Total Brain is a neuroscience-based mental health and brain performance app
Unlike physical health, it is difficult to assess whether treatments actually work or not. Most assessments are self-reported and there are few objective measures of whether the patient is actually improving.
SonderMind is a digital behavioral health and telehealth company looking to change that by using big data, not just to match therapists and patients, but to provide therapists with a suite of data-intensive apps that can be used to tell them how their clients are doing, so they can improve care and outcomes for their patients.
Now the company is taking results measurement a step further with the acquisition of Total Brain earlier this week, a neuroscience-based mental health and brain performance app. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but Total Brain, which was previously listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, has now been taken private through the acquisition.
This is SonderMind’s third acquisition after buying Uvize, a provider of mentoring software for organizations to accelerate and improve connections between mentors and proteges, in 2016 and then purchase of predictive analytics platform Qntfy in October last year.
Mark Frank, co-founder and CEO of SonderMind, spoke to VatorNews about the acquisition, why Total Brain was a good fit for SonderMind’s platform, and what it means for the company going forward.
VatorNews: Tell me about Total Brain and what they do. What problem do they solve and how do they solve it?
Mark Frank: Total Brain is a SaaS company with an app backed by decades of peer-reviewed scientific research that improves mental and emotional awareness and well-being. It offers cognitive assessments and related support like meditation, sleep assistance, digital CBT, and brain training to improve mental well-being.
The problem that TotalBrain helps us solve is twofold: first, expand our therapy and clinical care offering to a full suite of digital tools to support the largest segment of the population – before, during and after a potential need for therapy. Two, hwhat helps us to solve is the lack of objective data in mental health.
For example, in physical health, you go to the orthopedist and you say “it hurts”, they do an x-ray, see that it’s broken, follow a treatment plan, do another x-ray to show if you’re better . There is clear data to prove or disprove whether you are cured. Not in mental health. We must be able to measure well-being and progress if we are to improve mental health care delivery and outcomes. That’s what we can do together.
Total Brain offers us an objective, science-backed, and clinically validated tool for engaging with individuals at every stage of their mental wellness journey, whether outside of therapy or in a relationship with a therapist. Suppose you’re having trouble sleeping: If you’re using the app on your own, you can try sleep neurotunes to calm your brain before bed. Or, if you’re seeing a therapist, giving them access to your data on the app might lead them to make a similar recommendation to try neurotunes to help train your brain to be more receptive to the therapy process.
This builds on research we are already conducting with researchers at the University of Denver to dig deeper into treatment outcomes and the impact of measurement-based care techniques.
VN: How does their solution improve SonderMind? What do they offer that you didn’t have before or needed?
FM: Total Brain will allow SonderMind to augment our existing high-quality therapy to reach people before entering therapy, between sessions, or after therapy ends – really, wherever they are – both individual health or population health.
What sets Total Brain apart from many other self-service mental assessment and wellness apps is that it’s backed by years of clinical research and peer review. It has the largest standardized neuroscience dataset in the world. The app is not just an assessment, brain training exercises, or a database providing population health information. All of these components come together to help individuals compare and the app to better customize and optimize over time.
VN: Will Total Brain remain a standalone business or will it close now that you’ve acquired them?
FM: Total Brain is now part of SonderMind. We currently plan to continue all operations of the pre-existing business, currently operating as Total Brain, a SonderMind company.
VN: Will you integrate some of their technology into SonderMind? If so, what will this change in your current offer?
FM: Yes, we acquired Total Brain to provide a complete offering that allows us to meet the needs at the health level of the population and at the individual level. We will be able to meet people where they are with a very personal care journey. From individual interventions to accessing therapists, we can make it a one-stop shop.
VN: What will patients and therapists see differently now that Total Brain is part of SonderMind?
FM: In the future, clients will be able to share their data from the app with their therapist, who can incorporate this information into their care plan and offer recommendations on interventions accessible through the app.
Currently we have 7 or 9 question assessments (PHQ-9, GAD-7) that we use as part of measurement-based care, but we can and should get more in-depth assessments to understand this is happening with individuals and personalizing their care. and interventions. Total Brain will help us do that.
VN: Will there be Total Brain employees coming to work in the company? If so, in what capacity?
FM: More than 30 Total Brain employees have come to SonderMind to support current and future offerings.
VN: What success do you see in this acquisition? What do you hope to accomplish?
FM: We want to meet people wherever they are on their mental wellness journey. Day to day, week to week, month to month, it can change. You may be feeling great one day and a life event is happening the next that is causing anxiety, and we want to be there to support you on both types of days.
For corporate clients, success will be in providing a comprehensive offering that makes the mental health journey seamless: from one-on-one engagement with an app to fast, high-quality matches with therapists and back again.
For individuals, success will look like navigating the ups and downs of mental health, offering an offering that allows them to deal with minor issues or quickly access care when needs become more acute.
For therapists, success will lie in empowering them with data and tools that improve their delivery of high-quality care and enable them to better measure client progress.
VN: Is there anything else I should know?
FM: This offering is going to revolutionize mental health, and I’m very excited to do the work to bring it to market.
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