Headspace Health grabs startup Sayana to build out AI-based mental health tools

Six months after the $ 3 billion merger with Ginger, Headspace Health acquired Sayana, an AI-driven mental health and wellness company.

Sayana will expand Headspace Health’s ability to deliver personalized, self-catering content to its 100 million users, executives said.

Headspace Health did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

Founded in 2018 and supported by Y Combinator in 2020, Sayana self-care app leverages chat-based sessions with an AI persona named Sayana who encourages users to track their moods. The app personalizes users’ experiences based on their check-ins and mood trends, and recommends self-care exercises rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance commitment therapy (ACT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), as well as breathing exercises.

The Sayana Sleep app also helps members improve their sleep based on their mood and sleep pattern.

“Amid a rapidly growing landscape of mental health and wellness apps, Sayana has developed a uniquely engaging member experience powered by world-class AI and machine learning algorithms,” said Russell Glass, CEO of Headspace Health, in a statement.

RELATED: Headspace, Ginger Complete Merger to Create $ 3 Billion Mental Health Company

The Sayana app will remain live for its 300,000+ users, while Headspace Health will integrate the technology into its platform over the next few quarters.

During a presentation at the JP Morgan Healthcare Virtual Conference on Wednesday, Glass said that Sayana provides users with an “elegant and sophisticated” experience.

“We are bringing in this team to step up our march towards building the most comprehensive mental health and wellbeing platform,” he said.

The latest merger agreement combined Ginger’s teletherapy services with Headspace’s meditation and mindfulness app. Headspace Health now aims to deliver an integrated experience to address the full spectrum of mental health needs – from prevention to clinical care – all through one platform powered by AI and data science.

Headspace uses AI to power a significant percentage of the company’s supplies, Glass said during the JPM conference, including using natural language processing to extract information from the chats, summarize coach notes and care information, and monitor for suicidality.

The company uses AI to display and recommend content, encourage healthy habit formation, and provide users with personalized action plans.

“We’re now at a point where content recommendations via AI are of a higher quality by engagement rate than recommendations from the providers themselves. The AI ​​content recommendations are being used more often,” said Glass.

Ginger uses AI to support his team of behavioral trainers, therapists, and psychiatrists to ensure quality interaction with members, comprehensive tracking of services, and close collaboration among service providers.

With the addition of Sayana, Headspace Health will hone its AI skills to personalize member experiences, according to executives.

RELATED: Ginger’s Mental Health App Is Now Available in Spanish with Full Launch for all 25 million users through early 2022

Sayana founder and CEO Sergey Fayfer will join Headspace Health and take on a product leadership role along with an experienced team of engineers and designers.

“Since our inception, our mission at Sayana has been to put self-care in everyone’s pockets,” Fayfer said in a statement. “We are thrilled to bring together our technology, engineering and design expertise to advance Headspace Health’s efforts to democratize high quality, affordable mental health care around the world.”

Headspace is also focused on partnering with more employers through its corporate brands Headspace for Work and Ginger, according to Glass. The company currently works with 3,500 companies through health plans such as Cigna.

“We’re seeing hypergrowth in this area of ​​the business,” he said during JPM. The company has seen employer bookings grow 59% year over year.

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