Sleepio and Daylight are designed to teach skills to overcome insomnia and anxiety

Bambi Francisco Roizen interviews Peter Hames, Co-Founder and CEO of Big Health.

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Highlights from the interview:

  • Big Health is a digital therapeutic focused on sleep and mental health using evidence-based, non-drug therapies like CBT. There are no trainers or therapists. The treatment is pure software. It replaces molecules with algorithms.

  • Peter started Big Health after giving him Ambien on his PCP for insomnia. He studied CBT from a self-help book and then worked with the author to develop non-drug interventions.

  • The pandemic exposed a mental health problem that was already there but is now difficult to ignore, and paved the way for greater acceptance of behavioral interventions and the transition of CBT from a soft science to a hard science.

  • Big Health manufactured a lightweight version of its product for free in March 2020 and expanded its reach to 6.5 million people in over 200 organizations, including 1.2 million NHS England employees, in 12 weeks.

  • Core customers are large companies like CVS, which offers Big Health to its employees and PBM members.

  • Sleepio (helps with insomnia) and Daylight (helps with anxiety) are designed to teach people skills to make them second nature to insomnia and anxiety.

  • Peter’s definition of digital therapy? Software-based solution where software delivers the results. It is not software that helps a human clinician or enhances a device. But the software is the solution.

  • Proofs? In a longitudinal study conducted with IBM Watson, those who used Sleepio saw an average of $ 1,600 in additional cost savings. 500 people used Sleepio compared to 500 people (similar demographics, age, and other identical factors). The control group had fewer health care episodes, such as falls or doctor visits, and saw a decrease in prescriptions. It turns out that improved sleep improves downstream problems.


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