Meditation app Headspace this morning announced plans to merge with on-demand mental health service Ginger. Barring unforeseen regulatory roadblocks, the two companies will combine to form Headspace Health. The new organization would sport a combined value of $3 billion and a headcount of more than 800.
The merger comes during accelerated usage of both parties, as a seemingly endless pandemic has put a strain on mental health across the globe and many have turned to virtual solutions to address the growing problem. [Read more…] about Headspace and Ginger merge to expand and scale up digital mental health
Technology & Innovation
A competitor to Elon Musk’s Neuralink said it raised $20 million, enough to get it on track to introduce a new generation of powerful and tiny electrodes to the human brain.
Paradromics Inc., founded in 2015 about a year ahead of Neuralink, is building brain-computer interfaces that could help people with disorders ranging from paralysis to speech impediments. [Read more…] about Neurotech start-up Paradromics raises $20M to address brain-related disorders via next-gen brain-computer interfaces
MedRhythms secured $25 million in Series B funding to advance its digital therapy platform aimed at measuring and improving someone’s ability to walk after they have experienced a neurologic injury or disease … Company co-founder and CEO Brian Harris was a neurologic music fellow at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, treating people with stroke and brain deficits with music. He began getting questions from patients and families on how they could access similar care outside of the hospital. Not seeing a suitable alternative, he started MedRhythms with entrepreneur Owen McCarthy in 2016. [Read more…] about Integrating music, movement and stroke rehabilitation, MedRhythms raises $25M to develop and commercialize digital therapeutic
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring nine scientific reports and industry developments to help promote lifelong brain health.
#1. A must-read, and must-practice: Promote brain plasticity and keep your mind at ease by taking your daily “exercise pill”
#2. If cognitive stimulation came in a pill it’d be worth a quadrillion, give or take a few trillions: Study finds that cognitive activity in old age may delay the onset of dementia by 5 years
#3. “A young child with low cognitive control is also more likely to develop anxiety later on in childhood, while one with a higher capacity will be more resilient to stress. Raising cognitive control could both treat anxiety in young children and potentially prevent it from becoming worse over time” — Helping young brains fight off anxiety by training and raising cognitive control
“In a national survey last fall, 36% of adults in the U.S. – including 61% of young adults – reported feeling “serious loneliness” during the pandemic. Statistics like these suggest people would be itching to hit the social scene. But if the idea of making small talk at a crowded happy hour sounds terrifying to you, you’re not alone. Nearly half of Americans reported feeling uneasy about returning to in-person interaction regardless of vaccination status.”
“The stress of the pandemic has made an existing mental health crisis even more alarming. We’re seeing this firsthand in adolescents in classrooms across the country and in adults who are reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression at a rate four times pre-pandemic levels” — Ian Chiu, Managing Director at Owl Ventures
“The study demonstrates for the first time the beneficial neurobehavioral effect of a single NFB session in adult ADHD, and reinforces the notion that Event-related potentials (ERPs) could serve as useful diagnostic/prognostic markers of executive dysfunction.”
“Currently, early diagnosis of high-risk CP offers the opportunity for early intervention at a critical developmental plasticity window. The earlier we intervene, the better the outcome is.”
“Support for mental health has needed improvement for many years in the UK. The pathways for accessing services are convoluted, waiting lists are extensive, and outcomes are poor over the long term … Coming up with new ways to maintain good mental health, in a preventative way, will be as essential as providing tools for acute care and we believe technology has a significant role to play.” — Dr Peter Bloomfield, FCC’s head of Policy and Research
Wishing you a happy and healthy month of August,
The SharpBrains Team
NB: Please remember that, if you’re looking for some fun and varied cognitive exercise, you can always try these 25 Brain Teasers, Puzzles & Games that SharpBrains readers have enjoyed the most.
Riverside completes add-on investment to Wondr Health Platform (Private Equity Wire):
The Riverside Company, a global private investor focused on the smaller end of the middle market, has invested in eMindful, a provider of evidence-based, mindfulness programmes for everyday life and chronic conditions.
The investment is an add-on to Riverside’s Wondr Health (formerly Naturally Slim), a digital behavioral change company focused on weight management and preventing chronic disease within the employer-sponsored space. [Read more…] about Evidence-based, employer-focused meditation program eMindful acquired by digital behavioral change firm Wondr Health
In news sure to excite even the most melancholy of artificial intelligence-powered chatbots, mental health platform Woebot has closed its series B funding round with a whopping $90 million. [Read more…] about AI-powered Woebot raises $90M to scale up digital self-therapy platform