Mental health app maker Mindstrong raises $15M in series B

The company’s app analyzes habits to passively track cognitive function and mood, aiming to predict mental health events in an objective manner. (ViewApart/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Mental health app developer Mindstrong Health rounded up $15 million in series B financing from new investors Bezos Expeditions and Decheng Capital, bringing its total funding to $29 million as it plans to scale up its business.

The company’s smartphone app analyzes user habits to passively track a person’s cognitive function and mood, aiming to predict mental health events in an objective manner. Previous investors in the Palo Alto, California-based company also participated in the round, including Optum Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners and Foresite Capital.

“Mindstrong continues to show great progress in deploying solutions that improve behavioral healthcare by enabling providers to detect deterioration and deliver effective care early,” said Larry Renfro, vice chairman of UnitedHealth Group and CEO of Optum, in a release. “We expect this to improve access and quality for patients, and reduce expenditures related to healthcare utilization.”

In March, the company unveiled a study evaluating 27 volunteers to detect when they deviated from their daily habits. Combining those digital biomarkers with other social and environmental data helped the software predict possible behavioral issues and performance on standard neurocognitive tests, the company said.

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And earlier this year, Mindstrong announced a partnership with Takeda to identify digital biomarkers in schizophrenia and treatment-resistant depression, though few details are currently available.

The company raised $14 million in a series A round in June 2017 to develop more defined methods to track mental well-being.

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“Every other discipline, be it the heart, pancreas or lungs, has objective, reproducible ways to measure the function of those organs,” while mental health is assessed through subjective measures, Mindstrong CEO and co-founder Paul Dagum, M.D., Ph.D., said at the time.

Mindstrong was founded in 2014 by Dagum, Thomas Insel, M.D., and Richard Klausner, M.D. Insel previously served as director of the National Institute of Mental Health for over a decade, with a shorter stint at Google’s Verily, while Klausner formerly headed the National Cancer Institute and served as chief medical officer of Illumina.