Akili Interactive, a startup that has developed a video game to help treat attention-deficit disorders in kids, has agreed to go public through a merger with one of Chamath Palihapitiya’s blank-check companies.
The deal, which confirms a Bloomberg News report, values the combined entity at about $1 billion, Akili and Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp. I said in a statement seen by Bloomberg. It will provide as much as $412 million in gross cash proceeds, the companies said. [Read more…] about Digital therapeutics pioneer Akili Interactive plans to go public in mid-2022 at a $1B valuation
Brain/ Mental Health
Although medication treatment for ADHD has been shown to significantly reduce core ADHD symptoms in hundreds of studies, important concerns remain about it being prescribed inappropriately to children and teens who do not have ADHD. There is also evidence that many youth with ADHD who could potentially benefit from medication treatment do not receive it, and may realize poorer outcomes in as a result. [Read more…] about Are ADHD medications overprescribed or underprescribed? (Quick answer: both)
Six months after the $3 billion merger with Ginger, Headspace Health acquired Sayana, an AI-driven mental health and wellness company.
Sayana will expand Headspace Health’s ability to provide personalized self-care content to its 100 million users, executives said … Headspace leverages AI to power a significant percentage of the care the company delivers, [Russell Glass, CEO, Headspace Health] said during the JPM conference, including using natural language processing to extract information from the chats, to summarize coach notes and care information and to monitor for suicidality … [Read more…] about Headspace Health acquires AI-driven digital mental health start-up Sayana
Until recently, mental health was a relative blip on the radar of venture capitalists. But over the past few years, and particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, private investors have made a dramatic run for this space, pouring $3.1 billion into mental health ventures by the third quarter of 2021 alone, according to Rock Health, a seed fund that supports startups working in digital health. That represents a third of all digital health funding for 2021, more than 7 times the amount of funding placed in such ventures in 2015. [Read more…] about APA: With digital mental health going mainstream, will/ should psychologists be able to “prescribe” interventions?
In the past year, school districts in California and elsewhere have contracted with digital surveillance companies to spy on students at school and home, citing the need for mental health support during the pandemic.
Despite being a vigilant and involved parent, I found out only recently that my own kids, who attend high school in the Corona-Norco Unified School District, have been under constant digital surveillance for the past year. [Read more…] about On schools, mental health, digital surveillance, student privacy and parental input
The percentage of older Americans reporting serious problems with memory and thinking has declined in recent years — and higher education levels may be part of the reason, a new study finds. [Read more…] about Study: Education and lifestyle helped over a million older Americans avoid serious cognitive problems in 2017