Happify Sets a New Standard for Digital Patient Engagement

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Happify has developed a digital platform that is revolutionizing the treatment of anxiety and depression. Here’s what healthcare providers can learn from this innovative approach.

As patients seek greater convenience and personalization, healthcare is becoming increasingly digital. This shift is touching nearly all specialities — including the mental health field — and new therapeutic approaches are emerging to meet patients where they are.

Amid this transformation, digital therapeutics company Happify is taking the lead. Happify focuses on treating anxiety and depression using a simple and intuitive digital platform that can be accessed from a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Founded by video game entrepreneurs, it began as a direct-to-consumer business. Before long, however, Happify entered the prescription therapy market.

Building on its rapid success, Happify signed a deal with the global pharmaceutical company Sanofi to take its “meta-condition” therapy — meaning therapy for anxiety and depression, which are comorbid with many chronic conditions — to MS patients. Depression is very common in people with MS, and symptoms severe enough to require medical intervention affect up to half of all patients with MS at some point during their illness. Happify seeks to make new therapeutic solutions available to this population. 

Here’s how the Happify platform works — and what healthcare providers should take away from the company’s unique approach to patient-centric treatment.

Digital Engagement and Personalized Medicine

Happify’s platform centers on precise, data-driven measurements of anxiety and depression symptoms. The program provides objective insights into mental health, measuring levels of anxiety and depression every two weeks so that both Happify and patients can track the effects of therapy. In many cases, this means demonstrating gradual improvement over time. 

Happify also prioritizes personalizing therapy for each patient. To get at the root cause of a person’s anxiety or depression, the program starts with an initial assessment, and only then does it provide a recommendation for addressing it. As such, individuals with MS, cardiovascular problems, or depression symptoms related to a life event, for instance, are bound to experience the Happify platform differently. 

When it comes to treatment, Happify focuses on breaking old habits and habituating new ones — a process it achieves through evidence-based interventions based on positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapies. These interventions take the form of engaging online activities and games played on a phone, tablet, or computer. Five minutes on the train, another ten on the bus, and fifteen before bed can make a substantial difference in terms of an individual’s overall mental health. 

What Healthcare Providers Can Learn from Happify

Through data-driven insights and strategic digital engagement, Happify helps people understand which behaviors they need to change and how — all the while precisely measuring outcomes. The company’s accessible and convenient platform has the potential to fundamentally transform the digital therapeutics space — and make a real difference in people’s lives. 

Healthcare providers can learn from this approach by incorporating innovative digital technology into their marketing and engagement initiatives. For instance, HCPs can promote preventative health measures by encouraging patients to download an app on their smartphones and check it regularly for diet and lifestyle tips. Data collected on these platforms can also be used to recommend personalized treatments.

Further, Happify’s success reveals the importance of providing patient-centric care. This means emphasizing treatment that meets a patient’s unique needs, takes their pain points into account, and considers their convenience. By focusing on patients’ individual experiences, HCPs can capture the interest of a new generation and take a leadership role in the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape.

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