DarioHealth expands mental health foothold with wayForward acquisition

DarioHealth has made a number of M&As over the last year, boosting its services.
By Laura Lovett
12:06 pm
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Photo Credit: FG Trade/Getty Images

Chronic care management company DarioHealth scooped up digital mental health company wayForward for $30 million.

While DarioHealth got its start in diabetes management, it has quickly been expanding its chronic care coverage to include mental health, hypertension and other conditions.

As part of the acquisition, DarioHealth will be purchasing the creator of wayForward, PsyInnovations. The platform includes an artificial intelligence triage and screening tool that can help members find specific interventions. Patients are able to tap into cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), self-directed care, expert coaching, and have access to in-person and telehealth provider visits.

The platform is positioned as a way to tackle the shortage of mental health professionals who supply mental health care to patients on demand. According to the announcement, the tool was designed to match users to the best level of care for them, which includes those who don't need to work with a licensed clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.

WHY IT MATTERS

There is a shortage of mental health professionals in the U.S. According to Kaiser Family Fund data, only 26.9% of the need for mental health professionals in the U.S. is met.

The coronavirus pandemic has only heightened the need for mental healthcare. According to a report published by the KFF, about four in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic.

Innovators are looking to use technology to help close the gap in care and scale access.

THE LARGER TREND

DarioHealth is one of the veteran companies in the digital health field. Founded in 2011, it got its start with glucose monitoring technologies.

DarioHealth has been looking at expanding its scope within the last few years. In April of 2020, the company partnered with MediOrbis' MySpecialistMD network to bring telemedicine to its mobile disease-management platform.

In January, the company bought, for roughly $30 million, Upright Technologies, a musculoskeletal (MSK) health company that specializes in connected posture-correction devices and digital coaching.

This isn't the first time that DarioHealth has dipped into mental healthcare. In May of 2020, the company announced that it had expanded its offerings to include behavioral health coaching for stress, anxiety and loneliness.

ON THE RECORD

"Dario is a strong, flexible AI-driven platform that allows for new offerings to be seamlessly added to our open architecture. Over the last year, we have consistently stated our desire to provide a suite of best-in-class solutions for multiple chronic conditions on one platform, including behavioral health as a top priority.

"We are excited to deliver on our stated goals. We believe the wayForward offering and management team will be great, synergistic additions to our technology foundation," DarioHealth CEO Erez Raphael said in a statement.

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