Scaling Up Headspace
Updated: Nov 7
The leaders who are pushing boundaries in Mental Health.
Personal Experience with Woebot
I was struck by something I heard recently on the Health Tech podcast. Dr Alison Darcy, CEO of Woebot Health, was being interviewed. She was asked if digitaly delivered mental health services could be scaled up. Her answer was succinct and compelling "They have to be."
Motivation to Download the App
Impressed by the interview I downloaded Woebot, a Cognitive Behavorial Therapy chatbot (CBT). It's early days but I've been "giving it a go" as the British would say. I've never been to a therapist but like a lot of people I'm comfortable seeking answers online to health problems and have had good results from Google. Because of that I'm willing to go one step further in my own personal digital health journey.
Why did I download an app? It's low risk to download and launch a free app. Knowing I can always put down the phone or uninstall it CBT is something I've heard of before through stoicism.
I was curious about it but not interested enough to track down and book time with a therapist. The Google Play store was an easy and safe gateway to dip my toe in the water.
User Experience with Woebot
My experiences so far? There was a clumsy moment where I felt lost in a decision tree but it was fleeting. After a few awkward moments Woebot got back on track and suggested a few relaxation excersizes that I find useful.
Comparison to Mindfulness Apps
I've tried mindfullness apps before but have always abandonded them. They felt too preprogrammed and unsuitable, like playing a video game where the story rides along on a predetermined track that doesn't respond to my inputs. Woebot is more expansive, able to go in different directions, responsive to where I'm at.
Challenges for the Health Tech Industry
So I'm more likely to turn to digital health products to meet my mental health needs now. I also feel more comfortable recommending them to other people. But that's just me.
What does the Health Tech industry need to do to increase adoption of digitally delivered Mental Health services?