Startups, Health IT

Cognitive behavioral health startup Pacifica Labs closes seed round

Pacifica Labs is expanding beyond its direct to consumer platform to bring clinicians into the fold.

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Pacifica for Clinicians from Pacifica Labs is a Software-a- a-Service, designed to help clinicians better track and treat their patients.

 

Cognitive behavioral therapy startup Pacifica Labs has closed a seed round, led by LEO Innovation Lab, part of Danish healthcare company LEO Pharma. Madison Wisconsin-based HealthX Ventures and Amsterdam-based Personal Health Solutions Capital, which invests in consumer health and well-being tech, also took part in the round, according to a company news release.

Although the amount was not disclosed, the funding will be used in part to support Pacifica’s expansion from a direct to consumer platform to add resources for clinicians. Pacifica also plans to add telepsychiatry support tools to its platform later this year, said Dale Beermann, Pacifica Labs CEO and cofounder, in a phone interview with MedCity News.

What makes LEO’s participation in the round particularly interesting is its view of Pacifica’s app part of a multipronged approach to disease management. Although pharma companies historically have not invested in the behavioral health component of a condition, that’s changed in recent years with the interest in addressing depression, stress and other comorbidities associated with chronic conditions, which can undermine outcomes.

“We believe very strongly that dealing with a skin condition is not only about handling the physical implications but also about tackling the mental issues it causes,” said Kristian Hart-Hansen, CEO of LEO Innovation Lab in the news release. “Investing in such a promising startup with strong mental health solutions is a natural fit.”

Pacifica for Clinicians is a way for physicians to better monitor and help their patients manage anxiety and stress. It is designed to help clinicians generate more insights from patient data to customize treatment. Clinicians can also use the app to monitor patient progress assign assessments, which in turn allows patients to feel more engaged and involved in their treatment.

Pacifica’s app for iOs and Android networks has 1.25 million users, according to the release.

The company seeks to strike a balance between adding innovation to the behavioral health space without disruption, said Beermann.

“We want to make sure we are not disrupting the way [clinicians] work with their patients,” said Beermann. “We started in the consumer space and have been focused on building a product people like but also making sure the product is aligned with practices.”

Beermann acknowledged the growing number of business models in the behavioral health subsector of digital health, particularly in response to the growing interest in bringing medical care and mental healthcare into closer alignment. But he said one major difference between these companies and Pacifica is that many of these rival apps are not generating actionable data.

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