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ICYMI: The Cloud Is Crowded, Pear’s Digital Therapeutic & Open-Sourcing Mental Health

Cloud Native Mental Health Digital Therapeutics

What Is Cloud Native?

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)  defines cloud native technologies as those that “empower organizations to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. Containers, service meshes, microservices, immutable infrastructure, and declarative APIs exemplify this approach.”

And the cloud native application  landscape is...crowded.

What does this mean for healthcare and fintech companies that are ready to build or enhance their own cloud native solution sets?

  1. The ecosystem is thriving.
  2. The market is oversaturated.
  3. It’s a daunting task for a company to go into the space without having proper help or knowledge from experienced engineers.
source: Cloud Native Computing Foundation
source: Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Pear Therapeutics Launches a Digital Therapeutic for Chronic Insomnia

Pear Therapeutics has  launched Somryst, the first FDA-authorized prescription digital therapeutic treatment for chronic insomnia. Somryst is delivered via PearConnect on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. It is intended for patients under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

The nine-week digital therapeutic includes a series of short lessons and sleep training programs. Clinicians have access to real-time data on patient progress via a dashboard. In clinical studies, the PDT reduced the amount of time it took to fall asleep by 45% and similarly reduced symptoms of insomnia. Patients also experienced continued improvement at six and 12 months post-treatment.

The  distribution model begins with a patient requesting a telemedicine consult and, if approved, the prescription is fulfilled digitally via Truepill.

Project Amber: Open Source Resources for Mental Health Tech

One of the unique challenges in the mental health space is the lack of objective measurements. Unlike other areas of healthcare where conditions can be measured and compared over time, mental health is measured using highly subjective tools. That’s what led  Google’s X to search for a biomarker for mental health. They haven’t succeeded in that mission, but through the Amber project, they’ve built a low-cost, portable electroencephalography (EEG) device, and they made the tech and insights open source in the hopes of making a bigger impact.

In a  post on Medium, X’s Obi Felten writes:

“We didn’t succeed in our original goal of finding a single biomarker for depression and anxiety. It is unlikely that one exists, given the complexity of mental health. Yet there’s no question that there is a huge opportunity for technology to enable better measurement. …While the promise of emerging measurement techniques like EEG/ERP and digital phenotyping is very exciting, it is still early days. There are many pitfalls on the path to making tech-enabled mental health measurement work in the real world, and more research needs to be done.

For this reason, we’ve decided to make Amber’s technology and insights available to the global mental health community. We believe we can make a bigger and faster impact on this huge problem by sharing our work freely.”

Stunning Fall Photos

And finally, a shout out to a member of the Vynyl family for some beautiful fall photography. Sherene Ford is married to Vynyl engineer Mike Ford, and her autumnal portrait of their daughter was chosen as one of Clickin Moms’ favorite photos in a recent contest. Check out her photo alongside the rest of the winners on the  Clickin Moms blog.

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