Raeanne Moore
University of California San Diego
Olusola Ajilore
University of Illinois at Chicago
Alex Leow
University of Illinois at Chicago



In this paper, we discuss our journey as academic entrepreneurs, which began with the market need for objective markers for the diagnosis and assessment of mental health disorders. For most of history, mental health disorders have been chiefly defined by the subjective experiences of people with these disorders -- we know people have a depressive disorder because they feel depressed or that they have a psychotic disorder because they experience hallucinations. The lack of objective markers to track changes in mental health symptoms creates barriers to treatment. To address this, the vision of KeyWise AI is the further development and commercialization of an innovative digital phenotyping technology that turns smartphones into fitness trackers for the brain. Commercializing the generalizable knowledge derived from the ongoing citizen science BiAffect study, our brain fitness-tracking technology supports real-time passive and unobtrusive modeling and monitoring of emotional, behavioral and cognitive processes. The core technology centers around a custom-built smartphone keyboard that replaces the default keyboard, thus allowing for unobtrusive collection of anonymized keyboard dynamics and motor kinetics metadata. The second half of this paper provides general guidelines to help future academic entrepreneurs on their startup journey.