Berkeley-based startup, Kintsugi, is closing mental healthcare gaps across health organizations by augmenting clinicians with AI to identify, triage, and care for patients at scale.
Kintsugi today announced it has raised $20M in Series A funding, bringing the company’s total capital raised to $28M since its inception in 2019. The funding round was led by New York-based global venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners, with participation from Acrew Capital, Darling Ventures, Citta Capital, Side Door Ventures, Primetime Partners, IT Farm, AngelList Fund, and Alpha Edison. Kintsugi will use the funding to accelerate its lead in detecting signs of mental health conditions across the most innovative health organizations in the U.S. and abroad, enabling the company to fulfill its mission of scaling access to mental healthcare for everyone in need.
Kintsugi is working across top health organizations to scale access to mental healthcare by identifying signs of clinical depression and anxiety in patients from voice biomarkers. Kintsugi takes short clips of free-form speech, extracts spectral and prosodic features indicative of signs of clinical depression and anxiety, and runs these features through its proprietary deep learning architecture to flag patients for further nurse and general practitioner evaluation.
KiVA, Kintsugi’s Voice Biomarker API platform for enterprise, is a clinical decision support tool which provides practitioners with real-time scoring on patients’ mental health by integrating seamlessly with clinical call centers, telehealth platforms, and remote patient monitoring apps. KiVA respects patient privacy by only analyzing the signals in voice and not identifiable patient information. KiVA detects voice biomarkers for depression and anxiety based on how patients speak–not Natural Language Processing (NLP)–to provide machine learning models that are uniquely language agnostic.
“Kintsugi provides a sense of empowerment from patients to providers to payors and everyone in between who has a stake in patient outcomes,” said Grace Chang, Founder/CEO of Kintsugi. “At Kintsugi, we are looking for objective, quantifiable, and accurate measurements to raise the parity of mental health to that of physical health. This latest round of funding is a vote of confidence in our vision for mental healthcare, and we’re looking forward to seeing it come to life with the help of our investors.”
“Our Computational Care thesis looks for special teams with empathy and technical wizardry on use cases that matter. Kintsugi sits squarely at that intersection by helping partners optimize when and how patients receive the right care,” said Scott Barclay, Managing Director at Insight Partners. “Insight is proud to back Grace and Rima on their journey to provide better mental healthcare for all, and we look forward to the team’s continued innovation, quality execution and global impact.”
In addition to its enterprise and consumer product offerings, Kintsugi is working towards empowering the scientific and healthcare communities with high-fidelity mental health population insights from its uniquely large and continuously evolving global dataset. The dataset is 110x larger than the next largest to better detect and understand signs of mental health conditions across demographics, geographies, social determinants of health, and languages–and create the new standard for objectively measuring the state of mental health.
With its more granular approach, Kintsugi aims to help communities demystify data around mental health, grasp its complexities, and track short-term changes in conditions. This would allow stakeholders to make meaningful advances in diagnosis and treatment, and work towards mental health parity. Current clinical partnerships include physicians from Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Pediatric Institute of Discovery and Innovation (PIDI) at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. Growth xPartners based in Japan has also become a Kintsugi collaboration partner.
Experts agree that depression and anxiety have been difficult to track with traditional paper surveys, PHQ-9 and GAD-7, which measure the severity of depression and anxiety through a self-guided questionnaire. According to Fredric Reyelts, MD, Medical Director for Innovation and partner from Mercy Health, “The pandemic has helped bring to light the need for new tools and methods for identifying mental health concerns. Capturing this information only annually comes up far too short in evaluating true ongoing mental wellness. Tools that are fluid and can be utilized in various settings will allow for earlier detection and improved patient care.”
Kintsugi is developing smarter mental healthcare infrastructure using voice biomarkers to streamline access to care. Awarded multiple distinctions for novel AI technology through the National Science Foundation, Kintsugi detects signs of clinical depression and anxiety from short clips of free-form speech, closing mental health care gaps across risk-bearing health systems, saving time and lives.