Healthcare is constantly in the headlines these days.
Issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic dominate. But not far behind is the increasing focus on the Mental Health Crisis.
Flying under the radar is the way technology is transforming how the healthcare industry is able to deliver healthcare services.
A rapidly evolving technology niche in the healthcare industry is starting to attract a lot of attention – and it’s already drawing in large sums of venture capital to get it off the ground. More on this later.
The Medtech Revolution
Talk about how technology is transforming healthcare services and most people immediately think “telemedicine”.
Remote access between patients and physicians is an important improvement in providing better healthcare. But it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
New communications and data collection technology being applied to medical treatment – medtech – promises to make healthcare much more effective and efficient going forward.
Medtech is a technology platform. New technology to collect and analyze data, and then deliver it to physicians in real time. It is about to take healthcare into the 21st century.
Consider how healthcare services are currently delivered.
A patient consults with a physician about a medical problem. The physician dispenses treatment advice and (often) medication.
Often a follow-up visit is required after many days (or even weeks) later to assess the effectiveness of treatment and progress on the medical condition itself.
Problem: the data that the physician receives (from the patient) in the follow-up visit may not be reliable.
People forget things. And we also fib.
Patients who have not been closely following their physician’s advice are tempted to gloss over any deviations when summarizing their treatment schedule since the previous appointment.
Some people are organized and disciplined enough to keep their own (accurate) treatment journal. Most aren’t.
Medtech can (easily) collect treatment data from patients and forward it in real time to physicians. But that technological capacity has existed for years.
What will really allow medtech to radically improve the healthcare process is AI.
Man and machine combine to provide better healthcare
When does a patient need to move up or push back a follow-up medical appointment? When do medical symptoms show the potential for an emergency? When does a medication need to be changed or discontinued due to side effects?
A physician can make those determinations. But, in many cases, so too can an effective AI platform.
Patients receive more timely feedback on their treatment. Treatment schedules are optimized. Physicians are freed up from routine diagnostic work and are thus able to respond to more involved or urgent matters more efficiently.
Better. Faster. Saving time. Saving healthcare dollars.
Medtech is going to move healthcare into the 21st century and just in the nick of time.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the Mental Health Crisis are placing an enormous strain on both available healthcare resources and available healthcare funding.
Our healthcare system has never had a greater need for cost savings and efficiency gains.
Which medical treatments can be improved through medtech? Virtually all segments of healthcare stand to benefit.
However, certain areas of healthcare (and particular medical conditions) will derive more benefit from medtech than others.
How medtech can transform mental health care
Mental health is a branch of healthcare that can be particularly enriched and improved through the introduction of medtech.
Psychedelic Stock Watch has chronicled the failures of mainstream medicine to treat conditions like depression and addiction – which affect over 1 billion people around the world.
Part of this failure is the marginal efficacy of available drugs to treat these conditions. Part of the problem is the process itself.
Depressed patients (sometimes suicidal) may not be able to afford to wait weeks, or even days, in getting medical feedback to their therapists.
Medtech can provide real-time collection and delivery of data to physicians as well as AI-assisted diagnostics to anticipate a potential crisis or streamline scheduling. These could literally be life-saving improvements for many depressed people.
Addiction therapy is in similar in need of such advances in delivering healthcare. Timely intervention in emergency situations. Fine-tuning treatment in between scheduled appointments to maximize the odds of success.
Big dollars chasing medtech for mental health
The efficiency gains are visible. The technology to accomplish this already exists.
What is needed is the investment in R&D to design these mental health medtech platforms along with the venture capital to commercialize them.
The R&D is already well underway. One such platform under development is from Mindstrong Health. This private biotech company is working on an AI-powered platform to improve mental health care.
And interest is strong.
The company just announced securing $100 million in funding for its Series C financing.
To put this into context, psychedelics industry leader Compass Pathways (US:CMPS) only raised $80 million for its Series B financing (its last private round). It raised $127.5 million for its IPO and immediately soared to a market cap of over $1 billion.
There is big money chasing mental health medtech. And there is big money in being one of the leaders in rolling out these platforms.
Psychedelics investors already know about the Mental Health Crisis. They are familiar with the potential of psychedelic drugs to disrupt several major mental health treatment markets.
Most, however, don’t yet have medtech on their radar.
That’s going to change.
As business media follow this venture capital paper trail, psychedelics investors are going to hear a lot more about mental health medtech.
The Psychedelics Renaissance is already underway. The Medtech Revolution will almost certainly play a pivotal role in that Renaissance.