Basis, an app-based platform that connects consumers with mental health counselors, announced the launch of its service alongside a $3.75 million funding round. The investment was led by Bedrock, with support from Wave Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Headlined by CEO Andrew Chapin, a former Uber executive, and Chief Science Officer Lindsay Trent, a clinical psychologist at Stanford, Basis offers consumers voice or video sessions with mental health specialists for $35 per 45-minute session. Sessions are initiated directly through the mobile app or Basis’ website after users sign up and complete a basic questionnaire, and each is completely confidential.
What’s the impact
Of note, Basis’ specialists are not licensed clinicians but paraprofessionals who receive “extensive training developed by Stanford psychologists in research-back approaches,” according to the company. This approach allows Basis to offer the sessions for less.
“Finding a clinician who provides best practices according to research and implements all of the components correctly is incredibly difficult,” Trent said in a statement. “Over the past decade, my research focused on efforts to bridge the gap between science and practice. Sadly, traditional dissemination strategies produced dismal results, and it became clear that an innovative solution was desperately needed. The Basis model, on the other hand, dramatically reduces cost without sacrificing outcomes. We’re delivering an evidence-based approach in a super convenient experience that actually fits into the lives of people who need it.”
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, almost one in five US adults were living with a mental illness 2016, but only 43.1 percent had received mental health treatment within the previous year. Basis is looking to stem that gap in care delivery with by offering low-cost, easy-to-access, anonymous psychological care provided directly to the patient.
What’s the trend
Mental health apps and digital tools have been around for the past decade, albeit in various forms and levels of success. Some of the bigger names in coaching and appointment-based apps such as Big Health and AbleTo have specifically targeted the employer or payer markets with their offerings, for instance. However Lantern, which initially began with a consumer-focused model for its cognitive behavioral therapy offering, recently announced that it was closing its doors after attempting to target additional customer bases.