Sentio, a behavioral health startup offering an emotion-sensing wearable and a connected support app, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding. The round was led by Felicis Ventures, with additional support from Anthemis Exponential Ventures and SOSV, and brings the company’s total raise to $6.3 million.
WHAT THEY DO
Sentio’s Feel platform is headlined by the Feel Emotion Sensor, a wristband that monitors physiological signals such as heart rate, skin temperature and galvanic skin response. These readings are fed into a proprietary algorithm that the company says will allow the platform to recognize the wearer’s emotional patterns. From there, a connected companion app responds with personalized cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) interventions and education specific to the user’s mood.
“For decades, healthcare providers have been able to use objective data to measure and track all types of physical disorders, yet there has been no such solution for mental health to improve clinical effectiveness. Historically, mental healthcare is only provided at the therapist’s office during periodic check-ins and has relied on patient questionnaires,” George Eleftheriou, cofounder and CEO of Sentio, said in a statement. “We envision a world where technology understands when someone is going through a depressive phase or panic attack, and provides support in their time of need so no one has to suffer alone ever again.”
WHAT IT’S FOR
This announcement also marks the launch of the Feel platform, which Sentio is positioning as a service for payer, employer and health system partners. The startup noted that the investment will help drive these partnerships.
Sentio’s platform has no shortage of competition within the digital behavioral health space. Just a few weeks ago Meru Health augmented its own mental health platform with an on-ear wearable that tracks heart rate variability to guide breathing practices. Earlier summer also saw the launch of UpLift Health’s CBT app for depression, while Big Health kicked off the year with a CBT anxiety app called Daylight.
ON THE RECORD
“The current wave of digital mental health apps has improved access to meditation and sleep support but innovation in the treatment of medical conditions including anxiety and depression has been limited,” Victoria Treyger, general partner at Felicis Ventures, said in a statement. “Feel is exciting because it is the first application of technology to dramatically increase access to mental health treatment for depression or anxiety. Both employers and insurers have been craving a solution like this to help tackle the mental health crisis that impacts job performance, morale, and overall well-being.”