Yesterday morning, Ginger announced that it acquired fellow digital mental-wellness company LiveBetter's technology assets.
LiveBetter has focused on bringing virtual mental health tools to smartphone users for free. Meanwhile Ginger focuses on providing digital mental health services including behavior-health coaching, video therapy, tele-psychiatry visits and other self-guided content. It specifically targets those dealing with anxiety and depression. The platform offers human-to-human support as well as technology-enabled insights.
"Over the past five years, LiveBetter has reached thousands of people around the world through our interactive, conversational app experience paired with engaging, evidence-based activities," Mike Nolet, founder of LiveBetter said in a Medium post announcing the deal. "Our research has proven that the use of LiveBetter can decrease stress, boost confidence and support people with challenges including anxiety, stress and self-confidence. And most importantly, unlike many other mental health technologies, our service is entirely free."
LiveBetter also announced that it is now transferring to a nonprofit from a for-profit organization. After the purchase, Ginger is granting LiveBetter a perpetual license, which will enable it to operate the app for free.
WHY IT MATTERS
As part of the deal, Ginger will be able to integrate LiveBetter's technology into its member-based behavioral-health platform.
"Our research has shown that pairing real people with our technology delivers the best results," Nolet wrote. "And with this, we feel that bringing together our technology with Ginger's existing platform and team of providers will help maximize the positive impact they are already having on their customer base."
THE LARGER TREND
There is no shortage of digital mental-health tools on the market today. There are also plenty of venture dollars pouring into the space. Rock Health reported that through the third quarter of 2019 digital mental-health companies had raised $416 million. Some of the big names industry include Talkspace, Meru and Ieso.
But it hasn't been all smoothing sailing for these tools. Last year Nature Digital Medicine published a study that found a majority of the apps studied do not provide evidence or peer-reviewed studies to back up their products.
ON THE RECORD
"Not only will our technology now extend to Ginger's growing customer base around the world, we can also focus our energy on what we are passionate about – figuring out a way to reach those that are being left behind," Nolet wrote in the blog.