Behavioral health prediction and care pathway recommendation company Ontrak has acquired LifeDojo, a behavioral health-change platform for employers.
LifeDojo’s platform takes a member-centric approach to behavior change to improve health outcomes. It combines personalized coaching with mobile applications to help employees form healthy habits like getting more sleep, being active, healthy eating and disease management.
The Ontrak platform uses artificial intelligence to predict people whose chronic disease could improve with behavior changes. It then can recommend care pathways to improve their health, while engaging with people along the way. The idea is that Ontrak can find people with unaddressed behavioral health needs that could lead to chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease.
Ontrak says it can generate cost savings of up to 50% for its members by helping people change their behaviors.
Chris Cutter, cofounder and CEO of LifeDojo, and Patricia Bedard, cofounder and CTO of LifeDojo, have joined the Ontrak leadership team through the acquisition. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
WHY THIS MATTERS
By adding LifeDojo’s technology-enabled platform to its portfolio, Ontrak hopes to reach new and existing customers with the addition of digital tools that can lead to better health outcomes and lower associated costs.
Especially now during the pandemic Americans are struggling with mental and behavioral health conditions because of the mental challenges related to the spread of the virus and the impacts of social isolation orders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
During late June, more than 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use, according to a CDC survey. Specifically, 31% struggled with anxiety or depression symptoms, 26% had trauma-related symptoms, 13% started or increased substance use, and 11% seriously considered suicide.
THE LARGER TREND
With the increase in need for mental health services, paired with the lack of access to in-person resources, the pandemic has resulted in a bountiful number of digital mental health services.
Just to name a few, Lyra Health wrapped up a $110 million Series D funding round for its digital behavioral health benefits platform in August and digital mental health company Cerebral announced its Series A funding round worth $35 million in October.
Although the evidence of these types of digital mental health services has historically been lacking, a recent study in JMIR found that digital cognitive behavioral therapy and one-on-one therapist counseling through the Vida Health app resulted in reduced rates of anxiety and depression during the program and for months after.
ON THE RECORD
“As a public company and leader in virtualized healthcare, Ontrak is uniquely positioned to attract companies, products and technologies that expand our value proposition and footprint with health plan and employer partners,” said Terren Peizer, the CEO and chairman of Ontrak, in a statement.
“We will endeavor to make additional strategic purchases that expand our addressable market and maximize customer value. LifeDojo and these other intended acquisitions can possibly expand our total addressable $33.7 billion market by up to 100%.”