COVID-19 has spread rapidly all over the world leaving several hundred and thousands of people affected. Over 1.3 million people are impacted due to the pandemic in some way or the other such as falling sick, losing their job, or anything else. That’s not all! In addition to those who are sick due to the COVID-19 infection, many suffer mental disorders as they feel anxious, uncertain, fearful, and stressed. Not only sick but also those trapped inside their houses due to social distancing and also are living alone are experiencing boredom and depression.
Well, this pandemic is undoubtedly taking Europe along with the world towards a heightened public mental health crisis. Right now, there is very limited access to psychology services due to the lockdown and healthcare centres and hospitals being overwhelmed due to COVID-19 treatments.
In this scenario, a few health tech startups from Europe that specialise in mental health are coming forward to offer help and support to those who are in need of psychological assistance. Let’s take a look at their efforts in here.
Founder/s: Rickard Lagerqvist
Founded year: 2018
Funding: €4.9 million
The largest digital mental health service in Sweden, Mindler works with the vision to let everyone have the opportunity to meet a psychologist irrespectively of their financial conditions or where they live. It is a digital service that will let you experience mental disorders as you can easily and quickly book a video visit with a psychologist directly from your home via a smartphone or tablet.
Recently, Mindler raised €8 million in a Series A funding round from Ventech and Schibsted Growth to meet the influx caused by the increasing demand for psychological services and accelerate its international growth. Their spokesperson informed, “We are not only noticing the physical effect of the Coronavirus but are also experiencing a 30% increase in demand for psychology services. To meet this influx and accelerate international growth, Mindler has raised the latest funding.
Pando Health (London)
Founder/s: Barney Gilbert, Lydia Yarlott, Philip Mundy
Founded year: 2016
Funding: €4.6 million
Formerly known as Forward, now rebranded Pando, the health tech startup is a team of technologists and clinicians who believe that intelligent and secure communication is fundamental to healthcare. The platform is designed to benefit anyone in the health and social care industry who work in a team and have a need to share images and sensitive information and images securely.
During the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, when thousands of NHS staff are embracing new tech to cope up, Pando Health built by NHS doctors lets clinicians rapidly and securely contact their colleagues via an app (Android, iOS). In March 2020, this app has seen a 700% increase in daily downloads. It claims that there are over 75,000 messages exchanged via the network on a daily basis as NHS staff turn to tech to coordinate their COVID-19 responses and pool resources.
The app is also being used to offer continuity of primary and community care. One mental health occupational therapist commented, “Thanks to Pando, we have been able to continue running a support network for our vulnerable patients with mental health difficulties, despite all now working remotely due to coronavirus. Through the app, we have been able to coordinate our workflow, discuss confidential information and avoid time lost ringing around for updates.”
Nori Health (Netherlands)
Founder/s: Roeland Pater, Dandyano Zentveld, Lisa Booth, Richard Ruiter
Founded year: 2017
Dutch healthtech startup Nori Health is an AI chatbot coach for patients with chronic diseases. Nori learns everything that causes symptoms, so the more you talk to Nori, the better the questions and the advice become.
As the coronavirus pandemic is spreading rapidly across the world and recovery from the same depends on the strength of the immune system, those who suffer from chronic diseases such as IBD will be at a higher risk of developing the infection. This is where Nori Health offers IBD patients who are not able to seek support due to the lockdown get the same from traditional healthcare services.
Nori Health is already working with a leading global pharma corporation to roll out the digital coach to IBD patients in Benelux. Further, two Dutch hospitals will imminently offer Nori to support its 5,000 IBD patients during the coronavirus and beyond, and a third Dutch hospital, Haaglanden Hospital, is exploring ways to offer the programme to its patients.
Kara Connect (Iceland)
Founder/s: Thorbjorg Helga Vigfusdóttir, Hilmar Eidsson
Founded year: 2014
Funding: €3.1 million
Kara Connect provides a virtual office that lets clients conduct online video conference sessions with teachers, therapists, and similar consultants. With Kara Connect, those who are seeking mental health support from psychologists during the corona times can remain connected and communicate on a one-on-one basis. Already the company has seen an 800% surge in subscriptions between February and March 2020, when The World Health Organisation categorised the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Till date, over 1,200 professionals are using Kara Connect in Europe.
Their service has two subscription plans, a basic one for personal practices, costs €29 (+VAT) and includes all the key features of the platform; from unlimited video sessions and a built-in calendar, to secure log notes and KaraPay credit card module. Then there’s a pro one in which 2 to 10 professionals can sign up and is mostly used by small clinics. This one starts at €29 (+VAT) per professional.
Flow Neuroscience (Sweden)
Founder/s: Daniel Månsson, Erik Rehn
Founded year: 2016
Funding: €2.3 million
Flow Neuroscience has developed a new kind of medication-free treatment for depression, which combines an easy-to-use brain stimulation headset with a personalised and engaging mobile app. It is touted to be an effective, safe, and affordable treatment for depression and operates with the mission to treat mental health issues with technology and science.
While the coronavirus pandemic is leaving people stressed and anxious, clinical psychologists, the Swedish startup’s brain stimulation headset are a perfect solution for a drug-free treatment ailment. “Global concern about coronavirus means it’s very important to keep the normal routine as much as possible when it comes to sleep, nutrition and exercise, particularly in people with existing mental health problems,” said Daniel Mansson, clinical psychologist and co-founder of Flow Neuroscience. “In the current situation, finding ways to maintain your normal routine is essential to reducing stress and potential depressive thoughts that may appear.”
Founder/s: David Brudö
Founded year: 2011
Funding: €1.1 million
Remente, a personal goal-setting and development app lets its millions of users to analyse their mood over time and set and work towards their goals. The app organises all their tasks, routines, habits, goals, and to-dos in one place. As COVID-19 demands working from home, many people who aren’t used to working remotely might be disoriented. This might not only affect their goal achievement but also leave a negative as they are on self-isolation. This is where the digital tool from Remente will leave an effect on users’ mood and likely alleviate their anxiety.
We might have missed some really important tech startups curing mental health issues related to the pandemic, in this list. If you’re the one and based in Europe, drop us an email at [email protected].
Stock photo from Fuga/Shutterstock
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