Stakeholders Predict High Levels of Disruption in Mental Health Care for 2021

The behavioral health care industry has long been ripe for disruption, and the coronavirus could finally make it happen.

In fact, health care stakeholders have identified mental health specifically as an area with some of the biggest opportunities for innovation in 2021, according to an outlook report from CB Insights.

CB Insights is a market intelligence company that analyzes data on private companies in emerging industries to identify strategy, investor performance and technology trends. In its recent healthcare insights survey, 23% of respondents identified mental health as the health care sector with the most opportunity for disruption and innovation in the year ahead. 


The category was beaten out only by chronic care management, which garnered 37% of votes. Meanwhile, 19% of respondents identified clinical trials as the area with the most opportunity for innovation in 2021; 10% said data privacy and security; 5% said women’s health; and 6% chose another category.

In all, CB Insights collected more than 500 responses for the survey.

The outlook for mental health disruption doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. Last year, mental health tech startups netted a record high of $2 billion total in equity financing, according to another CB Insights Report. Plus, behavioral health startups have continued to pull in record levels of fundraising post-new year. 


In fact, the space gained another unicorn in early February, when Modern Health raised $74 million dollars to push its valuation up to about $1.17 billion. The company provides employers with a mental health and wellness platform, which gives employees access to well-being assessments, self-service wellness kits, certified coaches and licensed therapists, all available in a single app.

It seems the use of digital solutions and remote care delivery will grow even more popular into the future, according to the survey results from CB insights. Respondents identified telehealth and digital therapeutics as two of the most underrated technologies in all of healthcare. Both have proven increasingly useful for behavioral health providers and have received increased attention from health care stakeholders in recent years due to the pandemic. 

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