Many mental health startups struggle with payor value propositions because the US healthcare industry is riddled with complex dynamics and counterintuitive incentives. For example, while it would make sense for reimbursement to be primarily driven by better health outcomes or long-term cost reduction, that is often not the case.
Before any teen or young adult participates in Limbix’s virtual clinical trial for Spark, a digital therapeutic mobile app designed for teens ages 13–21 experiencing symptoms of depression, they speak with one of the members of the Limbix clinical trials team. This team — consisting of the clinical trial investigators and research coordinators — acts as Limbix’s dedicated liaison to the teens and parents who participate in the clinical trial.
How two teens managed their mental health through a pandemic, and what they wish adults knew about what they do online
Researchers and practitioners are increasingly turning to co-design as an essential strategy for improving engagement. Co-design (sometimes referred to as co-creation or participatory design) is a structured process for engaging end-users and stakeholders as creative partners in the design process in order to understand their needs and fine-tune product features to be as engaging and impactful as possible.
This is the second article in a series on engagement. Read the first article here. Engagement is arguably the single most important challenge in digital health today. Yet, while we recognize that engagement is important, there is a distinct lack of clarity regarding what exactly engagement is, and even more importantly, how to measure it.
Each week, clinical trial participants using Limbix Spark complete the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8), a measurement of depressive symptoms, in their app. The PHQ-8 is an important measurement for determining the effectiveness of Spark, an investigational treatment for adolescent depression — but it’s also one of the ways the Limbix team makes sure the teens in their clinical trials are safe.
Dr. Aarthi Padmanabhan has always been fascinated by the brain. As Director of Clinical Research at Limbix, Padmanabhan oversees all of Limbix’s research activities — from strategy for grant applications, to clinical trial recruitment, to data collection, analysis, and dissemination.
User engagement with digital health interventions is a primary challenge faced by the industry today. A growing body of evidence has demonstrated that digital health interventions are effective, safe, and affordable treatments. However, many patients do not sufficiently engage with the interventions once they are prescribed. Just as medicine is only effective if patients take the minimum effective dose, so too, digital health interventions are only effective if patients sufficiently engage with them.
As an undergraduate student and field hockey player at Stanford University, academic and athletic success felt like forces that dominated Elise Ogle’s life. Those pressures took a toll, one that was difficult to recognize at the time: “You can see the first-hand effects of that [pressure] on mental health when you don’t get the support you need, or just understand enough about your own mental health to be able to recognize when you’re slipping,” she says.
It’s no secret there’s a ballooning mental health emergency in the U.S., a crisis of especially sobering proportions among teenagers. But in a society where people can access everything from laundry services to furniture construction on demand, mental health care still ranges from logistically complicated to downright infeasible for Americans who can’t afford to pay for treatment out of pocket.