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?
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring eight timely scientific and industry news plus a few fun teasers to appreciate our unique human brains.
“None of us thinks that our beliefs and attitudes are incorrect; if we did, we obviously wouldn’t hold those beliefs and attitudes. Yet, despite our sense that we are usually correct, we must accept that our views may sometimes turn out to be wrong. This kind of humility isn’t simply virtuous—the research suggests that it results in better decisions, relationships, and outcomes. So, the next time you feel certain about something, you might stop and ask yourself: Could I be wrong?”
#3. Should older politicians, and other leaders, undergo cognitive testing? The debate continues … here are some good comments from the online debate we had last summer:
- PRO: “Definitely. We routinely screen applicants for a wide range of jobs. Apply for the police, you will be tested. Join the military, you will be evaluated. Should we not know if a candidate for the highest position in the country has a serious emotional, intellectual or psychological impairment?”
- CON: “I disagree because these tests are very bad at predicting how good someone would be in leading a country. It doesn’t require the ability to store a lot of information in your working memory. Being a good leader requires only one essential thing: having the right priorities.”
- IT DEPENDS: “Who makes the test? What cognitive metrics do we use? The biases in that design could lead to significant unexpected or even intentionally skewed results.”
What a year for Click and for digital therapeutics!
The road to heaven is paved with good decisions…
“The word psychedelic means ‘mind-manifesting,’ but what has been missing is useful ‘mind-imaging’—the ability to dynamically trace the neural correlates of human conscious experience. Conventional neuroimaging just isn’t dynamic enough to study the psychedelic experience in the brain as it happens. This study of ketamine’s psychedelic effects while wearing headgear equipped with sensors to record brain activity could open up new frontiers of understanding” — Dr. Alex Belser, Cybin’s Chief Clinical Officer
“analyzing EEGs is labor intensive and interpretation of these tests can vary from one clinician to another..…Beacon Biosignals has assembled what it claims is one of the world’s largest clinical EEG databases. By applying its proprietary machine-learning algorithms to the database, the company says it has identified neurobiomarkers—biological indicators that are associated with certain groups of patients, drug activity, and therapeutic efficacy.”
Not good, yet completely predictable, and let’s remember this is for a “treatment” costing as much as $100,000/ year with exactly ZERO proven clinical benefit: “…The researchers found 425 cases in the combined aducanumab group experienced ARIA (41.3%), and ARIA-edema was identified in 362 patients or 35.2%. Of them, 94 (26%) had symptoms, such as headache, confusion, dizziness and nausea. They found ARIA-microhemorrhage and ARIA-superficial siderosis in 197 patients (19.1%) and 151 patients (14.7%), respectively.”
Q: What does, “you must come and visit us sometime!” actually mean?
Wishing you and yours a Happy & Healthy Hanukkah, December and Christmas,
The SharpBrains Team
Another medtech developer’s plans to create digital therapeutics to treat a wide range of illnesses are clicking into place, thanks to a third multimillion-dollar investment in Click Therapeutics in barely a year. [Read more…] about Click Therapeutics raises further $52M to build up digital therapeutics pipeline for depression, insomnia, smoking cessation and more
Study backs benefit of insomnia DTx Sleepio on mental health (pharmaphorum):
The study – published in the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy – tested the Sleepio app developed by digital health specialist Big Health as an add-on to standard NHS care for anxiety and depression under the improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) policy.
Patients who signed up to use Sleepio – a six-week digital cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) course – achieved significantly better improvement in symptoms compared to controls, with an IAPT recovery rate of nearly 65% versus 58% in the control group. [Read more…] about Study: Self-guided sleep app Sleepio, combined with standard care for depression and anxiety, delivers better outcomes than standard care alone
Teladoc builds out mental healthcare services with myStrength Complete (MobiHealthNews):
Virtual care giant Teladoc is building out its behavioral health services through its latest program, myStrength Complete.
The new offering is designed to give users a single integrated mental healthcare experience. It combines the app-based models of care from myStrength with Teladoc’s on-demand therapists and psychiatrists … The myStrength platform uses evidence-based clinical models such as cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology and mindfulness to help treat behavioral health conditions such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and substance use disorder. [Read more…] about Teladoc Health, having acquired Livongo and myStrength, launches integrated mental health service for the workplace
Disrupted routines and worries about coronavirus have made it harder for us to sleep this year. For example, reports suggest there was a 15% increase in prescriptions for sleep medication prescriptions at the beginning of the pandemic in the U.S., and a 37% increase in insomnia in China.
Importantly, if you’ve been feeling out of sorts over the past few months, the lack of sleep could be partly to blame. [Read more…] about Tip: To manage stress, sleep better. To sleep better, keep a good routine and manage stress.