AUSTRALIAN Securities Exchange-listed Medibio Limited has enlisted the world’s most successful Olympic swimmer, American Michael Phelps, to assist in the promotion of its diagnostic products for depression, chronic stress and other mental health disorders.
Since retiring from competitive swimming in 2016, Mr Phelps has actively sought to raise awareness around mental health. He said joining Australian innovator Medibio’s board was a natural next step in his professional journey.
“I am honoured to accept this appointment because I have personally experienced Medibio’s technology and believe it can help make a profound impact in diagnosing mental health and empowering people to seek the help and support they may need,” Mr Phelps said.
“In sports, there is so much focus on the physical aspects of performance, and athletes are analyzed from head to toe. But for many athletes, mental health has not been a topic of focus, and the data analysis aspect of it has been missing up until now.
“I personally suffered from mental health challenges from my teenage years on, and only fairly recently — after reaching a point of desperation — did I acquire the understanding, treatment, and support I needed, which has truly changed my life. For me, self-awareness, from a mental health standpoint, is empowerment.
“But I’ve seen firsthand — in sports and beyond — how difficult it is for people to understand, discuss, and confront stress, anxiety, and mental health concerns, all of which can seem like an insurmountable barrier to getting the help and support that is needed,” Mr Phelps said.
“I feel that the ease and objectivity with which Medibio’s technology can accurately help to diagnose mental health will make a profound difference in people’s lives. I want to help others who are dealing with these challenges and make the process for them to take action easier and more understandable.”
Prior to his appointment to Medibio’s board of directors, Mr Phelps worked with its team of world-class doctors and medical experts to explore ways in which Medibio’s technology could help address the challenges associated with the identification and treatment of various mental health issues.
“We are thrilled to have Michael join our board of directors,”Medibio managing director and CEO Jack Cosentino said.
“His joining the board of directors brings recognition and validates the great need for objective mental health diagnosis that we offer through our industry-leading technology. His lifelong dedication to excellence in the pool, his advocacy for mental health, and his understanding of data-driven solutions will provide a great addition to our board. Michael’s significant public profile will raise substantial awareness of mental health challenges and the real, tangible solutions that Medibio’s diagnostics can provide.”
Widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all-time, Mr Phelps has dedicated his time, fame, and focus to a number of philanthropic causes including water safety, mental health, and anti-doping initiatives. His advocacy for mental health recently earned the recognition of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as the honorary chairperson of National Mental Health Awareness Day 2017. In addition, Mr Phelps is an ambassador for the Child Mind Institute’s #MyYoungerSelf social media campaign in an effort to help end the stigmas associated with mental health and learning disorders.
Medibio’s depression diagnostic is being validated in clinical studies undertaken by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and The University of Ottawa. The clinical trials will support Medibio’s application to become the first FDA approved, objective, and evidence-based approach to the diagnosis of mental health disorders.
In addition to its ASX listing, Medibio will seek to trade on the OTCQB Venture Market securities exchange in New York, under the ticker MDBIF.