Calm branches out with new “condition-specific” mental health solution – MedCity News

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Health Tech
By Marissa Plescia

Traditionally a mental wellness company, Calm is entering the healthcare space through its new solution called Calm Health, it announced Tuesday.
“Calm historically has been focused on helping people with relaxation, teaching them meditation,” said Rhett Woods, Calm Health vice president of product, in an interview. “The new solution is focused on the intersection between mental and physical health because what we’ve come to realize is that mental and physical health are totally intertwined.”
San Francisco-based Calm, which mostly catered to consumers in the past, will be providing Calm Health to payers, providers and self-insured employers. Those who use the product will begin by downloading the app or accessing it on the web and completing a mental health screening. 
Based on the results of the screening, the solution will recommend a program through Calm Health, Woods said. The Calm Health programs are “condition-specific,” meaning they’re tailored to whatever mental health condition the user has. This includes audio and video content by licensed clinical experts. The programs follow principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance commitment therapy and dialectical therapy.
But in some cases, Calm Health may identify that the user needs support outside of its platform. In that situation, it will refer the user to an in-network provider, Woods said. 
“It’s actually going to connect you back into your health plan’s provider network and suggest you actually see a primary care physician or some other specialist,” he said.
The solution is currently intended for those struggling with conditions like anxiety or depression. However, the company will add programs in the future to provide mental health support for those struggling with certain physical conditions, including hypertension, obesity, heart disease and cancer, according to a news release.
Calm Health will become available early next year, Woods said. In the meantime, the company is working on marketing the new solution by presenting at events and communicating with its current business partners. Although it primarily has been a direct-to-consumer company, it also has a program for employers called Calm Business. Over 3,000 organizations use the Calm Business, including Lincoln and GoFundMe, according to its website.
Despite focusing on mental wellness in the past, Calm has been able to make this transition into healthcare through its recent acquisition of Ripple Health Group, according to Woods, who was one of the cofounders of Ripple. 
“[Ripple’s] background and expertise is all healthcare,” Woods said. “So we’re very well-versed at building technology and solutions for the healthcare industry and understanding the data requirements, the seriousness of compliance.”
Although Woods did not name any competitors, other digital mental health companies include Headspace Health and Spring Health
Photo: metamorworks, Getty Images
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