Xavier Palomer is Founder and CEO of Psious. He has a Degree in Physics and Electrical Engineering at the University of Barcelona and also has a Master in Bioengineering at the University of Colorado (USA). He was involved in R&D until he created his own company, five years ago.
Good morning Xavier, here at Barcelona Health Hub we are delighted to have Psious on board and we are thrilled to interview you today. To start the interview, can you explain what is your role within Psious? What the main goal of Psious is?
Of course! My name is Xavier Palomer and I am CEO of Psious, the first virtual reality platform specialized in the treatment of mental health disorders. Founded in 2014 in Barcelona, Psious helps psychologists and mental health professionals around the world to get better results in less time by applying virtual reality therapies in their clinical practice.
What is Psious currently focusing on?
The company has two main goals for the upcoming months. The first one is to keep growing the number of patients we are helping as well as the number of therapists using our product. The second priority for the company is to work on the clinical side of the product, increasing the level of evidence behind our system along with our partners to become the most advanced and validated VR solution in the market.
How did you first become involved and interested in the digital health sector?
Well, the truth is that I have always been involved and interested in this sector and in researching and taking advantage of all the opportunities that technology can offer to digital health to find new, more specific ways for people’s well-being.
What are some of the biggest challenges that Psious had to overcome in its path to growth and internationalization?
The growth and internationalization of Psious have overcome many challenges, but if we had to highlight two, they would be culture and regulation. In the first place, being able to be in 27 countries is the result of previously knowing the culture of all the countries where we wanted to present Psious to the therapists. On the other hand, as digital health expands, we see how health authorities around the world regulate the sector in different ways, making the internationalization process more challenging but also more appealing.
What future programs to help solving mental issues is Psious going to develop?
In Psious we are constantly developing studies and analyzing what other mental disorders can be resolved with virtual reality. Therefore, research is key in our project and together with our partners, we are counting research on mental health and new digital therapies.
What do you think Psious can uniquely offer to the digital health sector as a whole?
Psious offers new digital therapies that could be used more frequent and faster than traditional ones, with the aim that no one is limited by their mental health. In this way, our goal is to help people facing their problems and being able to live a full life, a life without stress, a life without anxiety, without fears or phobias.
What advice do you have for other startups looking for funding, awards and acceleration programs?
My advice would be about the teamwork and how important it is, especially in healthcare, to have a team that combines different backgrounds, visions, and technical skills. Starting a Digital Health company requires some unique skills that other sectors do not need and making the different backgrounds work together is definitely a challenge, but also a key to success. For example, you need to understand the regulatory framework and its impact on the commercial strategy; another example is the interaction between clinicians with the tech team. These are people from very different backgrounds and usually use different words for the same thing or use the same word for different things, e.g. API.
What do you expect for the future of the sector of virtual reality therapies?
The health sector is experiencing a fast and radical transformation and new technologies are redesigning the way healthcare is delivered and even conceived of, thanks to the emergence of digital therapies.
This new generation of therapies will bring many benefits to the entire health system, from economic sustainability to first-line prevention. Over time digital therapies will become more effective and, in many cases, also will help reducing the incidence of certain diseases. These benefits are in great part thanks to the fact that digital therapies are designed to be focused on the needs of the patient and, above all, scientifically validated following the same standards that have been used to validate new drugs.
What do you personally believe are the benefits of an association like Barcelona Health Hub?
Being part of the Barcelona Health Hub association means being able to be at one of the centers of digital health transformation. BHH provides the opportunity for all startups to be in contact with the leaders who are working for the digital change of health. The community is key for the hub!