Funding for startups targeting emotional well-being on the rise
- Technology is offering alternative ways of handling emotional health issues, and the startups that are making it happen are attracting the funding needed to succeed in the markets, CB Insights reports. Funding for startups focusing on depression, anxiety, PTSD, autism, Schizophrenia, dementia and substance abuse have risen substantially since 2013, from $20 million to $200 million in 2016. At the end of last month, funding was at $92 million, but could nearly double to $159 by the end of the fourth quarter, says CB Insights.
- These startups are helping users take charge of their emotional well-being through chatbots, apps and care platforms such as telemedicine. According to CB Insights, users have access to therapists, can track their progress and make decisions about their care via mobile.
- Prominent industry names include Sync Project, which is using artificial intelligence for music therapy programs to reduce stress and anxiety; Simple Habit, which offers a mobile app featuring five-minute meditation sessions; Shine, which sends text messages for building emotional strength and confidence; and Workit Health, a digital program for opioid addiction.
Technology is improving millions of lives, so its entry into the emotional health arena, with cutting-edge platforms and tracking capabilities, is a natural progression in healthcare.
Employers are expanding their wellness programs to include emotional and financial well-being. Mental health has been in the shadow of healthcare for some time and although many emotional disorders require intensive therapies, financial worries are a leading distraction among American workers. But helping employees overcome their mental health struggles can lead to big cost savings down the line, as they tend to underpin other tough health issues.
The tool addressing opioid addiction could be a particularly useful one for employers, as various reports share that employers are increasingly reporting that the skills gap isn't their largest barrier to hiring, but a drug-addicted applicant pool.