The British start-up believes it has developed the magic formula for online therapy for children, for those who can’t bear the thought of a video call. Healios has now raised $10 million in funding from venture capital firm Sequoia Capital to expand its platform in the UK.
The round was led by InHealth Ventures, which is also working with the existing investor AlbionVC. Healios will use the funds to expand and strengthen its team, and if the launch is successful, the start-up will consider expanding internationally.
Healios says its platform digitizes clinical history and enables the use of clinical services at home. With demand for mental health services rising in the UK, more than half of children under 18 have access to NHS services, according to the NHS.
To make matters worse, Healios says, the Covid-19 pandemic has made the health system even more vulnerable to the spread of the disease.
Healios says studies have shown that including family members at the start can reduce suicide by up to 90%, and says it now works with more than 1,000 children and adolescents with mental health problems. Healios was founded in 2013 and has held more than 70,000 clinical specialist sessions, which is a high success rate for a start – given the difficulties in obtaining NHS approval. It also includes a number of other companies in the field, such as the UK’s largest psychiatric hospital, the Royal College of Psychists. He says he now works with a number of hospitals in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Wales.
As a mental health start-up, Healios is not subject to the same regulatory requirements as other companies in the field, such as the National Health Service.
Rich Andrews, founder and CEO of Healios, said: “This funding will help us reach more families in need and enable us to develop more sectors – leading interventions and therapies. The former head of the mental health unit at the Department of Health and Human Services will join Albion’s Cat McDonald on the Healos board.
By bringing together clinical experts and enabling them to reach their patients wherever they are, we will close the access gap that has plagued mental health care for far too long. Andrews also said: “Every young person will get an initial mental health assessment. They are diagnosed and then move on to other interventions, so it’s a seamless experience.
Healios CEO and CEO, Dr David O’Neill, said: “Healios is a standard vehicle for healthcare innovation. We combine clinical excellence with digital expertise and solve critical and complex areas of care. Our holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment has had a profound impact on mental health in the UK and around the world. To date, our work has been a success and we are the standard vehicle for innovation in the healthcare sector.
Albion VC investor Cat McDonald added: “Covid has spawned a pace of innovation that has never been seen in the healthcare sector. In particular, we have seen that remote treatment often works much better than traditional alternatives. Most children with poor mental health prefer treatment remotely, either at home or in a family-centered environment.