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In a Murky Sea of Mental Health Apps, Consumers Left Adrift

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By Jenny Gold, Kaiser Health News In the eyes of the tech industry, mental health treatment is an area ripe for disruption. In any given year, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.

experience a form of mental illness, according to federal estimates. And research indicates only about half of them receive treatment in a system that is understaffed and ill distributed to meet demand.

For tech startups looking to cash in on unmet need, that translates into more than 50 million potential customers. Venture capital firms invested more than $2.4 billion in digital behavioral health apps in 2020 — more than twice the amount invested in 2019 — touting support or treatment for issues from burnout and depression to ADHD and bipolar disorder.

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