4-in-10 adults in the U.S. reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder through 2020, according to a 2021 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

That’s a four-hundred-percent increase from the one-in-ten adults who reported these symptoms a year earlier.

This surge in anxiety and depressive symptoms amounts to a mental health pandemic that will force a transformation in the way we deliver behavioral and physical health care in this country.  

Taxing A System Already Beyond Capacity

This four-fold increase in the need for mental and behavioral healthcare puts a stress on a healthcare system already taxed beyond its capacity to deliver face-to-face care.

Before Covid, more than half of all adults diagnosed with a mental illness received no treatment, and the nation had one mental health provider available for every 504 people (source).

In a recent OpEd on the Health Care Blog, Tomer Ben-Kiki, the CEO of Happify Health wrote, “these are gaps we can only fill with innovative new therapeutics delivered to people digitally," through new digital health care delivery models.

Integrating digital therapeutics can redefine the member experience. Read our  guide to see how! →

Defining Digital Health

If you asked 10 investors what digital health care is, you might get 10 different answers.

In the last 18-months investments in the digital health sector have exploded. According to Bloomberg, $31.6 billion was invested in dozens of digital health startups in the first quarter of 2021. That follows a record-breaking year of investment in the digital health sector in 2020.

At Happify Health, we’ve been one of the benefactors of this investment boom. In the first quarter of 2021, we received $73 million to grow our business and expand our brand of digital health – a intelligent, AI-guided platform that delivers a library of multimodal, digital therapeutics.

AI, Personalization & Engagement

The secret in healthcare (that isn’t really a secret) is that the mind and body are actually a single connected system. Unfortunately, today, the healthcare industry still struggles to care for them in a connected way.  

The fact is that the most effective way to treat a patient's mind and body together is to build them a personalized plan for their care.

Unfortunately, a doctor with 500+ patients in her panel can’t personalize patient care at scale. At least not without help.

This is one of the key aspirations for digital health: An AI that can help doctors close the gap between the mind and the body to deliver more personalized, holistic, and preventative care.

The role AI can play in digital health platforms

The ways in which AI is being leveraged are innumerable. For example, Happify Health, holds the patent for an “Adherence Fidelity” AI algorithm that we use in our platform.

The way our "Adherence Fidelity" AI works is that during a conversational health intervention, the AI uses psychological cues to detect when a person is starting to slip away from an activity they’re supposed to complete.

If the AI detects a slip, it gently guides the person back to being more adherent with their prescribed activity.  It’s effectively a digital way to help you stay on track with your prescribed therapy.

Expanding Multimodal Therapeutics

Multimodal therapeutics help to personalize someone’s care journey to the way they learn. Multimodal simply means you're going to use more than one type of therapy to address a problem.

At Happify Health we use our AI to help us deliver a combination of therapeutics that include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and positive psychological interventions (PPIs).

This multimodal approach makes it easier for us to treat people in a personalized way that’s best suited to their individual needs.

Having more than one behavior change modality present means our AI can learn which approach best fits the way a person learns, and deliver more care through that modality. Ultimately, this makes it easier to keep a person engaged in their digital care journey. 

Do Digital Therapeutics Work?

There are many different approaches in the market. At Happify Health, our approach to Digital Therapeutics has demonstrated its effectiveness in randomized-controlled-trials (RCTs) and real-world data (RWD) studies.  

Just one example is of an observational RWD study Happify Health published in January 2020, on the effects that our digital interventions had on people with behavioral health disorders, in addition to chronic health conditions.

In this RWD, the more people used Happify Health’s digital therapeutic, the more their well-being scores improved. And, there’s well documented research showing that people with higher well-being also report reductions in perceived pain levels.

Study Results: You can read the full report here

RWD Study Results 

The results of studies like these demonstrate the massive potential for digital care to effectively address massive increases in demand for all forms of health care that can’t be serviced by human clinicians alone.

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