A digital health business that has developed a way to counter the widespread problem of stress in the workplace has closed a Series B round that raised $9 million to increase sales and support product development for meQuilibrium, according to a company statement.
Safeguard Scientifics led the round and Chrysalis Ventures also participated in the round, alongside other investors. Dr. Gary Kurtzman, Safeguard’s managing director for healthcare will get a seat on meQulibrium’s board of directors.
The company’s program revolves around “proactive mental well-being.” It gives participants a stress assessment based on responses to questions. It also provides a boot camp to help users rethink how they resolve common sources of stress in the office for things like time management, clutter, balancing work and their social life and diet. The idea is to customize these tools so they’re relevant to each employees lifestyle and interests through a personalized action plan and a coaching system that transmits alerts to email and suggestions.
In addition to companies, consumers can purchase the program on a subscription basis.
Asked what kind of new products the company pans to develop with the new funding, CEO Jan Bruce said in an email: “We envision of suite of services to further help employers and healthcare companies measure, develop, enhance individual resilience and performance optimization – in the workplace, in well-being/health and in their personal lives. Additionally, our tool set will expand to provide our customers with insights and applications that impact their business metrics and core business processes, such as customer engagement and satisfaction.”
Although Bruce said the company de-identifies user data in a HIPAA-compliant platform to provide insights to its clients on adoption, usage and engagement reports but also data on productivity, quality of life and employee engagement in the workplace.
She emphasized that the program is much broader than mental health, and it doesn’t get involved in things like referring users for psychological counseling.
Asked what kind of changes she has seen in recent years as far as employers’ priorities are concerned Bruce said stress has become a higher priority than the physical health programs that use “carrot-and-stick methods of punishing or rewarding [employee] behavior.”
She added: “Stress is the number 1 issue employees want help with today. We recognized this earlier than others, and our platform helps people get to the root cause of their stressors and change their thinking styles to achieve stronger coping skills. This is what our resilience training platform does – and it is much more effective and scalable than focusing, calming and mindfulness training.”
The company got started in 2010 when founder Jan Bruce, who had previously worked as a publisher of body+soul/whole living, got together with Andrew Shatté, the Chief Science Officer, who was a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Shatté had created a program to help people develop psychological resilience. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adam Perlman, an internal medicine specialist, collaborated on the program.