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What’s Hot & Cool? #25: Mental Health Startups

Ways to study and treat mental illness are going digital and investors are backing them.

What’s happening? With advancements in artificial intelligence and cognitive science (e.g., IBM Watson), the mental health industry is turning digital, and startups are seizing opportunities to help heal. Venture Capital funding for mental health startups rose from $56M in 2014 to a whopping $168M last year. Companies are giving patients ways can personalize and evaluate their care with specialists, outside the traditional office.

Why should you care? One in five Americans have a mental health condition. Depression, anxiety, and other conditions can impact both work and life. Many people don’t have access to mental health professionals. Here are some powerful stats.

Who’s leading? CEO Ellie Kaplan co-founded Neurotrack Technologies in 2012, an online application that monitors memory health. One of its signature products? A five-minute app that tracks data on brain memory from eye movement. Their funding (including a recent $12 million round) has included a grant from the National Institute of Health.

Yunha Kim is founder and CEO Simple Habit, a meditation app that works with people experiencing anxiety and stress in their daily lives. Launched in 2016 and available on iTunes, it raised $2.5M on its second round of funding, according to Crunchbase.

What can you do? As platforms and access to mental health services expand, now is the time for innovation! Check out this list of investors passionate about mental health. Need more inspiration? Check out these 7 apps developed for the brain.

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