Spotted: The world is facing an epidemic of anxiety. German startup Sympatient highlights that over 330 million people suffer from serious anxiety disorders around the world. And research shows that there is a major global treatment gap for this type of illness, with only a fraction of patients receiving the care they need. Sympatient is on a mission to close this gap.
By taking a ‘blended’ approach, the startup hopes to provide the benefits of digital treatment, such as increased accessibility, while still offering highly personalised treatment. Sympatient has developed the Inverto therapy – an at-home treatment programme that combines app-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with virtual reality exposure therapy. This approach, which was developed in collaboration with the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, is suitable for patients with panic disorder, social phobia, or agoraphobia.
Sympatient acknowledges that for digital anxiety therapy to be truly effective and satisfactory for patients, it needs to be integrated with ‘real’ therapy. The company therefore encourages healthcare professionals to integrate Inverto into their practices by offering tailored education programmes that cater to different categories of medical professional. All of these programmes are offered free of charge. Inverto is always prescribed by medical professionals.
Sympatient further partners with health insurance companies to create ‘integrated care contracts’ that leverage qualitative and quantitative models to improve insurers’ mental health offerings. The company helps insurers to provide this improved offer while still meeting the criteria for cost-effective care laid out in German legislation.
The company recently raised €7.5 million in a series A funding round, which it will use to grow its digital tools.
Springwise has spotted numerous innovations focused on improving mental health, including robots that better assess child mental health, smart video games that assess mental health, and an app that estimates psychological age to provide personalised care.
Written By: Matthew Hempstead
Mental health is a complex issue, and those in need of urgent help can find information about the services available on the United for Global Mental Health website.