Simplex Ventures Founders Series: Meet Cognito Health

Cognito Health

As part of our “Simplex Ventures Founders Series,” meet Cognito, a virtual mental health platform designed for the best possible patient outcomes.

A Q&A with Cognito Health’s CEO & Co-Founder, Armon Arani

Hello! Can you please share a quick introduction of Cognito and your role within the company?

I’m Armon Arani, the CEO and co-founder of Cognito. Founded in 2021, Cognito is a virtual mental health platform. We treat mild to moderate anxiety, depression, insomnia and ADHD. Currently, we’re servicing those in Canada from the province of British Columbia, and we hope to expand across the country and eventually, globally.

As a health tech company that’s focused predominantly on mental health, what problem is Cognito built to solve?

That’s a great question. Our mission is to make mental health care more:

  • Affordable: There are so many barriers to entry when it comes to getting mental health treatment, unless an individual has good benefits. Clients no longer have to worry about high costs associated with each counseling session and prescription refill. Instead, Cognito strives to make the entry point as affordable as possible.
  • Immediate: We try to make sure we don’t make our clients wait to get their first appointment. We know that early intervention is proven to be highly effective, so our prescribers are available most days of a week.
  • Integrated: All our clinicians work together collaboratively to get clients the best possible care. Communication between all Cognito care professionals happens on a daily basis.
  • Accessible: Clients can book a time most convenient for them and chat from the comfort of their own home.
  • Effective: We’re seeing that the majority of our clients feel better after just 90 days with us.

A lot of our success is driven by our motivation to stay true to this mission.

Can you tell us what inspired the founding of Cognito?

The founding of Cognito is actually rooted in my own personal experience. When I was in engineering school, I experienced anxiety symptoms for the first time in my life and really didn’t know what was happening. If you haven’t experienced those feelings before, it’s stressful and very overwhelming. Through that experience, and the general and financial stress of school, I really struggled to get the care that I needed.

I did visit a family doctor, although they weren’t necessarily equipped to deal with mental health. At that point, I opened up a phone book and called around the city to try and find a counselor or a therapist that was qualified and available, which proved to be extremely difficult. In fact, most of the waitlists were at least three to six months. And, once I finally got an appointment, the sessions were more than $100. That cost is really difficult to navigate, especially as a student. So, as a result of these barriers, my symptoms progressed and worsened.

This situation in my life was my biggest motivation behind Cognito – to prevent people from going through similar experiences due to a lack of solutions and innovations available. We deeply understand the problems of our clients, and they don’t need to suffer the same way I did.

Can you explain or walk through the value add for all sides of the healthcare equation?

The healthcare system today is very reactive. What I mean by that is people typically seek out professional care only once a problem has become severe or they’re facing a mental health crisis. In turn, this care ends up being costly because there are no upstream approaches.

One way a healthcare system might describe Cognito is we’re addressing the root of the problem and giving people the skills they need when their symptoms are mild to moderate, as well as providing them with the tools and education on how to cope with their symptoms on a daily basis. This model, therefore, can prevent people from transitioning into a crisis and/or chronic state and cost the system time, money and resources. We are viewed as an upstream approach. My hope is at some point we can begin to prove this value to governments and other private healthcare systems.

For clients, especially in Canada where the company’s based, there’s very limited solutions available focused on providing the best patient outcomes. What we’re doing for clients is offering them an option that they can afford and that actually works. Additionally, for nurse practitioners, we’re offering jobs that are more flexible and provide a different working environment than traditional hospital settings.

Can you walk us through how Cognito works for both providers and clients?

Instead of clients needing to schedule individual appointments, have medication delivered, or join one-on-one or group therapy sessions, Cognito can be seen as a bundling of services. All the “behind the scenes” work is quite unique. Our team of experts work together, using our collaborative care model, to put each client at the center of what we do. We provide the tools and resources they need for their situation.

We understand mental health is unique to every individual. It’s not a one-size-fits-all.  Instead, we make the best treatment options available to the client and let them decide which one is right for them and their lifestyle.

Can you share a Cognito success story with us?

Absolutely. About a year ago, we had a client who used our services, and at the time, was trying to get into a university. However, they greatly struggled with their mental health and symptoms and lacked the motivation and energy to create a resume and finish the application process. Eventually, they went through our program and left because we gave them the skills to feel better.

Fast forward to a few months later, the client emailed us and shared that they got into their dream university and was starting school soon!

Examples like this are the reason behind what we do.

As Cognito continues, where are some areas where you see the company growing?

First, we plan to continue growing geographically. Down the road, we hope to expand our providers and team in order to address additional mental health conditions.

Finally, we believe our care model can be replicated amongst other sectors including nutrition, exercise, and meditation. There’s no limit for us!

Where can people go to learn more about Cognito? Visit our website at, or they can always call or email us at