I began my journey as an entrepreneur almost two years ago. As any business owner will know, 24 months could easily translate as a decade in regular years. When you become an entrepreneur, you jump into a different timeline – you discover how much you can fit into a week; how much can change in a day. You use every moment you can to further your mission. The passion that fired you up in the early days continues to burn bright as time goes on – it doesn’t fade (in fact, I think it only becomes bigger and clearer day by day).
From the beginning, I knew I would need to gather a team around me. The right team. The idea for Moment Health came to me at a time when I was raising my own family. I identified a need for additional support for maternal and paternal mental health. My experience in developing tech for healthcare solutions was a strong starting point, but I needed a technical co-founder; someone with experience in consumer products who would help me create the Moment Health app and have priorities like security, adoption and ease-of-use top of mind.
When I posted the opportunity, I was inundated with applications and enquiries from highly skilled folks interested to learn more. What struck me about the person I chose, was not only his amazing track record – working with companies such as Intercom and Ding – but that he bought into our mission from the outset.
Read our conversation below, and you’ll soon understand why I chose Gavin Rooney to help me steer Moment Health into the future.
Nuala Murphy: So, for me, when I was looking for a technical co-founder I really wanted someone who had experience in consumer products.
Gavin Rooney: I come from a background in game development, so I knew I could fulfil that requirement for Moment Health. For example, I know that security is always a top priority when creating new products from scratch, particularly when they’re meant for a consumer audience. After that, User Experience had to be on point. New parents are incredibly busy, and the Moment Health app was going to have to have functions that were simple and straight to the point.
NM: Very early on, you told me you wanted to use your skills for good – a great trait to have for the mission I had in mind: to make maternal mental health mainstream.
GR: We met up for coffee and when you spoke about using tech for good, I knew I wanted to jump on board with that idea. The figures you shared around perinatal health – that as many as 20 per cent of women and 10 per cent of men are affected – really had an impact on me.
NM: It’s difficult to find someone who doesn’t know someone who has had direct exposure to some form of perinatal illness. I remember after I pitched Moment Health to you, you simply threw your hands up and said, “Let’s do it.”
GR: I was sold as soon as it was clear that this was a chance to work on something that had the potential to make a difference to parents’ lives on a global scale – it’s not often an app has such big goals! That opportunity doesn’t come around every day. I was on board from that moment.
NM: We are definitely aligned in using tech to make some good in this world.
GR: I like that the app we developed has four clear, concise functions: to track moods; check for symptoms; locate services; and connect to peers for support. My favourite is the emotion tracker – this easy-to-use tracker is quite simply a game-changer for everyone. If our long-term goal is to help prevent perinatal depression and associated anxieties, I think tools like this are going to help us get there, and make room for early intervention too – which we know is crucial for recovery.
NM: I’m grateful we’re working with Ulster University and that our app is undergoing a clinical trial to ensure its efficacy. I’m thankful you continuously communicate what’s working and what isn’t. I admire your skills, work ethic, commitment – and honesty.
GR: The potential for this research to help people in the future is enormous. It sets us on a path to really making a positive difference in the world.
NM: I look forward to building the future of Moment Health with you.
GR: We’ve only just begun.
Moment Health was conceived with the aim to connect mothers and parents with the tools and knowledge they need to sustain good mental health and recover from illness.
The Moment Health app is a ground-breaking digital solution that offers early intervention for maternal mental health illnesses. It is available on iOS and Android in the UK, US and Ireland, and will expand into other markets throughout the year.