WellBrain, a Bay Area meditation-focused addiction prevention and chronic pain management platform, announced yesterday that it has acquired Mevoked, a behavioral analytics platform that currently offers a digital program for management of perinatal and postpartum mental health conditions. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Inspired by the meditation practices of Tibetian monks, WellBrain’s mindful meditation platform aims to prevent painkiller addiction by helping providers assess any mental illnesses or conditions that could lead to addiction down the line. Based on the assessment, the software can be used to assign patients a customized pain management program. Patients interact with the platform using an iPad and single lead EEG headset provided to them by their physician. This physician, meanwhile, can view data collected during sessions for additional insights.
“We have about 30,000 patients across the country, in 18 states, using it, and as we get more patient data we’re learning a lot about what will work for each type of patient,” Dr. Ruben Kalra, cofounder and chief medical officer of WellBrain, told MobiHealthNews. “We’re able to optimize the program using machine learning, and eventually artificial intelligence, to help create the best program to help patients manage pain and try to avoid opiates.”
While the core of Mevoked’s business is a behavioral analytics program incorporating online and mobile data into mental health insights, the company’s business is largely centered around its perinatal and postpartum offering. By collecting day-to-day data, the company’s software provides managing physicians with a clearer look at digital habits that may correlate with depression or anxiety. Simultaneously, the platform uses these data to deliver reminders or behavioral suggestions to patients that serve as mental health interventions.
“We’ve known the [Mevoked] team for a long time and we’ve talked about synergies,” Kalra said. “The opportunity presented itself where they felt we would be the best candidate to help promote targeting the ‘peri-partum’ market, because post-partum depression is seriously under addressed and it leads to a lot of negative issues with mothers and babies.”
While expanding their mental wellness platform to mothers is a fairly clear-cut business opportunity for WellBrain, Kalra noted a number of advantages Mevoked’s analytics platform could offer his company as well.
“For WellBrain, I think we’re excited about their patent-pending technology, where we can integrate their technology so we would know, essentially, what patients are doing at home,” Kalra said. “Let’s say we know a patient has been on their phone the entire evening. We’d be able to automate and send them a customized sleep meditation for them to help get to sleep … or a ping to help them get some kind of exercise, and even integrate providers [to warn that patients] haven’t left the house in several days and there’s a concern of significant depression.”
Outside of the acquisition, Kalra hinted at the upcoming release of a mobile version of the company’s platform releasing sometime in the coming months. He also noted that WellBrain’s unorthodox approach to evidence-based pain relief has been gaining steam as the US looks to reduce its dependency on opioid painkillers — not only among individual practices, but at larger hospitals as well.
“Often physicians have been blamed for the opioid epidemic,” Kalra said. “You know, this company was founded by three physicians, and I think it’s exciting, at least from my standpoint, that physicians are trying to lead the charge to solve the opioid epidemic. … We’re all proud of the fact that we’re trying to make a positive difference.”