Is AI Paving the way for Mental Health Stocks? (CSE: NARA) (NASDAQ: WAVD) (NYSE: AMWL) (NASDAQ: TALK)
November 23, 2023 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Investorideas.com (www.investorideas.com), a global investor news source covering health and wellness stocks releases a special report on breakthrough technologies for mental health, featuring PanGenomic Health Inc. (CSE: NARA) (AQSE: NARA). PanGenomic describes itself as 'Your smart tech partner in natural health' and is using the power of AI to help revolutionize healing.
The global mental wellness market is anticipated to grow from USD 145.83 billion to USD 280.52 billion in 10 years. The market will experience rapid growth due to the rising awareness about mental wellness, Major market players are investing extensive capital in developing therapies, drugs, medical devices, equipment, systems, and treatments based on research findings to cater to the growing mental wellness market.
Most medical experts agree we are in a global mental health crisis and it is only worsening. While some companies turn to traditional methods including pharmaceuticals to solve the growing problem, others are looking to revolutionize the way we treat mental health using technology, and AI is aiming to take the driver's seat.
PanGenomic Health Inc. (CSE: NARA) (AQSE: NARA), a precision health company that has developed a self-care digital platform using AI recently announced that its subsidiary, MUJN Diagnostics Inc. has launched its BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) mental health biomarker health assessment service.
More significantly, it has completed its first sale of the point-of-care test marketed to health clinics in Canada.
From the news: MUJN Diagnostics Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PanGenomic Health Inc. and is focused on developing a decision support system for alternative healthcare providers. MUJN's Decision Support System is intended to include biomarker diagnostics, symptom and treatment tracking, and personalized health analytics, with the goal of empowering healthcare providers and their patients towards better outcomes.
"Our strategy is to continue to expand MUJN Diagnostic's health services beyond our initial Vitamin D assessments to include rapid in-clinic access to a panel of mental health patient point-of-care biomarker assessments", said Vincent Lum, CEO of MUJN Diagnostics and Co-Founder of PanGenomic Health. "Our newest product is the MUJN BDNF Biomarker assessment for mental health and wellness. Changes in BDNF levels provide important information for health practitioners when considering treatment options for patients with brain health concerns such as major depressive disorder."
From the news: Current clinical research on BDNF has found that:
BDNF plays a significant role in the survival and development as well as creation of new neurons. BDNF has been shown to be a critical regulator of neurocognitive functions and impairment of BDNF levels have been connected to a variety of mental health diseases.
Decrease in the expression of BDNF is seen in many neurological problems such as Depression, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and bipolar disease.
BDNF serum levels are lower in patients with major depressive disorder compared with those in healthy controls. Pharmacological treatments often lead to an increase in BDNF levels, which correlates with an improvement in a patient's mental health condition.
PanGenomic's current 'product line includes its Nustasis AI Platform, MUJN Diagnostics, and the NARA and MindLeap consumer apps, all designed to complement conventional medicine, and simplify the path to better health.
According to a June press release; "The Company is planning to launch Conversational AI on the web based NARA platform by Q3, followed by a roll out on the NARA app by Q4 of this year."
A new entry to the public market with an AI approach to mental health, WaveDancer, Inc. (NASDAQ: WAVD) announced last week that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with privately held, commercial-stage, medical technology company, Firefly Neuroscience, Inc. ("Firefly"), to combine the companies in an all-stock transaction. The combined company will focus on continuing to develop and commercialize Firefly's Artificial Intelligence driven Brain Network Analytics (BNA™) platform, which was previously cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"). Upon closing, which is currently expected in Q1-2024, the combined company is expected to operate under the name Firefly Neuroscience, Inc., and trade on the Nasdaq Capital Market.
Describing Firefly's Brain Network Analytics (BNA™) platform the news says, "BNA™ is an FDA-cleared, cloud-based, AI-powered platform used to objectively assess brain function by comparing patient electroencephalograms (EEGs) with a proprietary database of standardized, high-definition EEGs and behavioral data. BNA™ is used by psychiatrists and neurologists in the United States to support the diagnosis of mental illnesses and cognitive disorders; optimize treatment care pathways; and improve patient compliance to therapy. Real-world clinical use has shown that when BNA™ is used as part of patient management, patients showed improved response rates; enhanced therapy compliance; and reduced non-responder rates and need for medication switching."
From the news: Jamie Benoit, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of WaveDancer, commented, "Following a strategic review and analysis of our long-term prospects as a publicly-traded company, the Board determined that this merger is in the best interests of WaveDancer's stockholders and an attractive opportunity to realize significant value as Firefly pursues multiple market opportunities for its BNA™ platform. Firefly has emerged from the rigorous FDA approval process and its BNA™ platform has been subjected to comprehensive academic peer-review. We believe these factors contribute to a competitive advantage for Firefly and position it as a unique public company."
Harnessing the power of AI for mental health improvement, Virtual care provider Amwell (NYSE: AMWL) as reported by Behavioral Health "has its sights set on using artificial intelligence to bolster its behavioral health capabilities."
"The telehealth giant recently launched a system within its platform that immediately connects patients to a therapist in real time."
"After Amwell providers or its AI-backed automated systems determine the patient needs mental health services, the patient is queued to see a clinician on the same platform. The move is meant to bridge a systemic gap in health care: patient activation."
"Amwell rolled out the system near the beginning of the quarter. It's part of the company's rolling implementation of Converge, a unified tech platform."
"Survey data show that about 42% of Americans who sought mental health care couldn't get it because of costs or other barriers, such as lack of proximity to care. This is a dire roadblock that keeps patients from getting the care they seek, or that is prescribed to them by primary care providers, who already have access to the patient."
Third Quarter 2023 Key Performance Metrics:
Revenue increased 32% over the prior-year period to $38.6 million, driven by a 79% year-over-year increase in the B2B revenue categories, partially offset by a 32% year-over-year consumer revenue decline.
Gross profit increased 29% over the prior-year period to $18.8 million, and gross margin declined to 48.8% from 49.8% year-over-year, driven by a shift in revenue mix towards payor.
Operating expenses were $24.0 million, down 30% year-over-year, driven by a reduction across all of our operating cost categories.
Net loss was $(4.4) million, an improvement from $(18.0) million net loss in the third quarter of 2022, primarily driven by lower operating expenses and an increase in revenues.
Talkspace pioneered the ability to text with a licensed therapist from anywhere and now offers a comprehensive suite of mental health services from self-guided products to individual and couples therapy, in addition to psychiatric treatment and medication management. With Talkspace's core psychotherapy offering, members are matched with one of thousands of licensed providers across all 50 states and can choose from a variety of subscription plans including live video, text or audio chat sessions and/or asynchronous text messaging.
As technology evolves, the applications for health and wellness are endless. As PanGenomic Health says - AI and other technology may become natural health's 'smart tech partner' of the future.
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