behavioral health challenges. There is no silver bullet solution to emotional suffering, but there is hope. And because 5 billion beings now rely on their mobile phones, realistic solutions must actively leverage technology, not avoid it or succumb to abstinence-only approaches. The challenge we endeavored to tackle was seizing the sex appeal of content, and leveraging the latest neuroscience, to produce positive emotional dividends for users. Balancing art and science is the basis of Moodrise.

Given the severity of the COVID crisis, coupled with national unrest in the U.S. around social and racial justice, the cost of competing for customers is too steep to warrant a Moodrise-only approach.

Accomplishments that we are proud of

We’re honored to be working in partnership with the United States Air Force to improve the behavioral health, emotional resilience, and readiness of the men and women in uniform. To date, we’ve moved successfully through two phases of a major U.S. Air Force contract. Operating under the name Daybreak, we’ve designed a suite of digital tools and services for airmen to help combat signs or symptoms of anxiety, counter cognitive drift, and alleviate various types of stress that can deteriorate into early stages of depression or PTSD.

In 2019, we were recognized by IFAH as one of the Top 100 Healthcare Leaders, and have secured the support of leading scientists at Stanford, Columbia, McGill, and the University of Texas, as well as the official endorsement of the former chairman of Nobel Prize Committee on Medicine or Physiology.

We’ve also developed a portfolio of public-facing products called Moodrise. This includes a library of assets newly and freely available to American high schools, starting in Palo Alto, California.

What we learned

We’ve learned that mindful administration of purposeful content can elevate and improve mood. And we have the data to prove it.

We’ve also learned that the larger vision of Digital Nutrition—taking its place alongside diet, sleep, exercise, interpersonal relationships, and vocation as one of six fundamental pillars of human health and prosperity—will require more time and public advocacy to fully achieve.

There will come a day, in our estimation before 2025, when Digital Nutrition labels are as transparent, helpful, common and ubiquitous as labels on food, beverages, and medicine.

What's next for Moodrise

We intend to accomplish the following three goals before November 2020:

  • YouMood Tracker: release a web plugin for YouTube audiences everywhere
  • Moodrise expansion: deliver a newly updated app that—unlike Apple screen-time tracking—actually monitors and tracks Digital Nutrition
  • Moodrise Awards 2020: we’ll announce the winners of the second annual awards, and release the 1000 most nutritious hours of content online

Built With

  • apis
  • research
  • uis
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