Machine Learning Series: Reinventing Psychiatry

We are excited to have 5 companies in our Batch XI that are in a variety of industries including food, AR, blockchain, and wellness!

Read our full article on Foresight Mental Health and how they use machine leaning to improve patient care in the mental health space. Below are some highlights.

Foresight Mental Health — Reinventing Psychiatry

Almost 1/5 of people in the United States currently have mental health issues. Over 1/2 of adults with a mental illness don’t receive treatment. Demand for psychiatrists is increasing every year but patients are faced with exorbitant fees and long wait times.

Matt and Doug co-founded Foresight Mental Health (Batch VIII), a mental health and wellness clinic in Berkeley. They create customized genetic profiles through genetic testing, symptom profiles, and brain-chemical balance estimates. They factor in mental health history, family history, and lifestyle as well. The Foresight Platform analyzes clinical research and the patient profile to assist your doctor in accurately identifying the optimal treatment. Weekly surveys and practice-issued wearable technology monitor patient health to ensure treatment is effective.  

Q: What are current problems with patient care in the mental health space? 

Matt: “There’s a lot; it’s really a mess. Let’s start by looking at a treatment. There are currently 30 different anti-depressants. Sometimes they work and other times they don’t — and it takes a month to tell if it is even effective. You can imagine a psychiatrist nodding as you talk about your life and sending you out with a script saying ‘see you next month’. You have no idea if it’s going to work; neither do most psychiatrists because of the degree of trial and error psychiatry is forced to use right now. We’re trying to leverage data to improve this process. It is also very difficult to track side effects because of the lack of monitoring done on patients outside of the office. The prescribing method is very detached where psychiatrists check in on patients once a month and hastily prescribe medication based on surface level interactions. There is no effective method to regularly track results.”

Q: How do you provide specific data driven solutions to patients?

Matt: “Right now psychiatrists are often just picking medications out of a hat when determining which medication is best. We spent a lot of time tweaking our algorithm. We interviewed close to 200 psychiatrists trying to figure out how they make prescribing decisions. We built our model on medical guidelines and a database of information each medication. The data includes different factors that influence it, genetics, neurotransmitter estimates, biometrics, etc. Our software can sift through this in real-time. Next, we’re going to integrate a machine learning model into our precision medicine platform to add predictive power as we collect more patient data.”

Q: Where do you see your product moving forward?

Matt: “Imagine as a patient, before you even enter the building, you are diagnosed through an AI-driven chat bot. Your treatment plan is already constructed with sections dedicated to medications and therapy, in addition to exercise, sleep, and diet. When you walk int the office for the first time, you are given a genetic test and your doctor discusses the plan with you for treatment and monitoring.”

Be sure to read the full article to learn more about Foresight Mental Health and the challenges they faced as student entrepreneurs!