What You Should Know:
– Sharecare announced the acquisition of Boston-based MindSciences, an evidence-based behavior change suite of apps focused on mental health (anxiety, stress management), smoking cessation, and weight loss/binge eating, and more.
– The acquisition rounds out Sharecare’s portfolio of mHealth-based therapeutic programs improving chronic disease risk and overall health outcomes by targeting varying aspects of well-being.
– Based on the work of Dr. Judson Brewer, now at Brown University, MindSciences app-based programs address habit change through industry-leading evidence-based mindfulness techniques.
Sharecare, the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place, today announced that it has acquired MindSciences, the leader in evidence-based behavior change apps. Founded by renowned neuroscientist and behavior change expert, Dr. Jud Brewer, MindSciences provides best-in-class digital therapeutics that help people reverse unhealthy habits involving food, tobacco, stress and anxiety – which contribute to the most costly and widespread health issues in the United States. This acquisition builds on Sharecare’s existing partnership with MindSciences, through which its tobacco cessation program was made available to the digital health company’s payer, provider, government and employer group customers.
Based on more than a decade of peer-reviewed scientific research yielding more than 70 publications, MindSciences’ programs help people understand how their brain works and how habits are formed through reward-based learning. Through a series of clinically validated, interactive daily modules with mindfulness lessons and exercises, MindSciences leverages that same system used to form bad habits – including smoking, overeating and anxiety – to unwind them for good. With over $15 million in funding for its research from organizations including the American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute and National Institute on Drug Abuse, to name a few, studies on the effectiveness of MindSciences’ programs have been conducted with more than 3,000 clinical trial participants and tens of thousands of real-world users.
Director of research and innovation at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University and associate professor of psychiatry at The Warren Alpert Medical School, Dr. Brewer (M.D., Ph.D.) has dedicated his career to researching how the human brain forms negative behavior patterns, habits and addictions, and the specific techniques needed to create lasting change. In addition to training U.S. Olympic athletes and coaches, foreign government ministers and corporate leaders, Dr. Brewer frequently appears as an expert in the media; and his TED Talk, “A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit,” was the fourth most viewed of 2016 and, to date, has generated over 15 million views.
“The widespread and persistent worry Americans are experiencing right now is unlike anything I have seen in my 20-plus years of studying, researching and practicing mindfulness – and we must empower people to use the single most powerful tool available to help them weather this storm: their own mind,” said Dr. Brewer, who joins Sharecare as its senior scientific and medical advisor for behavioral health. “Sharecare’s reach, engagement and depth is unparalleled, and I am incredibly hopeful about the positive change we can effect by putting the combined power of our platforms into people’s hands.”
Integration Benefits for Sharecare
Integrating MindSciences’ programs into Sharecare’s platform will help them deliver on employer, payer and consumer needs that are in critical demand and are expected to grow, but also some very specific well-being needs that COVID-19 has exacerbated for populations across the US. MindSciences’ full suite of app-based digital therapeutics includes:
Craving To Quit®: a mindfulness-centered smoking cessation program, proven to be twice as effective as the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking
Eat Right Now®: an evidence-based program for binge eating and weight loss that, according to a 2017 study from University of California, San Francisco, reduces craving-related eating by 40%
Unwinding Anxiety®: an award-winning app clinically proven to reduce anxiety by 57% as measured with GAD-7
Breathe: a free app based on MindSciences’ award-winning behavior change programs, featuring simple and effective one-minute breathing exercises to help people be calmer, less distracted, more aware, and more focused when needed – whether in the midst of a busy day or a quiet moment at home.
Through the acquisition – terms of which were not disclosed – MindSciences becomes a cornerstone of Sharecare’s tools and programs for behavioral health, which also includes Sharecare Windows – a series of original HD relaxation and wellness videos created to reduce stress and anxiety, promote healthy sleep patterns, and support meditative practices.
“We are deeply committed to helping our client partners deliver best-in-class digital therapeutics to those in their populations that need them most, which is why we partnered with MindSciences in the first place. And as levels of worry and unhealthy behavior skyrocketed across the country in April, behavioral health and remote patient monitoring have become increasingly critical, particularly as employers across the country prepare to return to work,” said Jeff Arnold, founder, chairman and CEO of Sharecare. “In the wake of COVID-19 in particular, our acquisition of MindSciences is a major step forward in optimizing the Sharecare platform to help our partners navigate the next phase of the pandemic while empowering their people to overcome habits they may have developed to cope, reclaim their well-being and build resilience for the future.”