HCDT&I Series: Big Health’s Story

Credit Suisse https://www.credit-suisse.com, hosted Peter Hames, Co-Founder and CEO of Big Health https://www.bighealth.com for a virtual meeting with a small group of investors.

By way of background, Big Health is a digital therapeutics company offering two main solutions featuring cognitive and behavioral techniquesSleepio for helping individuals address poor sleep, and Daylight for helping individuals address worry and anxiety.

Mr. Hames described the sharp increase in mental health awareness, as well as the large focus on finding solutions to be a silver lining of the pandemic. The first step when trying to expand access to mental healthcare was to put a technological front layer on human therapists. However, with a shortage of therapists and long wait times, even with a layer, it would not be enough to address the large volumes of individuals that need care.

As a result, Mr. Hames believes digital therapeutics can be the answer by taking evidenced-based non-drug therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and fully automate it through software, which would not require a therapist.

The need for a care process that is non-drug, but as scalable as medications, drives the market for digital therapeutics. Big Health’s solutions are fully reimbursable with the treatment often ranging from 2-8 weeks but can go on indefinitely.

When asked where Sleepio and Daylight fall in the broad range of mental health solutions, Mr. Hames categorizes the market into three distinct groups. The first group being people who are broadly healthy and seek help for low-acuity issues (e.g., non-clinical stress/anxiety). Calm and Headspace are solutions for that market.

On the other end, there are human-centered solutions –Lyra, Ginger, Talkspace, BetterHelp- offering help to high acuity patients. While high-touch, they are expensive and have limited reach, despite the use of technology, according to Mr. Hames. Big Health is in the middle and operates in the largest market by volume. 80% of people who try to receive mental care are given medications but don’t see a therapist.

By volume, most conversations on mental health happening in primary care are not with a therapist. The middle section, where the patients are clinical but don’t get aid from a therapist results in their only option being medication, is where Big Health operates.

Altogether, the mental health opportunity set continues to evolve with several players taking different approaches, including TDOC, AMWL, HIMS, and MBCN. As mental health continues to be a key focus area from employers, health plans and consumers, analysts believe there is ample room for each company to grow.

Sleepio and Daylight are both featured solutions as part of the CVS Health Point Solutions Management program. Mr. Hames described the CVS partnership as highly fruitful and productive for the company.

CVS is also the largest PMB and so their suite of assets is highly unique, allowing them to develop new care models very effectively. As for engagement, Big Health uses claims data through PBM partnerships to target individuals likely to benefit from their services, instead of non-targeted mass marketing tactics.

To ask questions, provide feedback, or news, email Jailendra Singh at jailendra.singh@credit-suisse.com or call 212-325-8121.

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