A HIMSS Event | SANTA CLARA, CA | SEPT. 16-18, 2019
By Heather Munro, freelance writer focusing on emerging technology.
Psychologists, therapists and primary care physicians will be the first to tell you that the more patients with anxiety and depression feel motivated to work on their mental health, the more their symptoms will decrease. The question remains, how do providers help these patients outside of the office setting?
NeuroFlow, which won the Health 2.0 VentureConnect Pitch Competition earlier this year at HIMSS19, is tackling this complex issue. The digital behavioral health platform is cloud-based and enables clinicians to assess, track and engage their patients using evidence-based practices that support mental health. The provider-facing piece of the platform enables them to easily invite their patients to use tools—delivered over NeuroFlow’s patient-facing app—like cognitive behavior therapy exercises, mindfulness techniques, and journaling to track their behavior and report data that affects their symptoms.
Using a mobile app to journal about feelings or seeing the correlation between movement and mood influences patient compliance with doctor or therapist recommendations outside the clinical setting. It also delivers measurable outcomes. Seventy-one percent of patients with anxiety and depression using the platform reported a reduction in their symptoms, according to NeuroFlow.
Of course, managing outcomes and costs is a key selling point for investors, but it’s the overall wellness of mental health sufferers—estimated to be 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—that drives the startup’s mission.
“For the longest time, mental health has been underappreciated in the healthcare world, and it shouldn’t be that way,” explains CEO and Founder Chris Molaro, who is also an Army veteran. “That has enforced the historical stigma associated with mental health issues, and people don’t always get the mental health care they need as a result.”
NeuroFlow’s ambitious vision to improve access to mental healthcare across the continuum of care, along with tech that extends patient engagement outside the doctor’s or therapist’s office, helped the company win the Health 2.0 VentureConnect competition at HIMSS in February.
“When we applied, we weren’t sure we’d be accepted,” he explains. “Our plan was to get feedback from the judges so we’d know what did and didn’t resonate and we could tweak our pitch. We were excited to get in front of the industry leaders, influencers and decision makers at one of the few places you can go where everyone in health tech is in the same location at once.”
Since HIMSS, NeuroFlow has expanded its team to include a senior sales executive, a senior integrated care manager and launched a new product, Empower.
Empower is a population health management tool that health plans offer to their members directly without a provider invitation. Using data from mood or sleep logs and wearable apps like Fitbit, the tool not only encourages users to be proactive with their mental health, but also leverages risk stratification algorithms to alert providers or care coordinators when they might need to intervene and offer additional support.
“A lot of people with depression or anxiety don’t reach out when they need help,” he explains. “The data science built into our platform helps to identify those who might need more immediate support.”
It’s worth noting that the NeuroFlow platform is HIPPA-compliant, and all of the patient data is kept private. Patients, in fact, own their data and manage what data they want the platform to track.
“Mental health has a downstream effect on our physical health and overall happiness,” says Molaro. “As a society, we’re now experiencing a positive shift where mental health is coming out of the shadows.”
That shift has NeuroFlow entering an exciting new phase. The company is riding a wave of adoption from pain management providers, OB/GYNs and primary care clinics interested in how mental health influences physical health. Supporting and engaging new mothers who experience postpartum depression, for instance, is just one example of the platform’s application that NeuroFlow hopes to grow in the coming year.
Interested in competing at Health 2.0 VentureConnect? If your company is seed through Series A ready, apply for a chance to be selected as one of the finalists on the Health 2.0 Annual Conference website. Applications are due by Monday, July 8, 2019.