For decades, the month of May has been National Mental Health Awareness Month, an event that was renewed this year in a proclamation by President Joe Biden. The mental health community has always struggled against political and cultural currents for the attention, funding and treatment it needs. However, since the Covid 19 pandemic, the United States is experiencing an “unprecedented crisis” as rates of depression, eating disorders and other symptoms have tripled- disproportionately affecting marginalized populations, communities of color and young women. The number of emergency room visits for young women attempting suicide in 2021 increased more than 50% from 2020, and less than half of Americans struggling with serious mental illness get the treatment they need. It is not hard to imagine the ultimate devastation that this crisis is visiting on loss of life, families and the economy.
Last year, the White House allocated more than $5B to address the mental health crisis, but technology will play an outsized role in making sure that Americans are getting the help they need. Telehealth services will help professionals and providers reach patients at optimal times and in safe environments, increasing access to care and impact in communities. AI and machine learning will produce algorithms that can accurately diagnose disorders, suggest treatments, and track progress in patients with a degree of sensitivity that is just too fine for humans. Finally, remote monitoring and mobile applications will keep patients and consumers healthy and happy going forward, to validate treatments, collect actionable data and generate a spiral of emotional security and productivity in communities.
Israel is well known as a hub of healthcare and IT innovation. Last year, FREOPP ranked Israel #5 globally and #1 in Asia in the “World Index of Healthcare Innovation.” The country is host to some 500 digital health startups, who benefit from an outsized number of PhDs and engineers, as well as a national healthcare system that digitizes patient records and embraces startup collaboration. The government has committed a billion Shekels to supporting the digital health ecosystem, and participation by Israeli startups at major exhibitions such as HIMSS, Medica and Arab Health are on the rise.
With that in mind, consider the following Israeli digital health startups poised to disrupt the way that our communities are engaging with mental illness, obtaining treatment, and staying healthy.
- Calmigo: CalmiGo is a natural, portable, drug-free solution that can be used in moments of upset, anxiousness, and stress. It is an effective and unique solution that can be used both for immediate relief in moments of distress and for long-term effectiveness. It is a hand-held, patent-pending device that leverages relaxing scents and technology with a quad-sensory user experience to bring about rapid relief and relaxation. It’s small enough to carry in your purse and it can be used anywhere and anytime. It is fast, completely safe and easy for anybody to use. It is a drug-free solution that really works. https://calmigo.com/pages/personalized_calm
- CobeLabs: CoBe’s conversational AI agent provides teens with a safe, private environment to discuss their issues with an AI friend who talks their lingo, will keep their secrets, and provide high quality, personalized, and professional emotional and mental support. CoBe tackles the Adult<>Teen communication gap in a $56B stagnant and fragmented U.S. mental health market, by creating trust and engagement through the use of teen lingo and proven psychological and psychiatric protocols. By acting as a teen-centric personalized mental help hub, CoBe makes sure to provide every teen with what they need. https://www.cobelabs.com/
- Eleos: Eleos Health is a digital health company supporting behavioral healthcare providers in their mission to improve behavioral health outcomes. Eleos Health’s HIPAA-compliant patient-centric digital platform helps clinicians maximize the value of each patient’s therapy experience to improve treatment outcomes. Powered by therapy-specific voice analysis and artificial intelligence, Eleos Health offers a behavioral health platform that brings together telehealth, measurement-based, and evidence-based care in one holistic solution. https://eleos.health/
- Iluria: Iluria is an Israel-based digital health company focused on the ADHD clinical segment. Iluria aims to enhance the existing trial-and-error-based treatment monitoring currently administered to ADHD patients by offering a comprehensive SaaS-based solution that provides continuous and passive monitoring, using biomarker data (smart wearable-agnostic) and machine-learning analysis. The company is currently in the clinical-trial stage in Clalit Health Services, one of the world’s largest HMOs. https://www.iluriahealth.com/
(Sources: whitehouse.gov; hhs.gov; youth.gov; American Psychiatric Association psychiatry.org; apservices.org; freopp.org; startupnationcentral.org; )