Koa Health Unveils Scientific Advisory Board Chaired by Tom Insel

New heavyweight advisory board brings expertise in clinical psychology, behavioral health and mental health research. Board appointment comes following oversubscribed Series A for Koa Health in February 2021

Koa Health, a digital mental healthcare provider offering personalized mental health solutions, announced the appointment of seven leaders from across the fields of mental health, psychiatry, psychology and technology to the company’s new scientific advisory board. The board’s range of expertise signals Koa Health’s ambitions to provide holistic solutions that meet the rapidly growing demand for digital mental health products and better serve individuals’ needs. The news comes shortly after Koa Health launched its Wellbeing at Work report, which exposed the impact of COVID-19 on mental health in businesses across the US and UK, and organizations’ response to the crisis.

Koa Health, which spun out of Telefónica’s moonshot factory last year with more than €30 million in funding in an oversubscribed Series A round, has a goal to provide access to a range of digital mental health solutions to help people flourish in a challenging and changing world. Its spin out followed five years of research and clinical trials to secure robust data and build out an industry-leading product roadmap.

The company’s debut product, Koa Foundations, is already available to a combined employee population of over three million from dozens of companies, including O2, Doctor Care Anywhere, and Education First. Koa Health is also closely collaborating with organizations including Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the top three US-ranked hospitals for both psychiatry and psychology, and the UCL-Max Planck Centre in the UK, to build tech-driven mental healthcare products backed by clinical research.

The members of the new scientific advisory board are:

  • Tom Insel M.D., former Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Scientific Advisory Board Chair, Koa Health and world-renowned expert in mental health research, policy and technology
  • Patricia Areán PhD, Professor, University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
  • Beth Rogozinski MBA, CEO of Oncoustics, an innovative AI solutions company. Past CPO at Pear Therapeutics
  • Sabine Wilhelm PhD, Chief of Psychology, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Professor, Harvard Medical School
  • David Clark DPhil, CBE, FBA, FMedSci, FAcSS, HonFBPs, Professor and Chair of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford
  • Peter Fonagy PhD, FMedSci, FBA, FAcSS, OBE, University College London (UCL), Head of the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, and Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre
  • Steve Pilling PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Head of the Department of Clinical, Education and Health Psychology at University College London (UCL)

“We are delighted to work with such experienced advisers who are supporting our efforts to bring mental wellbeing to everyone,” said Oliver Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of Koa Health. “It’s clear that digital technology has the potential to help close the growing demand gap for mental healthcare exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the technology has to be effective, engaging in real-world situations, and accessible at scale. Our Scientific Advisory Board help ensure we deliver against these key dimensions.”

“There are many opportunities to apply technology to the global mental healthcare shortage, providing access to vital services which are in growing demand,” said Tom Insel, Scientific Advisory Board Chair of Koa Health. “However, access is just one piece of the puzzle. I’m excited to be joining Koa Health’s scientific advisory board as chair because the company is focused on addressing the issue of quality. Done correctly, the field of digital mental health could transform mental health treatment and diagnosis and improve people’s lives. I believe Koa Health’s approach to develop solutions, which are personalized and backed by science, can do just that.”