Words have power. Today, with the advancements in technology, words can play an important role in your health by helping you and those who care for you better understand and manage your levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Gaining insights around your emotional health is now as easy as monitoring your heart rate, measuring your blood sugar, or tracking whether you're getting enough sleep.
Technology now enables a real-time assessment of your stress, anxiety and depression - anywhere and at any time - advancing clinical care coordination and eliminating gaps in care. This transforms the personal journey of ourselves and our loved ones. By empowering clinicians and payers with real-time mental health assessments during and in between care appointments, they are able to efficiently provide the right level of care at the right time. This allows care teams to identify early signs of mental health conditions, easily monitor how treatments are working, and be alerted if a person is in need of intervention - avoiding the devastating ripple effects of untreated mental health and crisis events.
Addressed the growing need for scalable solutions
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to surge and new variants on the rise, people are looking for resources to help better understand and manage the severity of their stress, anxiety and depression. So much so that The American Psychological Association’s 2021 research found that psychologists reported the greatest increases in treating anxiety disorders (84%, up from 74%), depressive disorders (72%, up from 60%), and trauma (and stress) related disorders (62%, up from 50%). Given the increased demand for mental health services, it is no surprise that psychologists also reported increased workloads, longer waitlists, and low capacity for taking on new patients. In terms of overall number of patients, 43% of psychologists reported an increase this year, with 41% reported being unable to meet demand for treatment (up from 30% in 2020).
Our co-founder and CEO, Mainul Mondal, expanded on the importance of digital health tools for the growing problem of access to mental healthcare in a recent Forbes article. He stated “Digital tools also have the potential to be used more widely to address the severe shortage of mental health providers in the U.S. Estimates project a shortage of between 14,280 and 31,091 psychiatrists by 2024. The imbalance between the supply and demand of mental health providers has created severe access problems for both insured and uninsured people.” This shift in mindset, focusing on expanding access to those who need it most, is what has guided our team throughout 2021.
Expanded globally with Cigna International
We were also able to increase our reach and impact with a global footprint in partnership with Cigna International by powering the Cigna StressWaves Test - an online tool that analyzes voice patterns to evaluate stress levels. The StressWaves Test identifies a user's stress level and provides them their level along with a portrait that visualizes the effect of stress on one’s body and mind.
Launched commercial and clinical partnerships
In the last year, we’ve launched four new IRB (Institutional Review Board)-validated studies with large academic institutions and healthcare organizations to further validate our technology and clinical efficacy. And, in addition to deploying globally with Cigna International, we also went live with a large digital healthcare platform, a national call center, and a skilled nursing healthcare system. We are now used coast to coast in the United States and in twelve countries. In the first quarter of the new year, we will also be expanding with a national payer. We are excited about these partnerships and their initial results and we look forward to sharing more on their clinical impact in the months ahead.
Showcased the opportunity and impact
Our diverse executive team led by Mainul Mondal, co-founder and CEO, Susan Solinsky, co-founder, chief growth officer, and Dr. Mike Aratow, MD, co-founder and chief medical officer, took on leading industry events like HLTH and HIMSS21 to provide thought leadership around barriers to care and how Ellipsis Health’s technology can help move us toward a happier and healthier world. For example, Mondal presented “Democratizing Emotional Health One Voice at a Time: Using AI to Detect the Severity of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms Through Speech'' at the Ai4 Healthcare Summit and spoke on “Eliminating Bias in AI for Healthcare” at HIMSS21. Solinsky spoke at Shatter Summit “The AI Frontier: How Female Founder's Diverse Perspectives Are Creating More Creative Solutions for Better Health,” and for HITLAB’s “Digital Interventions in Healthcare.” Dr. Aratow spoke about the “The Changing Role of Data in Mental Health” at HITLAB’s Healthcare Informatics and Technology: Applications and Informatics Summit and he was featured on ABC, San Francisco for the role Ellipsis Health is playing in making “A Greater Bay Area” by using voice to advance mental health care.
Closed our Series A with $26 million
We announced $26 million in Series A funding in late August to continue our commitment in pioneering a new clinical standard in mental health care. With the funding, we’ve made strategic hires and continued to empower people to take control of their mental health and support clinicians managing surging patient volumes. The investment round was led by SJF Ventures with participation from AblePartners, Akhil Paul at Caparo Group, Alumni Ventures, Divesh Makan, Gaingels, Gary Loveman, Generator Ventures, Greycroft, Helmy Eltoukhy, Joanne Bradford, Khosla Ventures, Luminous Ventures, Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures, Richard Socher, Ricardo Villela Marino, SpringTide Ventures, and What If Ventures.
Awarded Champion of the Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge and more…
Coming off the heels of the funding news, we were named Champion of the 2021 Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge in September. The challenge supports finding innovative approaches and solutions to help create better healthcare access, experiences and ultimately outcomes for all people. The awards were presented after a round of pitches and judging in a virtual event. The judging panel included executives from globally recognized health and venture capital companies, providing the eight finalists with exposure and access to industry-leading experience to help bring their ideas to market.
In addition, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) named us a Quarterfinalist for the “New Health Application for AI” competition. And, we were honored to be selected as one of 3 companies to present at the Provider Health Innovation Roundtable (PHIR) Fall 2021 Mental Health Mini Deep Dive. The opportunity to share our vision for pioneering a new standard in mental health care to PHIR members was another important milestone.
Looking ahead to 2022 and our commitment to a healthier future
There has never been a more important time than now to come together. We’re grateful to the community of innovators and leaders who have joined us in responding to the needs in mental health care. We are inspired by the growing ecosystem of mental health care pioneers working to create a healthier future. The rise in mental health care needs around the world continues to demonstrate the importance of our technology and supportive tools that are helping care providers close health screening gaps with objective and scalable solutions. Digital health tools, like ours, are well-positioned to improve access to quality care and improved outcomes while enabling efficiencies for providers and payers.
In the year ahead, our passionate team will continue to address the growing need for accessible, quality mental health care by continuing our partnerships with payers, care providers and digital health platforms to improve behavioral health screening, longitudinal monitoring, and treatment efficacy. And, we will accept every opportunity to dismantle the stigmas around behavioral health as we work to establish a new standard of mental health care.