Startupbootcamp: Changing Behavior Through Digital Therapeutics
Not all superheroes wear capes. Ours wear Startupbootcamp hoodies. We are moving towards Demo Day at the Digital Health Bootcamp Workspace. Projects and Pitches are moving at full speed. Coffee consumption is increasing daily.
Bold and Mindable are using machine learning and AI to provide digital therapeutics for behavioral change. Bold is creating a personalized treatment plan for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Mindable is also creating a personalized treatment plan for Anxiety Disorder. They remove the stress and difficulty out of managing your health, so you can focus on living your best life.
This team is putting a bold mark on hard to treat chronic conditions like IBS and migraine. Bold Health offers a digital therapeutics treatment plan for stress-sensitive chronic illnesses, using an approach rooted in behavioral medicine.
They are currently working on their first product, Zemedy, which is focused on treating IBS, a condition that affects 800 million people globally. Two-thirds of which are women. The physical symptoms of abdominal pain accompanied by diarrhea, constipation or bloating significantly reduce the quality of life and the mental health of sufferers.
The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders believes that the symptoms may result from ‘disturbance in the way the gut, brain, and nervous system interact’. This can cause changes in normal bowel movement and sensation. Bold provides a customized and clinically proven treatment plan to give back control to the patient of their body and life. This reduces the chances of depression and anxiety and even improves sleep quality and energy levels.
The company was co-founded by Elena Mustatea (CEO) who comes from a strategy consulting, investment banking and venture capital background. Her formal education is in economics. Co-founder Dr. Jossy Onwude (CMO) is no stranger to startups. He has co-founded a number of them in the digital health and health insurance sector and comes from a bioinformatics and general medical background. Dr. Matt Stammers, their medical partner is a member of the British Society of Gastroenterology is the third member of Bold Health. The team met in 2017 at a technology incubator in London.
After Zemedy, they aim to extend their product range to treat other underserved conditions. Mustatea believes there is still no effective solution due to “the complexity of these conditions including the environmental and social factors that need to be taken into account”. Zemedy is an integrative, digital self-management and therapeutic tool all on a smartphone. The Zemedy mobile application becomes an expert support and guide while the patient participates in modular programs designed to improve physical and mental IBS symptoms. The product is contemporary, scientifically proven and targeted towards busy millennials.
Bold Health gets to the root of the sufferer’s IBS. It combines educational, relaxation and psychotherapeutic techniques to create an integrative and thoughtfully designed treatment plan. This empowers patients to regain control, self-manage and self-heal, all under the guidance of easy-to-understand scientifically backed techniques.
“Depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$1 trillion each year,” World Health Organisation (WHO).
Experiencing occasional anxiety can be a natural part of life. However, according to the WHO, “1 in 13 [people] globally suffer from anxiety”. It is a real and serious mental condition.
Mindable wants to help you to overcome your anxiety by confronting your fears. Mindable is a mobile application that provides an emotional companion that motivates, encourage and gives instructions based on the users' anxiety level.
After meeting during their time working together at IBM, founders Linda Weber (CEO) and Eddie Rietz (CTO) developed Mindable. Linda has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and two Master Degrees in International Cognitive Visualization. She has spent three years as a User Researcher and UX Designer at IBM. From her master's studies Linda has knowledge and experience in health apps for people with an anxiety disorder. Eddie Rietz studied New Media and spent two years as a front-end developer at the IBM Design Studio in Böblingen. He has build an Augmented Reality companion for data scientists and has entrepreneurial experience from running his own business from a young age.
Mindable bring psychotherapy into people’s pockets. It was inspired by the movie HER, starring Joaquin Phoenix, which centers around a man who develops an emotional connection and builds a relationship with his Operating System (OS) to help manage his loneliness. The voice companion supports the patient through the journey that is based on the Therapiemanual by Thomas Lang (Lang et al., 2012).
The app works by creating a personalized and tailored treatment plan. In this treatment plan, the user is motivated to face their fears. Capturing the users' anxiety level and context information when the user is in such a situation and then processing and interpreting the data to provide a unique audio experience. Nya encourages and motivates you to face your fears. The app is fun, motivating and based on evidence-based methods. It contains engaging videos and interactive content.
Research predicts that in five years neurotechnology will be in every headphone. Mindable is looking to the future. They aim to innovate the mental health market and using the same system to expand into other anxiety subtypes in the future.
We are excited to hear the team's pitch and to celebrate the progress the startups have made over the three-month journey at our Demo Day on November 27. Stay tuned for more exciting news about our startups.
Startupbootcamp Team 🙂