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ieso’s £39m fundraise to boost AI-driven mental health care

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AI-driven mental health therapeutics for the NHS and globally has taken a huge step forward following the close of ieso digital health’s £39million Series B fundraise.

Nigel Pitchford, CEO of ieso digital health. Picture: Diana Hagues
Nigel Pitchford, CEO of ieso digital health. Picture: Diana Hagues

The mental health innovator, based at The Jeffreys Building, will now be able to develop clinical software treatments built on the world’s largest mental health treatment data set, just as a global mental health crisis – exacerbated by the pandemic and the climate crisis – starts to unfold.

One in four people experience a mental condition annually, with depression alone estimated to cost the global economy $1trn. Clinically-evidenced digital therapeutics for treating diagnosed mental health conditions is a game-changer, and ieso’s 460,000-hour clinical therapy dataset and real-world evidence platform offers a route for accelerated development and trialing of personalised mental health treatments.

The ieso model delivers cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) digitally. CBT is used to treat a range of common mental health problems including anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD, OCD, social anxiety, phobias and panic disorders.

The gargantuan financing effort was led by Morningside, alongside new investors including Sony Innovation Fund and further participation from existing shareholders Molten Ventures, IP Group and Ananda Impact Ventures.

Nigel Pitchford, CEO of ieso, said: “At ieso, we’re looking to transform global mental health by unlocking the power of clinical data to develop AI-enabled digital therapeutics. Our experience delivering outstanding mental healthcare within the NHS ideally places us for starting to tackle this challenge. A new generation of clinically-validated digital mental healthcare products could ultimately improve millions of lives. But we cannot do this alone, and look forward to working with our patients, clinicians, investors, as well as existing and future partners, to better serve those who require mental health support.”

ieso delivers CBT digitally
ieso delivers CBT digitally

The funds will help take AI-enabled, evidence-based digital therapeutics through regulatory approvals and to market in the US and UK. In addition, ieso will expand its US commercial teams and seek regulatory approval for its autonomous digital tools in the US and UK. It will also continue to make its digital therapy service available to more than 20 million people in the UK via existing partnerships, including with the NHS.

Stephen Bruso, Morningside Ventures, who also joins the board, said: “ieso’s advanced AI-driven digital therapeutics platform is further evidence of the power of data in the realm of mental health.

“By pairing one of the world’s largest databases in cognitive behavioural therapy with sophisticated AI algorithms, ieso is delivering improved mental healthcare to patients with significant

unmet need.”

The funds raised will help ieso develop autonomous therapy systems that match the high standards of human care delivery at significantly lower cost to health systems.

Dr Andy Richards CBE, chairman of ieso, said: “We are in a global mental health crisis. There are simply not enough clinicians to assess and treat the growing number of people who need help. While we have seen an explosion in the number of mobile apps to help address mental health conditions, there is an urgent need for true digital therapeutics which have been approved for treating patients.

“Through the support of our investors who share our purpose, we’ll continue on our mission of combining clinical expertise, data science and technology to enable better and more accessible mental healthcare.”

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