NOCD, a digital behavioral health company focused on identifying and managing people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), today announced a Series A fundraising round of $4 million. Led by Chicago Ventures, the round also includes 7Wire Ventures, Meridian Street Capital, and Hyde Park Angels.
These new venture capital partnerships will aid in the nationwide expansion of NOCD’s Provider Network, positioning them to bring effective treatment to people with OCD, no matter where they live. NOCD members receive video-based diagnostic assessments and therapy with one of NOCD’s specially trained clinicians. When their therapist isn’t available, NOCD’s peer community and therapy tools offer members 24/7 support. This integrated model was shown in an ongoing Columbia University Medical Center study to reduce OCD severity by 40% in 8 weeks, on average, while reducing provider time by 75% per patient.
“OCD is far too frequently overlooked by healthcare technology solutions despite the broad prevalence of this debilitating condition,” said Robert Garber, Partner at 7Wire Ventures. “We have been impressed with Stephen and his team from our very first meeting, and are excited by their ongoing market success and the achievement of this funding milestone. We are confident that, in the months ahead, their innovative and mission-driven thinking is going to improve the lives of many, and we look forward to our continued partnership with the company.”
One of the World Health Organization’s ten most disabling conditions, OCD is a chronic, widely misunderstood psychiatric disorder that affects 2.5% of the population over the course of their lifetime (8.5 million in the United States). But despite its prevalence and severity, people with OCD are frequently misdiagnosed. Many clinicians aren’t trained to screen for OCD, and those with the condition are often too ashamed of their symptoms to discuss them.
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As a result it takes nine to eleven years, on average, for people with OCD to start receiving evidence-based care. This leads to a significantly higher prevalence of severe comorbidities like substance use disorders and major depressive disorder compared to the general population. Those with OCD also face a tenfold increase in suicide risk.
“We know that OCD is often misdiagnosed—and that, once diagnosed, it can take years for patients to find someone who specializes in treating it. That means years’ worth of chances to develop a substance use disorder due to self-medication, and of suicidal thoughts that can result from relentless obsessions,”
said Patrick McGrath, PhD, Assistant Vice President of Residential Services for AMITA Health and President of OCD Midwest.
When properly identified by a licensed mental health provider with specialized training, however, OCD is highly manageable—both clinically and economically. The most effective intervention, exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP), can significantly reduce OCD severity in 80% of patients within an 8- to 16-week period. Moreover, once OCD symptoms are managed, comorbidities can be successfully treated and prevented.
The lack of resources allocated by the healthcare industry to OCD treatment has generated a massive shortage of effective help. There are approximately 1,000 ERP providers, and an estimated 50% of the 8.5 million in the lifetime OCD population have severe enough symptoms each year to merit treatment. This shortage makes evidence-based care inaccessible even to those fortunate enough to get an accurate diagnosis: most ERP providers go out-of-network, charge upwards of $250 per session, and require self-payment; many maintain waitlists of up to 6-8 months.
NOCD’s mission emerged out of personal experiences with this condition. Among NOCD team members with OCD is Stephen Smith, Founder and CEO. After first experiencing symptoms in college, he followed an exhausting and expensive path through OCD treatment that ended in successful symptom management with ERP. NOCD is motivated by the belief that everyone with untreated OCD should have access to the same evidence-based treatment that changed its team members’ lives.
“Those suffering from OCD face a healthcare system that wasn’t built to serve them,” said Peter Christman, Principal of Chicago Ventures and Board Member of NOCD. “Stigma, misinformation, and neglect are the norm. NOCD is replacing this broken system of engagement with an end-to-end clinical services platform that puts patients first. The outcome is a dramatic shift in the way we identify and manage OCD.”
Making the NOCD Provider Network available nationwide is the next step in addressing the many barriers between untreated people with OCD and the most effective intervention for this chronic and frequently disabling condition. Members of NOCD’s treatment program will be able to complete evidence-based therapy with OCD-trained therapists and get 24/7 adjunctive support, no matter where they live.
Date: October 08, 2019
Source: Chicago Ventures