February 1, 2022

February 1, 2022

The Many Reasons to Invest in Wellness Tools

The rise in digital health tools is helping to bridge gaps in access and accuracy, with many people seeing DTx as the future of healthcare. Here are some reasons digital health solutions are worth the investment.

Written By

Hayley Kirsh

Hayley Kirsh is a writer and wannabe cabinetmaker living in Ottawa, Canada. She is a firm believer in the power of psychedelic healing in therapeutic settings after her own experiences with plant medicine in Peru.

2021 proved to be a record-breaking year for digital healthcare, according to Rock Health’s annual year-end report. Digital health funding among US-based startups reached an astounding $29.1 billion, doubling the amount raised in 2020 ($14.9 billion). 

There are many reasons that explain this rise in digital health funding. As a disruptor, digital health is finding ways to fill enormous gaps in the healthcare industry, including accessibility and affordability. These issues were especially highlighted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The pandemic has created a huge surge in the need for digital health solutions to keep people connected virtually to their health and health practitioners. “The pandemic reinforced the power of digital marketplaces, their ability to connect and match previously disparate parties and facilitate timely transactions – for example, matching clinical talent with facilities in need,” says Seth Joseph, a Forbes contributor.

New analysis from McKinsey & Company shows that telehealth use has increased 38 times from a “pre-covid baseline.” This increase, born out of necessity, demonstrates that patients and practitioners are concerned about accessing healthcare in lockdown and would turn to virtual solutions. It shows that services like telehealth offer that bridge to care. Can such tools combine the benefits of access, optimized outcomes, privacy, and affordability?

Where Does Mental Health Care Fit in All of This?

Digital health solutions are filling gaps in the current healthcare industry in a plethora of ways. They afford both clinicians and their clients a variety of tools to help with onboarding, engagement, and new protocols that make accessing wellness that much easier.

One aspect of wellness that is often overlooked is mental health. On top of an already overwhelming mental health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting both our physical and mental wellness. If we didn’t already need disruptions, the time is definitely now.

This figure from KFF.org shows a 30% increase in cases where adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorders in the first 5 months of 2019 compared to just one month in 2021.

iSTRYM & the Power of Digital Solutions

Digital health platforms like iSTRYM are recognizing the need for digital health solutions that are tailored to individual mental wellness. 

iSTRYM is a state-of-the-art medical-clinical practice management solution. In layman’s terms, it’s an online platform that provides digital therapy. It connects psychotherapy clients and clinicians through an easy-to-use software that allows for digital patient engagement, data collection, self-administered solutions, screening, diagnostics, and 24/7 accessibility. 

Digital Health Solutions as the Future of Mental Health care

Onboarding Ease

Healthcare has often lagged behind other industries in adopting digital tools into practice for fears tied to privacy issues and resistance to lengthy onboarding adjustments. Clinicians can often feel that digital health solutions are daunting to adjust to or that they might not fit within their current infrastructure. 

With the need for digital solutions ushered in by the pandemic, iSTRYM acknowledges this learning curve and prioritizeS onboarding efficiency so that clinicians may better interact with clients. iSTRYM technology supports clinicians and practices with a user-friendly interface that makes practitioner and patient onboarding easier. It uses a variety of data collection points that make onboarding and getting to know patients easier too.

While practice management and paperwork can often be meticulous areas of a clinician’s job, iSTRYM streamlines this work, thereby improving workflow and clinical outcomes.

The Increase in Patients to Care Providers

With a 30% reported increase in adults with symptoms of anxiety or depression disorder, it’s hard to ignore the fact that we’re in a mental health crisis — a demand for care that's currently exacerbated by a lack of practitioners able to respond to these growing numbers.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that by 2025, the US will have a shortage of marriage and family therapists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, social workers, psychologists, and school counselors. 

iSTRYM’s mental health technology has the potential to connect clinicians to a bank of therapeutic protocols and a network of healing. Ultimately, with the demand for care progressively outweighing care professionals, technology will help fill the gaps and aid  patients in reaching their mental health goals — both in clinical settings and at home.

Patient Engagement in Mental Health

While digital mental health solutions are one thing, psychedelic therapy is not a quick fix solution and takes a dedicated effort from both the clinician and patient, in and out of a therapeutic session. 

The Forbes article mentioned earlier goes on to highlight Nikhil Krishnan, founder of Out-Of-Pocket, a healthcare newsletter and community. He sees screening and diagnostics as a relatively underinvested space given the value they can create, especially in terms of solutions that can be self-administered by patients at home. 

iSTRYM keeps patients actively engaged in their psychedelic-assisted wellness journey with daily opportunities like writing prompts and logs to input personal data. The kinds of information recorded and sent to clinicians include factors, such as how the patient is feeling, what they’re experiencing, and even what the weather is like. This variety of data provides patients with intentional opportunities to reflect, reach therapeutic goals, and continuously work towards mental wealth. 

iSTRYM provides a dedicated space for patient-focused therapy, enhanced by psychotherapy sessions with their clinician.

By giving patients their own dashboard, prompts and daily logs to track and visualize their healing journey, the iSTRYM app empowers patients, guiding them every step of the way. 

Privacy Capabilities

While finding its footing, digital healthcare has often been met with backlash by clinicians and clients concerned about where their data is going and how it’s being used. 

The measures that are currently being taken by companies like MINDCURE ensure that user data is protected under and adhering to guidelines released by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

Under this guidance, the iSTRYM app has clear privacy guidelines. It uses scheduled data clearing, anonymity, security, and relevance-based accessibility in their data management system to keep user data secure yet transparent.

The data compiled by iSTRYM and the clinician is enhanced by the platform's use of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide a more thorough understanding and assessment of a patient’s needs. Clinicians are then able to provide more effective treatments because they can gain a better sense than with just talk therapy alone.

A Platform Tailored to Psychedelic Protocols

Only in the last 10 years have clinicians and therapeutic entities really started to research and put out psychedelic protocols for psychotherapy. Psychedelic protocols just aren’t easy to come by. Last year, in a first-of-its-kind study, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) saw a 67% success rate in their Phase 3 trial using MDMA to treat PTSD in correlation with talk therapy. 

The iSTRYM app is ahead of this curve by providing a bank of psychedelic-assisted tools and protocols, built right into the system and tailored to individual needs. Breathwork has largely been incorporated into both psychotherapy and psychedelic therapy for years. SOMA Breath provides breathwork programs for iSTRYM users to incorporate into their day-to-day wellness.

Like breathwork, music has been used to guide and support therapeutic experiences. It helps our brain release mood-influencing chemicals like endorphins and dopamine. MINDCURE’s proprietary music protocols provided by LUCID uses machine learning to provide music that partners with a patient’s internal data. This helps support and guide therapy before, during, and after sessions.

As a patient, it can be hard to feel like you’re getting your point across over the screen with telehealth. iSTRYM leverages language processing with machine learning technology that analyzes tone, intonation, and sentiment. Revolutionary Speak Ai technology drives insight into a clinician’s therapeutic assessment by using this information to better inform on the status of a patient.

We are very likely in the early stages of the digital health boom and it’s clear to see why. Digital health solutions like digital therapy are providing practices, clinicians, and patients with accessible, and affordable solutions on their wellness journey. As the technology continues to evolve in the digital health space so will the need for investors to help drive this innovation. 

If you’d like to learn more and be a part of this digital health revolution, download our investor deck.

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