Headspace Health Acquires App-Maker Sayana

Headspace Health isn’t skipping a beat in its mission to create a comprehensive behavioral health platform, acquiring AI-enabled wellness app developer Sayana less than six months after forming through the merger of Headspace and Ginger.

Sayana emerged from the Y Combinator incubator in 2020 with $125K in Seed funding and a goal of introducing as many people as possible to self-care exercises rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance commitment therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy.

The company’s solutions leverage a chat-based AI avatar named Sayana to encourage users to track their moods, allowing it to personalize content delivered through its three primary apps:

  • The Sayana App provides mood tracking and journaling tools coupled with mindfulness exercises to provide insights into how users are feeling over long periods of time.
  • Sayana Sleep aims to match user moods to sleep patterns in order to help those struggling with insomnia fall asleep through custom relaxation sessions.
  • Sayana Workplace uses the same approach but targets it towards employers by helping their employees manage workplace stressors.

The acquisition brings Sayana’s AI expertise and team to the Headspace Health platform to improve its own recommendation algorithms and coaching offerings. The employer-facing component is also interesting given Headspace Health’s enterprise operations, which are a key growth driver for the company and are distributed by over 3,500 employers looking to increase productivity by improving employee wellbeing. 

Data, AI, and Accessible Care

Although Sayana’s 300k+ user base is fairly substantial, it’s tiny in comparison to the 70M+ members commanded by Headspace Health. More user sessions training the AI models should improve the recommendations and ultimately lead to better outcomes for users (and a large competitive advantage for Headspace Health if well executed).

Mental healthcare is a complicated challenge, and requires a scalable solution beyond hiring more therapists and putting them in front of a screen. With the acquisition of Sayana and its AI-enabled chatbot, we’re beginning to get a good idea of what Headspace Health’s solution might look like.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team