headspace health It has revealed two acquisitions this year, the latest being earlier this month when the digital mental health company announced the purchase of mental wellness app Shine.
in a crowded field A mental health startup, the company is using the acquisition to enhance its product and add new capabilities. Headspace Chief Product and Design Officer Leslie Witt said the Shine deal is part of a larger effort to offer content that meets the needs of more groups, including people of color, women and the LGBTQIA+ community.
headspace health too Scooped Sayana, maker of AI-enabled mental health-tracking and sleep apps. And Headspace itself is the result of a merger between meditation app Headspace and virtual mental healthcare company Ginger, which was shut down about a year ago.
wit sat down with MobyHealth News To discuss the company’s acquisition strategy, how its offering might change in the future and what lies ahead for the competitive digital mental health sector.
MobiHealthNews: So, this wasn’t Headspace’s first acquisition this year. How do you choose your attainment goals? Do you think you will continue at this pace?
Leslie Witt: I think, as I’m sure you’re seeing, there’s a long-rumored consolidation of the mental health and behavioral health sectors. In some ways, the biggest part of our story that merges with that is the proper merging of Ginger and Headspace.
But we see a lot of opportunity in the three lenses. Most of the acquisitions we’ve made, as a combined entity and some that we’ve created separately, fit into the lens of any content that aligns with our core mission and helps us grow our reach through self-service. Let’s take a mental health perspective, capabilities that bring new levels of technology – especially around AI, conversation and community – and then talent.
These are all in the frame of small tuck-ins, where we’re not looking to maintain their offering as a stand-alone, but to incorporate the talent they bring to the table as a priority. In our core areas, to accelerate our capacity building and then to grow our content libraries.
MHN: You’ve been at Headspace for almost two years, not long before it merged with Ginger. How has the experience changed from a product perspective?
Wit: I’ll share with you something about why I joined Headspace, which was basically to answer what we were hearing from our potential members – often members who came in and then didn’t get what they needed, which was high-acuity mental health services and care. And from our enterprise buyers, they were seeing this well-known brand, a well-known brand that was attracting 30%, 50% of its employee base to open the front door to sign up and care.
But that front door only went so far. I fundamentally believe in the power of mindfulness and meditation tools, but they may not meet all mental health needs. And especially when a person is in a state of intense anxiety, acute depression, he needs access to professional, human services.
As for Headspace, this led to a direct realization that without a merger we had no viable and fast path, and Ginger was the perfect partner to pair. We’ve been working in that landscape of services over the past year to make sure we can really open the front door to caring for everyone. So that we can learn who you are, what you need, measure your goals, treat you to the right kind of care in a personal capacity, the right start. and lead you on a path where we are truly setting the dimensions of a lifelong mental health journey, helping you to create habits of practice that give you deeper self-care abilities that can then be used when needed. But can increase.
MHN: What are some of your goals for changing your offering in the future?
Wit: There is a personalization – not just of services, but of measure and result – so that we can be in the loop of continuous learning and improvement, where we understand what you need from the start, serve the right thing, evaluate what’s really Whether or not there was effectiveness for you, and do so on an individual level and as a whole.
We are building what I often call the middle piece, the bridge that exists between the self-serve content in the Headspace app and the Ginger Service’s text-based coaching, teletherapy and telepsychiatry.
To really focus on more clinical content and programmatic content, we have introduced a stress program. It’s a 30-day program that really takes you through an introduction to stress reduction habits and stress reduction exercises in a clinical and applied science-backed way. We are doing the same during anxiety and sleep, and see great potential in the core product itself to start hybridizing the interplay between coaching and that human level of support.
And then, last but not least, I think we have a lot of opportunities around the community. We see people engaging in almost all kinds of group-based ways around certain areas of content. [For example,] We see people come to Headspace in moments of struggle with infertility and see a great deal of potential and willingness to add community and peer-based support.
MHN: There are a lot of digital mental health companies out there right now, and you mentioned earlier that we may be at the beginning of a cohesive wave. How do you think the space will change overall this year?
Wit: In some ways I see the game changing that we are going back, in very good ways, to some of our pre-COVID norms. And with that, I think there’s a lot of pressure on [figuring out] What is perseverance, the relevance of telehealth.
What we are seeing generally is that, of all telehealth services, the ones that are the most sticky in a digitally distributed format are actually behavioral Health,
We are starting to lean on addressing some of that teenage mental health crisis. I think this is not being taken care of right now. And as a mom of 11-year-old twins who sees what’s happening in that scenario, this space needs more entrants. And we need to celebrate those who have already been there and ensure that their potential and reach continue to expand to all.
We are also looking at where enterprises have played a large role in employee access to mental health services. There is more and more need and buying and selling from the public sector. We have a relationship with LA County, and we see great potential to partner with governments, with educational institutions, and more broadly with health systems to ensure the goals of health equity and health equity.