May 7, 2018
By David Ebersman
Imagine that you’re navigating a difficult time in your life — feeling overwhelmed by work, struggling with an unhealthy relationship, coping with persistent anxiety or depression. Where would you turn for help? How would you know what care was right for you? How would you pay for it?
Too many of us are faced with these questions. A surprising 50% of people will have a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime. Unfortunately, accessing good care is shockingly difficult. Among therapists in health plan networks, just 10% are accepting new patients and exclusively using evidence-based techniques (treatments clinically proven to work). It’s hard enough finding someone to talk to and even harder finding a great therapist with the right expertise for your needs. It’s no surprise that six out of seven people do not receive effective care.
What makes this outcome particularly sad is that effective treatments exist. Short-term interventions like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) have been applied to a wide range of problems and are proven to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, pain, and insomnia. With CBT, patients identify specific goals and then learn new skills, new ways of thinking, and new behaviors to improve their lives. CBT has been studied in hundreds of clinical trials and consistently delivers impressive results, usually after only 2-3 months. CBT, among other evidence-based therapies, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and the Gottman Method, can be life-changing.
When we launched Lyra three years ago, our mission was clear — to develop technology that makes it easy for people to access high quality mental health care. Just as technology has transformed how we shop, play, learn, and connect, so too can software and data science create a fundamentally better mental health experience.
Lyra’s unique technology, supported by a human touch from our terrific care team, can deliver experiences that are warm, confidence-inspiring, and confidential. We enable patients to find the best available therapists and access support whenever needed. We help therapists connect with the right patients and improve the effectiveness of their practices. We empower businesses to understand the quality of the care they are providing for their employees. And we use technology to build new datasets on cost and outcomes, powering feedback loops that further improve performance.
Today Lyra is available to more than 230,000 people. We’ve been fortunate to work with great partners like eBay and uber as early customers. We’ve demonstrated that we can make the system work meaningfully better by driving higher engagement, rapid access to quality care, and impressive rates of clinical improvement.
Our engineers have built an intuitive onboarding experience that makes it easy for people to understand treatment options. Our data scientists and clinicians have created matching algorithms to connect people with the best providers based on needs and preferences. Our product makes it easy for therapists to accept and manage Lyra patients. We’ve shown that we can automate processes that have historically relied on persistent manual effort. We’re fired up by the impact we’re making and the patients we are helping every day.
Lyra is just getting started. Today we are pleased to announce that we’ve raised $45 million in new financing. We are grateful for the support of our investors and for their confidence that we can build a category-defining company. We look forward to using our new funding to develop technology-based solutions that further remove barriers and improve outcomes. We will continue to show how software, data, and a human touch can be blended to make it easier for people to learn new skills, change thoughts and behaviors, and live happier and more fulfilling lives. As we understand more about patient symptoms, preferences, and outcomes, we will use machine learning to enhance our intelligent matching and deliver the best outcome for each individual. We will keep working until we put the right care at your fingertips.