B Capital Group invests in SilverCloud Health, the leading online behavioral health platform
January 25, 2017
Mental health is a critical but commonly overlooked pillar of healthcare. In the United States alone, 62M individuals struggle with a mental health condition and $200 billion is spent on treatment each year. And yet, according to a recent NIH study, only 50% of patients actually receive therapy. This is due to lack of access to quality, affordable care as well as to the social stigma of seeking help. Our investment thesis in mental health is based on the belief that technology can address these challenges and that the first company to deliver a scalable, clinically-validated solution will address a large unmet market need. This led the B Capital team to SilverCloud Health, the leading platform for online behavioral health solutions for health systems.
Online “1-to-many” care is the most scalable method to treat large mental health populations
An essential investment criteria for B Capital was to ensure that the company addresses two of the most critical challenges facing mental health, the extreme shortage of practitioners and the stigma associated with seeking care. SilverCloud Health has pioneered a new delivery model of asynchronous communication centered around self-paced learning and content consumption. “1-to-many” care delivery allows a single provider to treat a far larger patient panel, which addresses the supply issue more effectively than 1:1 therapy, leading to greater access at a lower cost. An asynchronous approach (escalating to synchronous when necessary) also reduces the potential stigma of a face-to-face visit, as some patients may prefer to engage in the privacy of their home and to interact with their provider through text vs. video.
Digital therapeutics need to match supply and demand appropriately based on patient need
SilverCloud’s platform establishes an online relationship between patient and provider, supported by a library of clinically validated content that is personalized, supervised and assigned as the patient progresses. This type of personalized learning facilitates better matching of provider supply and patient demand, which is crucially important to overtaxed health systems. With SilverCloud, patients are routed into more acute settings where needed, including in person clinic appointments. The technology is widely used across the acuity-severity spectrum of mental health conditions. On the lower acuity end, licensed clinical social workers, counselors and therapists treat conditions like anxiety, depression and OCD largely through online content. On the higher acuity end, MDs and psychiatrists treat more severe conditions like bipolar disorder, dementia and Alzheimer’s with a combination of pharmacological therapy and higher touch online and in-person intervention. This allows the health system to focus precious resources on the highest impact areas for driving patient outcomes.
Health systems are demanding clinically validated, outcomes-based digital solutions
SilverCloud is in use today by 75 healthcare organizations and 25 corporate organizations across seven countries. The product has demonstrated real results, equivalent to face-to-face therapy. We believe that the most effective way to deliver mental health technology is in partnership with health systems — in order to leverage existing provider networks and tap into established reimbursement channels. However, health systems are discerning customers and demand clinical validation and quantified outcomes. We consistently heard that this is why SilverCloud is being selected as their preferred solution. The company’s IP draws from over 10 years of research and testing, with roots in the Technology Enhanced Therapy (TET) project, a four-year joint translational research project backed by the Irish National Development and Research Center, Trinity College Dublin’s School of Computer Science & Statistics and Parents Plus, Mater University Hospital.
SilverCloud’s senior management team, which is led by CEO Ken Cahill and is based in Boston, Dublin and London, includes leaders with deep technical expertise across clinical psychology, software development and healthcare management. Their fierce commitment to integrating best-in-class clinical efficacy into their digital product is reflected in the company’s commercial success. SilverCloud has treated over 80,000 patients to date, and is poised to accelerate in new markets across North America and Europe.
B Capital Group is proud to be an investor in SilverCloud at this exciting stage in the company’s journey.
Full details of the funding announcement can be found here.