Houston experiMental Recap – 1/25/18

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Houston experiMental Recap – 1/25/18

The Houston experiMental meetup featured speakers who shared innovations in mental health/cognitive health and tips on how to succeed as a healthcare startup.

Event Speakers:

Dr. Justin Coffey – VP and CIO of Menninger Clinic

Dr. Harris Eyre – CMO of CNSDose

Yael Katz – CEO of Braincheck
Speaker Takeaways 
● Dr. Justin Coffey: There are several nerve and brain stimulation therapies that may be more effective than anti-depressants to minimize remission rates for depression: Vagus Nerve Stimulation, Deep brain stimulation, Transcranial direct nerve stimulation, Electroconvulsive therapy, etc. However, there is a stigma associated with these therapies due to how they are portrayed in media. More studies need to be conducted to test efficacy.

Dr. Harris Eyre: Pharmacogenetics is increasingly being reimbursed in the U.S. More trials will come out which will either increase or decrease the chance of reimbursement. Pharmacogenetics can be deployed in different
ways: For instance, one way would be for a clinician with their patient. Another way would be from a public health standpoint: health institutions stratifying their patient populations to identify risk profiles.

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Yael Katz: People are concerned about competition, or about others stealing your idea. When in reality, it is about execution. In order to make claims pertaining to tracking results, what you need is normative data and test-retest reliability. In order to make claims about the usefulness of the result. As a diagnostic aid, you need other types of data.


Event Summary
It was great to have various perspectives on precision medicine and digitization of mental health therapies. Additionally, there were many clinicians (psychiatrists) in the room. Some were a bit skeptical of the validity of the startups so there was an open dialogue about it. This led to an interesting conversation about how payers view vendors when it comes to reimbursement. But with emerging digital companies to support mental health, we are sure to see more changes in the future.

Standout Quote:
“The illnesses that we’re treating are not just biological reductions, they’re biological reductions that take place within a psychosocial context, and one of the most non-focal treatments psychotherapy, actually has remarkable
success rates in certain diagnoses as well.” – Dr. Justin Coffey

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