An onmi-channel platform providing curative solutions to mental health in India
Last year, the world experienced unprecedented loneliness. With the advent of the pandemic, we were all forced to retreat inwards, both literally and figuratively, and many were woken up to the harsh realities of living with mental illnesses without adequate help or support. In India, roughly 200 MM people have largely been left to themselves to navigate through the complicated process of identifying mental illness and receiving treatment. The high incidence of mental illness in India galvanized us to delve deeper into the industry. Through our research we discovered that despite 1 in every 6th Indian suffering from mental illness, the country has some of the worst infrastructure to solve for the problem – lack of awareness (and social stigma), low public spending, lack of access to treatment and a serious dearth of mental health professionals have all contributed to the widening the pre-existing treatment gap.
These realizations shook us. The biggest insight that surfaced from our research is that the care process in India – from discovery and treatment to relapse management – is fragmented and in need of high quality, effective clinical outcomes at scale (ie. a solution that is not just preventive, but curative).
Therefore, we believe that in order for a company to successfully solve for the complex issues at hand, while providing a curative solution, care has to be a foundational principle. In practice, this translates to building solutions that meet customers on every step of their journey to getting better. We call this set of solutions the care continuum – the process of following a patient from “preventive care, through clinical and medical support, rehabilitation, and maintenance.” Building with a care-first approach encompasses innovating across the care continuum while focusing on providing curative solutions. With care as a guiding principle, the right company will be able to deliver customer-centric products and services, in the coordinated effort required to manage chronic mental illnesses. For us the true metric of success for any company in this space should be measured by the outcomes they deliver and not necessarily by the scale they achieve immediately. If a company can start meaningfully improving the lives of mentally ill patients it will be best placed to build scale further on.
This is where InnerHour steps in. By developing an omni-channel mental health platform driven by a strong technology backend, the company provides a comprehensive suite of services and products that will address the entire set of mental health needs. Leveraging digital channels, InnerHour’s app solves for the discovery gap. It has self-assessments that identify mental health difficulties and pairs users to personalized programs developed by in-house therapists. These programs are based on cognitive behaviour therapy, positive psychology and mindfulness models, which have proved to improve treatment and recovery outcomes, and reduce the burden of care on users and their families. In fact, early observational data suggests that their 28-day digital programs have shown meaningful decreases in symptom reduction such as a 23% reduction in the level of anxiety, an 18% reduction in the severity of depression and a 17% reduction in stress levels
Moreover, users can complement their programs through teleconsultations (in 8 different Indian languages) with trained and vetted in-house therapists, that monitor their progress on the app and provide tele-therapy as and when is needed. The critical lever in this business is that InnerHour will be able to provide care at every touchpoint in a coordinated manner with a technology and data-driven backbone that drives process innovation to deliver better outcomes faster. The company plans to do this by taking ownership of a users’ entire mental health journey and by building tools that not only help users but also support care givers (therapists, patients’ families) to effectively identify and mitigate red flags early.
InnerHour is in the process of building the most comprehensive mental healthcare platform in India and we are so pleased to announce our investment in the company. Post our investment, the company will invest heavily behind their digital-led omnichannel platform programs, while layering in a stronger community angle to further solve for users’ and caregivers’ needs.
With India’s reputation as the depression capital of the world, the need for a coordinated, technology and data-backed solution, with care at its foundation, has never been greater. With InnerHour, we are one step closer to not only de-stigmatizing the conversation around mental health, but managing and curing mental illness at scale.
1 in every 6th Indian suffers from some form of mental illness – the World Health Organisation estimates that India will suffer a $1 trillion economic loss due to unaddressed mental health conditions between 2012 and 2030. At Lightbox, we are in the business of understanding the Indian consumer and her problems, and then investing in the best solutions to counter these problems.
For us the true metric of success for any company in this space should be measured by the outcomes they deliver and not necessarily by the scale they achieve immediately. If a company can start meaningfully improving the lives of mentally ill patients it will be best placed to build scale further on.
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