Scouting Report-Minded: Improving Access & Care for Mental Health Medication
Minded, a mental telehealth company, raised $25M in Seed funding with participation from Streamlined Ventures, Link Ventures, The Tiger Fund, Unicorn Ventures, Trousdale Ventures, Gaingels, SALT Fund, and TheFund. Minded is a behavioral telehealth company focused on making access to mental health medication easier and more affordable. The seed money raised will go towards the development of expanding their behavioral health prescription medication platform to other regions of the U.S. In addition, Minded plans to use some of the funding to extend its care umbrella to attention and mood disorders.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 40 million adults in the U.S (19%) have an anxiety disorder and about 21 million adults (8%) had at least one major depressive episode in the U.S. in 2020.
Patients can refill their prescription and have it delivered to their homes without having to leave the house.
Patients are not required to have a diagnosis prior to using the service but will have to undergo an evaluation by a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner.
Depending on the patient's insurance coverage, the cost of medications may be reimbursed (but not the Minded subscription itself).
The origin of Minded comes from CEO and co-founder David Rodnick’s struggles with insomnia and anxiety for 10 years which was treated with medication. During that time, he realized the difficulty to obtain these medications as well as how expensive it was to see a specialist. Rodnick’s solution was to create a platform to increase the accessibility of medications for others, eventually coming upon a solution in the form of Minded.
The Minded platform is designed for those 18 years and older who were diagnosed or believe they have anxiety, depression, or insomnia. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 40 million adults in the U.S (19.1%) have an anxiety disorder and about 21 million adults in the U.S (8.4%) had at least one major depressive episode in 2020. Minded patients take an online assessment to check their eligibility for the program. If eligible, the patient will be matched with a psychiatric specialist for an evaluation via video call. These specialists will prescribe medication depending on the needs of each patient. The patient can then choose whether they want to pick up their medication from a local pharmacy or have it delivered to their house. The platform currently operates on a subscription basis, charging a monthly fee of $65 in addition to the cost of medication. Depending on the patients' insurance provider, the prescriptions may be reimbursed.
One thing that distinguishes the Minded platform is the breadth of the offering. Minded does an initial assessment, matches the consumer with a specialist, sets up appointments, and has specialists that can prescribe medication. The medication can be delivered to the patient's home, a local pharmacy, or go to an online pharmacy. While there are similar companies like Mentavio and BetterHelp that target mental health conditions by offering counseling and therapy via video calls, these companies lack additional services such as prescribing and delivering medication. Not only is Minded offering these services, but they are aiming to make obtaining medication cheaper and more efficient. When these services are combined they make a very complete offering for those in need of treatment and medication for behavioral health issues.
The Big Picture:
Minded is bringing value through their behavioral care telehealth, prescription, and medication delivery services. Their unique approach to telehealth will make accessing medication for those suffering from anxiety, depression, and insomnia easier. With the use of the platform, patients will have access to a licensed physician at their fingertips, as well as quality medication at the physician’s discretion. Where needed, virtual appointments can decrease person-to-person contact for those who are immunocompromised. Minded is targeted at improving access, efficiency, and reducing costs. In addition, the fact that patients don’t need insurance or a prior diagnosis to sign up removes several barriers to care (prescriptions may be reimbursable depending on the patient's insurance carrier). However, while the program's subscription membership may ease convenience, the $65 monthly fee may be considered expensive by some, particularly many of the underserved who may be in a particular position to benefit from these services due to lack of transportation and a shortage of providers in certain areas.