Muhammad Sair Khan
Big Investments in Mental Health
Tech start-ups have rapidly changed the landscape of many industries and now, many investors are looking to do the same in health care. Not only are they investing money, they are looking to improve the way care is delivered. This includes behavioral health and addiction treatment services.
The focus on investments in this industry reflects new attitudes toward substance abuse and mental health disorders. As these services are more commonly talked about in the media, workplace, etc., more people are viewing mental health treatment as normal and healthy, lifting the stigma surrounding these conditions.
Investors are recognizing the huge need for more effective services and supporting companies as they develop new technologies to change health care delivery. Some of the emerging technologies include:
Quartet, which has received over $40 million in investments, uses advanced algorithms to help identify health plan members who may be at-risk for behavioral health conditions, such as those with chronic conditions. Once members are identified, Quartet helps the physician connect with mental health professionals in the area and create a care plan for that patient.
Regroup specializes in providing secure telehealth connections between patients and psychiatrists or psychologists. They have received more than $6 million in funding to help connect physicians to patients in the corrections system, tribal communities, and rural primary care offices. Their goal is to ensure that more patients have greater access to behavioral health care.
Akili takes a totally new approach to therapy through video games. The company, which calls itself a prescription digital medicine company, has received a whopping $55 million in investments to develop clinically validated video games. These games help physicians perform cognitive and personality assessments. They also are developing games to be used as treatment for ADHD and autism. The company is seeking FDA approval as a medical device.
Dozens of other technologies are under development to identify patients in need, monitor patients, and even provide cognitive behavioral therapy via a prescription phone app. Unfortunately, many start-ups will fail quickly after development. But the lessons learned from their efforts could still help shape the future of behavioral health care.
These technologies are mostly untested and unstudied. While your facility may choose to explore these technologies and maybe even adopt a few, they are not currently necessary to meet regulations and satisfy meaningful use guidelines. You can find many less expensive (and sometimes even free) options for tracking patient outcomes, managing billing, and even conducting telemedicine visits.
The billing experts at Datapro offer software for tracking and reporting revenue. We work with many behavioral health facilities, making sure they consistently meet regulations and continually maximize revenue. Contact us today to learn more about our software and services