Lyssn was born out of years of academic research, and the desire to use clinical science to change the world for the better.

Our Story

In 2008 a team of researchers from multiple universities came together to see if the same AI that is used to give directions or answer simple questions for web searches could be used to measure behavioral health providers’ empathy and engagement during clinical sessions. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, the researchers – including David Atkins (Lyssn CEO), Shrikanth Narayanan (Lyssn Chief Engineering Science Officer), and Zac Imel (Lyssn Chief Psychotherapy Science Officer) – developed measures over many years for evaluating client sessions, and then trained an AI-powered system to listen to sessions and perform complex evaluations of the interactions.

Creating Lyssn

Lyssn was born out of this research and fueled by the growing need for reliable quality metrics for behavioral health services. The five founders of Lyssn—with backgrounds in psychology, clinical research and training, speech engineering, software design and machine learning—believed they could make a greater impact on the delivery of mental health care and addiction services by bringing the technology out of an academic research setting and into the behavioral health care market. The vision: with a cost-effective AI-powered assessment platform for recording and managing session files, any practicing mental health professional or behavioral health organization could assess and continually improve the quality of services they provide.

Supporting Behavioral Health Providers

In 2017 David Atkins, Zac Imel, Mike Tanana, Shrikanth Narayanan and Tad Hirsch created Lyssn to further develop the AI-based technology with a goal of supporting training and supervision and providing a tool for quality assurance of behavioral health services. As of 2021 the Lyssn platform has been adopted by universities, telehealth providers and addiction and mental health clinics across the country and internationally. The platform is intuitive, easy to use, and HIPAA, FERPA and GDPR compliant with two-factor authentication and encryption security protocols. It is cloud-based and does not require external hardware. It includes functionality that is useful in both instructional and direct service environments, such as the ability to share recordings of sessions, and timestamp and comment on specific moments in the videos for supervision, instruction or peer review. It also offers metrics for the automatic assessment of counseling including Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques. Lyssn can be used for recording and transcribing sessions with a built-in telehealth functionality, and also provides backend analytics for customers with their own API.

Our Team

Lyssn brings together behavioral health professionals, experts in AI, talented web developers, graphic designers, and more. We are united by our passion to support behavioral health clinicians and improve mental health services and outcomes.

Do you see yourself on our team? Check out our open positions.

Advisory Team