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Why iSTRYM And Our Tech-First Approach Makes More Sense Than A Clinic Model

The Dales Report recently sat down with MINDCURE CEO Kelsey Ramsden for an update on the company’s IP and the development of its tech platform, iSTRYM.

Ramsden began with a quick recap on the app, which intends to connect therapists and patients with personalized healthcare at scale.

“I’ll just paint a simple picture: we’re going to have a lot of newly trained therapists, and we have a lot of companies developing therapy protocols with new drugs,” she said. “There is nothing bridging the two. What iSTRYM is, is the distribution model: if you have a therapy and a drug, and you want to get that to the therapist who’s going to sell your drug and deploy your therapeutic approach into the clinic, we’re the people to do that.”

In addition to matching up patients with therapies and treatments, the platform will also serve as a way for patients to continue the important work of integration after their initial session. 

“Where the biggest change happens for people is when you go home and start integrating these things into your life and changing your behaviors,” she said. “iSTRYM is built specifically for quantified therapy when you’re out of clinic as well.”

How It Works

The platform will be able to be integrated with any sort of wearable technology including an Apple or Google watch, Aura band, or Fitbit, and provide a therapist with a report on the patient’s progress. It supports different integration techniques including voice-to-text journaling, breathwork, and music sessions, among others. 

“If you’re in trouble, it notifies your therapist that they should get in touch with you. For the therapist, they actually have an accurate data repository of how you’ve been,” Ramsden added. 

While a number of companies in the psychedelics space are focused on building their businesses around a clinic model, she said the appeal of working with a technology-first focus is big, for a number of reasons.

“It takes a lot of cash to open a clinic,” she said, while noting there’s also an unknown regulatory timeline as far as when molecules like psilocybin and MDMA will be available in those clinics. 

“I wanted to decouple our model from this highly capital-intensive deployment model, one that’s purely dependent on North American regulation and think about it globally: what can I build that gives access to any molecule anywhere in the world when it comes legal, and move beyond just psychedelics into general psychiatry and psychotherapy.”

This way, she said, the company’s potential market grows from people who are being treated with psychedelics, “to all the people who are being treated.”

New Personnel

Ramsden also spoke to some of MINDCURE’s recent personnel acquisitions including Dr. Joel Raskin, a neuroscience professional with experience at Eli Lilly as chief medical officer, as well as Dr. John Brownstein, a professor of Harvard Medical School who will act as an advisor for the company.

Brownstein is “an epidemiologist with a deep understanding of technology platforms,” who in 2020 helped build out the first tech platform to predict Covid-19. 

“We wanted to find someone who is really forward-thinking and who understands predictive data and healthcare, who understands scale, and he was just a natural fit,” Ramsden said. 

As for Dr. Raskin, Ramsden said she was specifically seeking someone with a rich history in drug development and experience related to depression. 

“We are looking for people who have big industry experience but who’ve been interested in psychedelics for a long time, and Raskin was that leader for us,” she said.

Investors Warming Up To Psychedelic Tech?

In recent months, Ramsden says investors are warming up to the company’s tech-focused approach. While clinic-focused companies have gained much attention, she’s starting to see a shift in shareholder interest.

“I can understand that in a new and nascent industry, people yearn for simplicity and commonality,” she said. “When you go and approach it with something new… it takes a little bit of time before people orient to how disruptive it is, and the interconnectedness and the scale that it can get. I think people are starting to see that now.”

For the full interview, check out the video. 

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