Why Digital Mental Health Investment May Shift Toward Severe Illness

Why Digital Mental Health Investment May Shift Toward Severe Illness

There was a lot of hype surrounding virtual mental health tools during the pandemic, and a variety of startups focused on lower-acuity conditions like anxiety, depression and stress. Now may be the time for digital health companies treating more severe mental illnesses, like OCD and eating disorders, Chrissy Farr, principal investor and health tech lead at OMERS Ventures, said during a panel discussion at Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech 2022. "What I would predict, and what we're starting to see, is taking a lot of those SMI [serious mental illness] players, where the bulk of the cost is proving those outcomes, and seeing some of those players getting acquired or those players being the acquirers as they tap out to some of the lower-acuity conditions," she said. "I think more comprehensive solutions or integrations of mental health solutions within other platforms will continue to be a trend that we'll see, even if it's not necessarily through M&A," she said. "I'm still a huge proponent of direct-to-consumer because, in some ways, I think direct-to-consumer companies yield much better products for the patients," she said.

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