While the COVID public health emergency may have ended, the global mental health crisis certainly has not. Our global health systems’ capacity to meet mental health needs is more strained than ever. Data just released by the American Psychological Association (APA) show that patients are presenting with more severe mental health symptoms, wait times are growing significantly, and access to care is shrinking.
We urgently need to scale effective, digitally-led solutions in response to this burgeoning crisis. Digitally-led solutions that provide reliable outcomes at the enormous scale of need are the only way. I believe the mental health system of the future — that we desperately need today — must be:
- Effective — Interventions and tools that solve real, measurable clinical problems in line with evidence-based standards of care. Our clinically validated digital programs, Sleepio, Daylight, and Spark Direct, lead the way with over 90 peer-reviewed papers and 18 randomized controlled trials showing undeniable results in improving outcomes, including clinical symptom reduction and quality of life. All mental health solutions — therapy, drugs, or digital — need to be proven effective.
- Equitable — People of all backgrounds, statuses, and preferences can access care that is sufficiently personalized and available anytime, anywhere. This is especially true for adolescents and “on their feet” adults who constitute the majority of the labor force and don’t have the deskside luxury of weekly ‘Zoom therapy’ sessions. We need to meet people where they are, on their terms.
- Economic — An employer, health plan, or government sponsor can see a reasonable investment delivering enormous health, economic, and workplace ROI. This will require well-evidenced digital programs that are broadly used and combined with therapist care when needed. I believe the price points of many digital treatments must come down across the board to truly realize the scale potential.
This is the system that we need, and we at Big Health are not waiting around. To this end, we have organized our go-to-market efforts, effective January 1st, into three lines of business:
- US Employers remain very interested in solving mental health but face enormous economic pressure. They are demanding a comprehensive mental health solution that delivers anytime, anywhere care for their entire population. We are bringing to market the first-of-its-kind, digitally-led, purely usage-based, and highly economical mental health benefit that puts the very best digital programs together with the best therapy network in a consumer-centered, stepped care system design. This model can treat 4-5x as many people with effective care at half or less the current cost.
- Nationalized Health Systems are pioneering the model for nationwide procurement and access. Our work with NHS Scotland, which recently renewed and expanded, provides access to both Sleepio and Daylight on a fully reimbursed basis, both directly accessible by patients or after guidance by NHS clinicians. This model relies on strong clinical trial data and evaluation from governmental and health care bodies like NICE and the NHS. We are poised to expand through the UK and to other single-payer health systems across the globe.
- Broad reimbursement pathways in the US including health plan partnerships, PBM formulary inclusion, and Medicare/Medicaid coverage are required, and moreover justified, to bring the American population access to effective mental health care. These models serve as demonstrations for other countries such as Japan, Korea, etc. that follow the US system design. We are advancing nationwide distribution partnerships with several of the largest provider organizations in the US that initiated conversations with Big Health based on the clinical need at the practice level. America should not fall behind on this crucial aspect of innovation.
We have some exciting announcements to share very soon in each of these lines of business, so please stay tuned.
If we can truly unlock this new model of mental health system design, our mission to help millions back to good mental health will end up being a mile marker on the route to tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions. Put simply, we can be the company that makes effective mental health care accessible to all. That is truly meaningful health care change and that’s what drives me every day.
Sleepio and Daylight have not been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of insomnia disorder and GAD, respectively.
Spark Direct is a digital program that may help individuals live well with major depressive disorder (MDD) and symptoms of depression by providing them with cognitive and behavioral techniques that can improve mood. Spark Direct has not been reviewed or approved by the Food & Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition, and is only available in the US. Please read the instructions for use.
Users are directed to not make any changes to their prescribed medication or other type of medical treatment without seeking professional medical advice.
About Arun Gupta:
Arun Gupta is Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman of Big Health, the leading provider of clinical grade, non-drug treatments for the most common mental health conditions. Big Health’s products are proven in over 80 peer-reviewed papers to deliver clinical outcomes without serious side effects. Previously, Arun founded Quartet Health, a technology and clinical services company scaling effective mental health access in partnership with insurers and health systems. He led Quartet through a significant scale-up serving as CEO for Quartet’s first five years and then Executive Chairman of the Board. Earlier, Arun built and scaled several industry-defining companies as a General Partner at Accretive. The firm’s launches created over $5B of equity value including several IPOs with successes like Accolade, R1, Fandango, and others. Arun earned a Master’s Degree from the Harvard Kennedy School where he was a Reynolds Fellow for Social Entrepreneurship and graduated with honors from Duke University.
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