An Academic-Industry Collaborative Initiative on Digital Health: The Launch of Colliga

Welcome to Colliga, a NIMH and NSF grant-funded academic spin-off company focused on developing a centralized platform and remote monitoring system for behavioral health. The platform allows health researchers to quickly and inexpensively build and disseminate app-based data collection and digital therapeutics tools. The goal of the company is to accelerate advances in mobile behavior research by leveraging Colliga’s state-of-the-art technology for remote data collection and monitoring. Dr. Adela Timmons, Clinical and Quantitative Psychologist, and Matthew Ahle, Applications Developer and Data Scientist, head the company.

Colliga’s innovative software infrastructure allows researchers to use smartphones and wearable devices to monitor participants and send interventions remotely. The monitoring and intervention systems operate in real-time and in peoples’ everyday lives. The system also incorporates artificial intelligence and customized analytics.

Why Use Mobile Technology to Conduct Research on Behavioral Health?

The shortage of health providers, therapist burnout, and health insurance needs in low-income areas present a perfect storm crisis in the wellness and health care field. Digital therapies delivered by practitioners remotely can address these issues, reach more people who need mental health services, and cut costs.
Remote health monitoring and intervention systems may benefit home-bound and low-income patients the most. These patients often must choose between urgent needs–such as housing, food, employment, and safety– and attending in-person treatment.

“Our current healthcare system doesn’t scale very well in terms of the number of therapists needed to meet the needs of the population.”

Timmons saw these pressing and urgent life issues first hand when she was completing her clinical internship at the University of California, San Francisco. Her experiences as a mental health provider drove her to look for sustainable solutions. “Our current healthcare system doesn’t scale very well in terms of the number of therapists needed to meet the needs of the population.” She added, “We’re using technology to get behavioral health care into the hands of more people. That’s our central mission.”

She noted, “COVID-19 has accelerated the need for digital therapeutics. Our population is experiencing increasing challenges to their mental health at a time when access to in-person services is declining.”

About the Company

Timmons and Ahle founded Colliga in 2018. A National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship awarded to Timmons funded the initial technology. The company received additional grants to support its mission, including a National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Grant and a $2.9 million Small Business Technology Transfer Grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. The company also acquired two pending patents related to AI and remote health technology. Colliga began offering platform access to researchers in early 2021. Researchers interested in collaborating with Colliga on mobile behavior research projects can contact Timmons for more information.

Company News and Press Releases
Colliga Wins Prestigious NIH and NSF Small-Business Grants

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