Ieso Digital Health gets $24M for AI-optimized online therapy

By Jonah Comstock
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Ieso Digital Health, a Cambridge, UK-based digital behavioral health company, has raised $24 million in a new round of funding led by European VC firms Draper Esprit and Touchstone Innovations.

The company offers cognitive behavioral therapy via text-based messaging that takes place in a secure virtual room. Ieso collects data from sessions and uses machine learning to continue training its therapists in best practices.

“This financing is a great vote of confidence in Ieso’s ability to become a global leader in mental health delivery and our technology which lies at the intersection of online evidence-based CBT, dynamic artificial intelligence learning, real time therapist support, and mobile accessibility, ultimately creating high quality, accessible CBT therapy,” Dan Clark, Ieso’s CEO, said in a statement. “Up to 60 percent of people in the US alone have unmet behavioral health needs. This presents a major opportunity for Ieso to make a radical impact on healthcare outcomes and costs. With our technology and clinical data science we are simultaneously improving patient outcomes and reducing costs to the healthcare system.”

Ieso offers its services directly in some markets, but also works with health plans and employers. The company will use the funding to expand and scale its technology in the US and UK.

The company’s methodology was validated in a 2009 study in The Lancet. The study did show that online CBT improved depression recovery rates, but notably the intervention group received that therapy in addition to their regular care.

“Because of its focus on clinical results, Ieso has been at the forefront of the clear and long overdue movement from volume to value based reimbursement,” continued Clark. “Put simply, unlike the existing subscriber-based services, Ieso only does well, if the patient does well.”

Behavioral health is a hot topic for digital health these days, and a number of companies in the space have received large funding rounds in the space just recently.

Behavioral health technology company AbleTo secured $36.6 million in a round led by Bain Capital Ventures last month. Talkspace, another online therapy company, raised $31 million last week in a round led by Qumra Capital.