Former Facebook and Genentech CFO David Ebersman along with experienced group of tech leaders, clinicians, data scientists, and health care policy experts has announced the launch of a new new behavioral digital health startup called Lyra Health. Backed by venture capital firm Venrock, Lyra Health will have a singular focus on transforming behavioral health, enabling more patients to get the care they need, when they need it.
Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from behavioral health conditions like depression, anxiety, or substance abuse, and the current health care system is failing the vast majority of them. The result is unnecessary suffering for patients and their families — and billions in avoidable costs.
To solve this pain point, Lyra Health will work with employers, health plans, and providers to improve behavioral health outcomes. Combining innovative technology with a human touch, Lyra Health will identify, engage, and coordinate care for people with behavioral health issues; guide and match patients with the right providers and treatments; and rigorously assess treatment outcomes to understand what works so that patients get the best available care.
“Everyone knows someone touched by a behavioral health issue. Unfortunately, the vast majority of patients are undiagnosed, untreated, or treated with ineffective therapies — Lyra Health’s goal is to change that, and deliver the best care, at the right time, to those who need it most.” said David Ebersman, the company’s co-founder and CEO in an official statement. “Genentech taught me about helping patients. Facebook taught me about the power of technology to change the world. We look forward to combining the two to build another great company at Lyra Health.”
Currently, patients with behavioral health conditions are forced to navigate a broken system. Effective treatments exist that have been proven to help patients, and because of the Affordable Care Act, health plans now cover these treatments. But far too frequently, it is difficult for patients to find the right care. In fact, 50 percent of people referred for behavioral health care do not make an initial appointment.
As a result, patients continue to suffer for many years, taking a heavy toll on the individuals, their families, and their employers. Despite employers spending $48 billion annually to treat behavioral health conditions, each year approximately 217 million days of work are lost or partially lost due to reduced productivity caused by these illnesses, costing our economy over $20 billion. Poorly managed behavioral health disorders also increase overall health care costs.
Lyra Health will improve behavioral health care by building out a comprehensive solution for employers and health plans that will include:
– Analytical models to identify people at risk and digitized diagnostic tests to enable rapid screening and diagnosis;
– Software and analytics to match patients to the best behavioral health providers and treatments based on the patient’s needs and preferences as well as the provider’s skills and availability;
– An outcomes measurement platform to evaluate whether or not care is working, improve care, and drive improvements throughout the system;
– A software-enabled interface for providers to make it easy for them to diagnose patients, refer them to the right care, coordinate care, and track treatment outcomes; and
– Software-enabled tools and a patient care center that will guide patients through the treatment process and help them manage their care with personalized service.