Cambridge-based digital mental healthcare ieso has raised $53 million in a Series B funding round. The funding will be used to develop autonomous therapy systems that aim to match, if not exceed, the standards of human care delivery, all at a significantly lower cost to health care systems. In total, the startup has raised $77.9 million.
At an estimated cost of around $1 trillion per year, annually, 1 in 4 people experience a mental condition and/or depression. Couple this with the fact that there are less than 4 mental healthcare workers per 100,000 people in half the world’s countries, and the need for a digital supplement becomes shockingly clear.
If ieso can pull off what they’re aiming to accomplish, they estimate approximately half a billion people could benefit from their technology, those that need help, but don’t have access to appropriate, personalised care. Like those who are immigrants on a visa, don’t yet have indefinite leave to remain status and don’t want something like mental health treatment showing up in their file when it comes time to apply for permanent resident status.
With insights and training derived from over 460,000 hours gleaned from world’s largest outcomes-linked therapy dataset, ieso is seeking to obtain US and UK regulatory approvals for its AI-powered digital tools before bringing them to their respective markets.
“Our experience delivering outstanding mental health care within the NHS ideally places us for starting to tackle this challenge. A new generation of clinically-validated digital mental health care products could ultimately improve millions of lives,” commented ieso’s CEO Nigel Pitchford. “But we cannot do this alone, and look forward to working with our patients, clinicians, investors, as well as existing and future partners, to better serve those who require mental health support.”