SilverCloud Patients Spend 10 Minutes with a Provider, See Similar Results

SilverCloud Health providers spend one-sixth of the time that other therapists do with their patients.

Yet, it generates comparable outcomes to in-person cognitive behavioral therapy. This shows that providers can innovate with tech and care modes to become more efficient, said Dr. John Sharry, co-founder and clinical director of SliverCloud. This comes at a time when America is facing a mental health clinician shortage. In fact, about 130 million Americans live in a region with a mental health clinician shortage.

Amwell subsidiary SilverCloud Health providers use telehealth to conduct brief weekly check-ins with patients. Between check-ins, patients work through SilverCloud Health’s self-guided apps. These apps include cognitive behavioral therapy and other mental health programs.


Sharry and others founded Boston-based SilverCloud Health in 2012 to expand mental health care access for children and families. Even then, SilverCloud Health knew telehealth and technology were key to making mental health easier to get and provide.

SilverCloud Health’s departure from traditional models in search of efficiency seems prescient in light of today’s mental health clinician shortage.

Still, telehealth alone isn’t enough to find efficiencies. It can’t overcome the issue of time, Sharry said in an interview.


“It takes the same amount of therapist time to [meet] on a screen or face-to-face,” Sharry said. “SilverCloud proposes another modality.”

SilverCloud Health puts the onus on patients to “work through” problems themselves, Sharry said. Therapists spend about 10 minutes with patients each week in a “supporter” and “feedback” role.

“I can get six feedbacks done in one hour,” Sharry said. “So I can be even more efficient and get roughly the same results.”

Effectiveness research appears to demonstrate long-term improvements on measures of anxiety and depression. Slivercloud’s randomized control trial published in Nature shows that PHQ-9 depression scores drop from an average 14 to 6.8 over a year. For the same length, GAD-7 scores for anxiety drop from an average of about 12.7 to 6.1.

The later result confirmed what Sharry and his fellows at SilverCloud Health learned soon after launching SilverCloud Health. The company decided early on to compare SilverCloud to eight sessions of face-to-face cognitive behavioral therapy.

“The outcomes for [SilverCloud Health] were similar to face-to-face,” Sharry said. “That was a very exciting result … it took only a sixth of the supporter’s time to provide the support to the people going through it.”

SilverCloud as part of a spectrum of care

SilverCloud Health was able to ride this efficiency play to financial and business success as well. It raised over $30 million over several funding rounds.

Its last funding round garnered $16 million from MemorialCare Innovation Fund (round leader), LRVHealth, OSF Ventures and UnityPoint Health Ventures. Existing investors Act Venture Capital and B Capital Group participated in the round as well.

It made an exit to Boston-based telehealth and digital health services provider through American Well Corp. (NYSE: AMWL) on Aug. 27, 2021. American Well Corp., known as Amwell, also acquired automated virtual health care company Conversa on the same day.

Amwell acquired SilverCloud Health for about $226.2 million.

“Our acquisitions of SilverCloud and Conversa add proven longitudinal care and behavioral healthcare capabilities to our digital care enablement platform,” Amwell said in its latest quarterly financial filing.

The tie-up gives SilverCloud patients access to a whole range of telehealth services for more intensive care. Similarly, SilverCloud provides Amwell with a solution for efficiently managing many people’s mental health. The company announced in May a new comprehensive product that combines SilverCloud with Amwell’s other behavioral health services.

“It was very desirable to work with a telehealth company,” Sharry said of the deal from his vantage as a clinician. “In a way, it’s the complete suite of health where you can step up and step down care. People can have one-to-one real-time health support or CBT therapy. Or, they can have an educational supporter, more towards that self-help model on the other end.”

Amwell reportedly made a play to strengthen its behavioral health offering even further. Rumors percolated in June that Talkspace Inc. (Nasdaq: TALK) rejected M&A solicitation from Amwell.

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