Ally Health – A digital companion to get the most out of therapy


Ally exists to drive systemic change in mental health.

Australia’s process for delivering therapy has great “system factors” but ultimately doesn’t work because it’s missing the “human factors” required to effect change at scale.

Ally is a digital support tool that takes what’s hard about therapy and makes it easy.

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  • Context: Australia is experiencing a mental ill-health epidemic. The stats are scary, but we have the answer. Therapy. Therapy is proven to work. So why isn't the situation getting better? It's not that people aren't trying therapy; 2 million Australians attend therapy each year. It's that less than 10% stick with it long enough for it to work. The reason for this is baked into the design of the system itself. We treat therapy like medicine and prescribe it, ignoring the human factors that make therapy work. Challenge: Use human-centered design to help people get the most out of therapy.

  • We prototyped and tested with 100 people around Australia in various stages of their mental health "help-seeking journey." They told us that they knew therapy was the answer, but it was just "too confusing," "too expensive," "too intimidating." Helping people stay engaged and stick with something that is good for them (but hard) isn't a new problem. It's a problem that has already been tackled in Fitness, with solutions like MyFitnessPal, Garmin trackers, Strava, etc. So that's what we launched, a digital support tool that helps people get started with therapy and get the most out of therapy.

  • Ally believes based on the research that If we can increase the number of sessions the average Australian attends, and the engagement they have with their therapy between sessions, we will save billions of dollars and more importantly many lives, relationships and childhoods. This year, Ally users have an average of 3.0 sessions each (April YTD). They also have an average of 9min and 18 seconds engaging with their care each month outside of sessions. As we continue to scale the audience Australia's mental health system will become less busy, our hospitals less full. Our community will be stronger.

  • Ally is a digital support tool that's been designed to solve two key aspects of someone's experience with therapy. The first is onboarding, making sure that people are set up for success at the start of their journey. By increasing their knowledge of what this is all about. The second is engagement, making sure that people play an active, not passive role in therapy. By helping them form new behaviours like preparing, capturing, and practicing. Our driving principle is privacy first, all data is owned by the user and stored on their device. Core features include: Secure note-taking to capture therapy appointments, thoughts, questions, photos, and to-do lists in one convenient place Interactive exercises that help people prepare for and reflect on key therapy milestones Engaging guides that provide up-to-date information about therapy Reminders that help people stay motivated and practice positive therapy habits before, during and after their sessions "This helps you to own your session rather than just expecting your therapist to guide you, the structure encourages me to engage in therapy more and it means I can go into a session clear on what I want to achieve" - test participant