The chronic condition management platform, Welldoc, has added a digital behavioral health program to its offerings.
The program was designed to help users develop skills to solve real-world problems in a structured way, Welldoc said in its announcement. It will be available as part of Welldoc’s platform for chronic conditions and population health management.
Users can get assistance in improving their problem-solving capabilities, developing better social skills, getting a better night’s sleep, reducing anxiety and changing their attitude. The program helps users to identify a problem, select a strategy, build an action plan and receive support.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Mental illnesses are relatively common in the United States. Nearly one in five Americans, or 51.5 million people in 2019, have a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
A person’s overall health is heavily dependent on both physical and mental health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mental health conditions, like depression, can increase the risk for physical health problems and vice versa.
Despite its prevalence, there is an unmet need for mental health intervention. More than 23% of adults with a mental illness reported an unmet need for treatment in 2017-2018, according to Mental Health America.
Reviews of telepsychiatry services have found them to be comparable to face-to-face treatment in terms of reliability of clinical assessments and treatment outcomes.
THE LARGER TREND
Welldoc’s platform already offers digital health solutions for diabetes, hypertension, heart failure and diabetes prevention.
Just this summer, its BlueStar chronic disease-management tool picked up its eighth 510(k) FDA clearance that allows it to support adult Type 2 diabetes patients using long-acting basal insulin.
Heavy hitters in the space include Talkspace, which recently broadened its therapy offerings by acquiring the couples-counseling tool Lasting for an undisclosed sum. Both Headspace and Mindstrong recently raised over $100 million in their respective Series C funding rounds.
Some experts are concerned, however, that many digital mental health companies are bringing products to market without clinical pilots to demonstrate that their solutions work.
ON THE RECORD
“By applying our extensive experience modifying behaviors for large populations of users that are self-managing chronic conditions, we are adding a level of clinical rigor to our program not often found in today’s digital health solutions,” said Keith Reynolds, chief operating officer at Welldoc, in a statement.
“Expanding our digital health platform to include behavioral health will undoubtedly add value for our partners who are looking for comprehensive population health solutions that address chronic conditions, either as a private-label product or under the Welldoc name. With [COVID-19] creating new challenges for healthcare providers and payors, now more than ever our clients and members need the support of our single platform for holistic chronic condition management.”