Penn Cobalt

Penn Cobalt·Responsive Web Application

Providing Mental Health Support for Healthcare Workers.

Penn Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Center for Health Care Innovation recognized the need for mental health support for front line healthcare workers struggling with the emotional demands of the COVID-19 crisis. Having worked on multiple projects with the Center for Health Care and Innovation, Penn contacted us to help them design and build a platform with which employees can access mental health resources and counseling quickly, safely, and sometimes anonymously.

Cobalt mobile web application screenshots showing a sign in screen, home screen, and an example of an on your time resource.

A Personal Experience

Working with the team at Penn, we designed a platform to allow users to get personalized recommendations for everything from mindfulness exercises to consultations with different levels of mental healthcare professionals. After completing a brief survey, Penn employees are triaged to the right level of support and can schedule a one-on-one video conference with a healthcare provider right from the Cobalt site. If anonymity is a concern, users can log in without submitting any personal information and still be able to book a session.

Cobalt mobile web application screenshots showing on your time content with personalization options, an example of an article detail, and in the studio content.

Connecting At-Risk Users with Critical Resources

We built the Cobalt platform around traditional mental health assessments – including GAD-7 and PHQ-9 evaluations – to identify users that are at highest risk of self-harm, and provide them with care as fast as possible. Using Cobalt’s embedded telehealth functionality, these patients can receive HIPAA-compliant mental healthcare at a safe distance.

Cobalt mobile web application screenshots showing an assessment.

Mobile First

Because of the demands the COVID-19 crisis has placed on healthcare workers, we designed Cobalt as a mobile-first experience to provide support to on-the-go Penn staff whenever they need it. Users can easily customize their content, schedule one-on-one sessions, and meet with providers all from their mobile devices.

Cobalt desktop application for adding and managing content.

Expanding Tools for Providers and Content Managers

Since launching Cobalt we’ve continued to make improvements to the platform, including expanding the feature set to include a rich set of tools for “back end” users. We are working with the team at Penn to build an experience for providers to manage their sessions and patients by connecting with scheduling and EHR systems. These tools would make it possible for providers to proactively manage their patient care by regularly sending out assessments and tracking results.

We’re expanding the platform to other healthcare networks and providing support for these networks to add and manage their own content within the platform. The Cobalt CMS allows these all users to submit content and group sessions to the platform to be reviewed and published by administrators.

We’re excited to launch these new features and witness the growth of Cobalt as a platform.


Cobalt launched for patients in May of 2020 and we’ve heard tremendous things from their community. In just the first six months we’ve registered over unique 10,000 users and helped them book 700 one-on-one consultations scheduled through the platform. In addition to that, we’ve helped Penn identify over 100 high-risk individuals to connect them with critical resources.

We look forward to the future of Cobalt, including incorporating provider and administrative functionality, and expanding the Cobalt platform to other health care networks.

This team very quickly became an extension of our own. They are thoughtful, responsive, and incredibly dedicated to the work they do. It is so rare to find a group that thinks across the design and development spectrum, and since they have so much experience working together, the end result is effective and effortless. We are truly thankful that we were introduced to Transmogrify and could not recommend them more highly.

Kelley Kugler, MSc | COBALT lead and innovation manager at the Center for Health Care Innovation, Penn Cobalt

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