In many ways, the COVID-19 epidemic has indeed been disastrous. It may be less taboo to talk about feeling nervous, unhappy, or burned out due to the global financial crisis. Because there’s a good possibility the person you’re speaking to is also experiencing one of those things.
Therefore, it is not surprising that therapists and psychiatrists find it challenging to meet demand. However, not all therapists are created equal, and regrettably, some psychiatrists might be overly ready to prescribe medication to alleviate a person’s problems.
With what it characterizes as an all-encompassing online mental health solution, Meru Health is a business that seeks to address many of the difficulties connected with obtaining access to high-quality mental health care. After his brother Peter committed himself in 2016, Kristian Ranta started the business in San Mateo, California. He believed his brother may not have killed himself if he had access to better mental health care choices.
It’s hardly surprising that Meru Health experienced a 10x increase in its client base and a 700% increase in income in 2020 due to COVID’s requirement that individuals look for online solutions for all forms of healthcare, including mental health. And now the firm is reporting that it has collected an additional $38 million in a Series B round of investment, increasing the total amount raised since its founding in 2016 to $51.3 million. Industry Ventures organized the $30 million equity financing. Debt security covered the final $8 million. The equity fundraising round was supported by early investors Bold Capital Partners, Foundry Group, Freestyle VC, FMZ Ventures, and Leksell Social Ventures, while J.P. Morgan provided the loan financing.
During the first two or three years of Meru Health’s existence, Ranta’s primary focus was on research to ascertain how well digital treatment and “old school” psychiatry were doing. He thought there was less proof available.
The business concluded, among other things, that “technology is amazing, but without the human touch, it’s not going to get utilized.”
Or, to put it another way, only app-based treatments for depression, anxiety, and burnout won’t work.
Ranta told that it would be tougher to keep people involved if there is no accountability or personal connection and that people will eventually stop participating.
Meru Health currently collaborates with employers like Stanford University and several Fortune 100 and 500 companies, EAPs like Wellspring, and healthcare payers like Cigna, Humana, and Moda Health to offer an online mental healthcare program, which the company claims has solid and long-lasting clinical results.
The firm has been successful in persuading companies to use its solution by proving that there is a significant return on investment from providing employees with the program. Because the expenses of untreated anxiety and depression in healthcare and decreased worker productivity are so substantial, Meru predicts explicitly that the average cost savings for a company for its program are over $6,000 per enrolled participant.
Meru Health’s strategy is intriguing since it seeks to be holistic, treating the body and mind simultaneously rather than concentrating on just one aspect.
For instance, we discovered that talk therapy alone does not effectively treat many mental health issues, Ranta stated.
Because, in Ranta’s words, “sleep is related to mental health,” it aids patients in improving their sleep quality and receiving nutritional counseling.
He said nobody else had yet examined the relationship between diet and mood.
Additionally, it offers a wearable gadget that records physical biomarkers, allowing users to observe the results of actions like deep breathing and “learn to manage their stress response,” according to Ranta.