Sparc’s Mental Lab wins best innovation award at ICTAM awards


Sparc Systems Limited’s ‘The Mental Lab’ mobile application has won this year’s best innovation award in eHealth category at the annual Information Communication Technology Association of Malawi (ICTAM) awards in partnership with National Bank of Malawi.

The innovations awards took place at Nkopola on Saturday last week where the mobile application came out top despite being launched in August this year.

Speaking during the event, NBM plc Head of Information Technology, Organization and Methods John Mitchell asked Commercial Banks and the Corporate World to invest in innovations to enhance the country’s socio-economic development, saying innovations are critical to the economy’s productivity hence the need to promote brilliant knowledge and ideas from people who have such skills.

“Knowledge creates innovations, innovations create productivity and productivity drives economy.”

“Therefore, if we want our economy to move forward, our businesses to grow and the country to transform, the best route to take is to support innovations,” he said.

On his part, Public Partnership Commission Chief Executive Officer Patrick Kabambe vowed to continue partnering with organizations that support ICT.

ICTAM President Bram Fudzulani echoed Mitchell’ words by challenging government to lead the way in investing in local innovations as a way of creating employment opportunities.

“We have been complaining of the tendency of local companies and government agencies in preferring products made abroad.

“But the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that Malawian ICT developers can be trusted. What is required now is for government to support us by way of utilizing our products,” he said.

Mental Lab is a mobile application that strives to help improve the mental health status of people across the globe. It has been designed to provide early interventions for mental health issues by digitizing the process of accessing mental health support.

The Application also allows users to have access to group chats, and also to book sessions with therapists on which they can have a one-on-one voice, video or in person sessions.

The application has been developed in partnership with Caring Hands Malawi

In his comment Sparc Systems Managing Director, Mr Wisely Phiri said they have been busy this year working on a number of innovations.

He said: “Covid has exacerbated mental health issues such that we have seen a rise in suicide cases. As Sparc we had to intervene. We are here to show that as Malawians we are capable of developing world class solutions. All we need is support from the industry. We have more innovations coming out.””