Ellipsis Health Raises $26M for Behavioral Health Voice Testing
Depression and anxiety voice test developer Ellipsis Health has closed a $26 million Series A funding round led by SJF Ventures. The startup uses voice tech and AI to measure signs of behavioral health and help screen for those who may need counseling and other care before they even visit a professional.
Ellipsis Health developed a vocal stress test with healthcare giant Cigna incorporated into a mobile app that asks a user questions and collects under a minute of the sound of their voice. The startup’s AI model analyzes both the language used and the sound of their voice for indicators of stress, depression, and anxiety. The result can be useful for spotting those in need of professional mental and behavioral healthcare. The software is designed to connect to the digital platforms of healthcare providers to streamline the process of getting help. The assessment can also be used for those already seeing a therapist or other professional to measure how they are doing between appointments.
“We have the tools to pioneer a new clinical standard and to remove the guesswork surrounding mental health care. At Ellipsis Health, we have combined scientific leadership and deep clinical expertise to drive the industry into a brighter and more equitable tomorrow,” Ellipsis CEO Mainul Mondal wrote in a blog post about the funding. “We can level the playing field and ensure all people can achieve mentally and physically healthy lives with our voice vital sign.”
Voice AI as a health measurement tool is becoming more common. A study published last year used AI to analyze clips of people speaking and checked for vocal biomarkers that could identify those at a high risk of heart failure. Vocal biomarkers are how Vocalis Health designed a voice test for COVID-19 that accurately determines infection 81.2% of the time. Voca.ai also worked on the idea, partnering with Carnegie Mellon University to build a database of voices for assessing COVID-19 infection by examining the sound of someone’s voice and their cough. Indian startup Salcit Technologies built its own cough-based coronavirus test called kAs. Mental health is becoming part of that story as well. Vocal biomarker for mental health startup Kintsugi recently closed an $8 million funding round and others are likely to follow suit as the need for more and better behavioral health tests becomes clear. Around 55% of those with mental illness are not receiving treatment, according to a National Alliance on Mental Health study.
“As a society, we must embrace and promote the power of measurement-based mental health care,” Mondal wrote. ” We, along with our innovative and forward-thinking partners including Cigna Corporation’s international business, are dedicated to advancing voice technology for behavioral health treatment and revolutionizing access to depression and anxiety identification and management.”