An Independent publication issued with love
June 16th, 2021
If there is one thing we learned last year, it is that our mental health is a top priority. As a region riddled with tragedy, we have no option but to explore that realm with every tool we have from traditional healing to digital therapies.
The world has rushed in to rescue itself from the collective anxiety that we have all experienced. Mental health funding has soared, and investors have poured $1.5 Billion into mental health startups last year. [Forbes]
The world remains skeptical though, and so are we. The question that occurs to us on this edition is the following: In a region facing major structural destabilizing factors such as wars, civil unrest, and explosions, can digital therapies and behavioral change really stand up against this?
If so, then how do we provide access to those who need it the most? How do we get the most vulnerable populations to have access to these technologies?
Finally, but most importantly, what role do we each have to play individually, to combat the stigma that we have around therapy and healing?
In this edition below, you will find:
- Our Insights: We look at digital mental health funding globally and highlight the regional players.
- Debate: Will apps like Shezlong, Takestep, O7, and Umore be able to overcome the stigma and accessibility obstacles we have for mental health in the region?
- Featured Startup: EmberMed is building a modernized clinician toolkit. Check them out.
- Top Picks: Investors pour $1.5 M in digital health throughout 2020/21, India comes up with a digital health standard framework, and Digital Health Europe provides a PDF playbook to help you scale your digital health startup
Keep scrolling down to get all the good stuff! We want to keep bringing you better and more relevant content so we appreciate any donations to help us keep improving this service.
Altibbi a healthcare company providing digital tools to improve healthcare for all.
The Middle East has not attracted that kind of funding but there are a lot of companies that are worth exploring. Here are the ones we are tracking:
Takestep; Specialized platform focused on addiction and psychiatry. (Seed, Egypt)
Shezlong: Talk to your therapist online anywhere (Series A, Egypt)
Umore: AI-Powered mental health tracker. (Preseed, UAE)
SaayaHealth: Affordable and culturally relevant counselors (Preseed, Bahrain)
Sekeenah: Focused on helping the 475M Muslims with mental health. (Private, UAE)
O7 Therapy: Top notch, holistic psychotherapy programs (Pre-Seed, Egypt)
Can Digital Apps Fill The Gap of Mental Health in the Middle East?
We got stuck on this one, and we need your help for the next one!
We got stuck on this one. It’s very ironic since the topic is mental health. The question was whether apps like Shezlong, Takestep, and O7 would be able to overcome the stigma and the accessibility obstacles that people have in the region.
We felt a little depressed after recording this because we didn’t feel like it had the energy of our previous videos. We felt like it turned into a panel-like discussion and that was exactly what we are trying to avoid by doing a debate.
Much like the many Arabs living in war zones that require mental health support, we need your help! Help us understand what was wrong with this video by letting us know in the comments:
– The next topic is Women’s health, what would you like to see us debate?
– Are there any examples of debate formats you enjoy? Share them with us!
– What do you like about the current format and what should we change?
– What future topics would you like us to debate?
Interested in appearing on a debate with us? Send us an email at [email protected] and let us know what topic you’d like to discuss. Thank you!
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COMPETITION DEADLINE: JUNE 20TH
HIT Lab is seeking innovators that can help 50+ year olds. Apply Before June 20th
EVENT ON JUNE 15TH-17TH
Rakameya 2021 is featuring : The Changemakers – Startups in the MENA Region
EVENT ON NOV 18TH-19TH
Have you registered for Med-TECH World in Malta yet? [Nov18-19]
Today’s featured company is EmberMed, with its ambition to provide a modernized and interoperable toolkit for clinicians in the region.
In the video below, Omar Shaker interviews Shadi Wahba, CEO, and Co-founder of Ember. Watch the video for more.
Here are some takeaways:
💰 They raised $1.4M in their Seed Fund so far, and are looking for the final investors to close the round. Email Shadi at [email protected] to learn more.
🔬 Their vision is to build a one-stop shop for physicians where they can manage patients, their billing, and integration with other apps from one unified place.
🇺🇸 Both co-founders came up with the idea while living and working in the US and have raised their initial investments from two accelerators in States.
👩👦 They entered the Egyptian market in 2020, starting with their telehealth component to meet the market’s needs.
🇪🇬 According to Shadi, they were able to reach 160,000 downloads on the App store and have over 80 active doctors.
|Venture Funding For Mental Health Startups Hits Record High As Anxiety, Depression Skyrocket [Forbes].|
|Digital Health Europe: Supporting demand and supply for scaling up digital health and care solutions.|
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