MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Mindstrong Health, a healthcare innovation company dedicated to transforming mental health through innovations in digital measurement and virtual care models, today announced that Daniel Graf, a veteran technologist and leader of key product teams at Uber, Twitter and Google, has been appointed CEO. Graf will lead Mindstrong as it expands the use of its comprehensive virtual care solution for patients with serious mental illness (SMI).
Mindstrong CEO Daniel Graf said: "Over more than twenty years I have had the opportunity to help build several transformative consumer services, including Uber, Google Maps, and startups that I co-founded. I have always been fascinated by the potential for technology to transform the lives of everyday people, especially with regard to health and wellbeing, resulting in people living better, more satisfying lives. Paul and the Mindstrong team have built an impressive foundation that has the potential to transform the field of mental health - helping people that need it most. It's an honor and joy to join them on this journey."
Mindstrong founder Paul Dagum said: "It has been immensely exciting to create and lead Mindstrong over these five years. From pioneering passive brain health measurement using a smartphone to the launch and growth of our innovative mental health practice model, I have been proud of the progress we've made on delivering better care at lower cost for people with serious mental illness. Daniel is a highly successful digital product executive. I am excited that he joins us as CEO to further our vision and grow Mindstrong into a transformative health solution which can improve the lives of people all over the world."
Since its founding in 2013, Mindstrong Health has pioneered a new model of comprehensive, round-the-clock virtual care for patients with serious mental illness. The patient-facing smartphone app Health by Mindstrong is the gateway to these services. Patients can use the app to monitor their own mental health, enabled by digital biomarker technology that can monitor for changes in mood and cognition. The app can trigger alerts to patients and their care provider when these markers indicate their mental health may be at risk. Clinicians use in-app messaging to work with patients and triage their situation and escalate patients to teletherapy for help. Paired with ongoing care coordination, telepsychiatry services, and round-the-clock monitoring and telehealth access, the app provides SMI patients with much needed support.
Mindstrong co-founder and executive chairman Rick Klausner said: "Mindstrong is at an inflection point in the journey to a clinically effective, engaging, continuous digital health system for people with serious mental illness. By gathering real world evidence, we can create a digital health future based on deep science and state-of-the-art technology that can meet the patient where they are and when they need it."
Broader access to high-quality mental health care is one of the biggest unmet medical needs in the United States. More than 11 million American adults have a serious mental illness but high-quality, evidence-based treatment is often inaccessible despite the high spend by public and private payers alike. As many as one third of adults with a serious mental illness did not receive any mental health services in the past year, contributing to unsustainable rates of psychiatric hospitalizations and morbidity. More than 110 million Americans live in areas with a shortage of mental health care providers. And while demand for services persist, the number of available psychiatric hospital beds has fallen dramatically in recent years.
The health system confronts ballooning costs related to mental health care. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMSHA has projected total mental health spending reaching $238 billion in the year 2020, and in a separate assessment, SMI was estimated to cost the United States$193 billion in lost earnings each year.
Optum Ventures' Managing Partner Larry Renfro said: "We are thrilled that Daniel has joined Mindstrong as Chief Executive. Daniel is a pioneer in his field, with distinguished experience at the convergence of software, digital, and the consumer. We have been continually impressed at Mindstrong's ability to move from transformative science to real patient impact, and the addition of Daniel to a powerful team of scientists, doctors, and innovators positions Mindstrong to accelerate its vision for transformational, predictive behavioral health care."
About Daniel Graf
Daniel is an entrepreneurial technology leader with over 25 years of experience bringing high impact and innovative products to market around the globe.
Before joining Mindstrong, Daniel led product at Uber, including a cross-functional team of over 1,000 people. Prior to Uber, Daniel served as vice president of consumer products at Twitter, and senior director of Geo Consumer at Google, where he was responsible for two of the most successful and ubiquitous consumer technology products in history: Google Maps and Local Search. While at Google, he conceived of and led the Google Maps for Apple iOS initiative. Before Google, he was co-founder and CEO of Kyte, a pioneer in mobile video technology.
Daniel is an active member of the Silicon Valley technology community, serving as an angel investor and advisor to dozens of international technology startups and early-stage venture funds. He holds an M.S. in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from NTB in Switzerland.
About Mindstrong Health
Mindstrong Health is a healthcare innovation company dedicated to transforming mental health through innovations in digital measurement and virtual care models. Mindstrong's solution and health services help detect illness relapse early to deliver preemptive care and improve outcomes. The company is based in Mountain View, California, and is backed by ARCH Venture Partners, Optum Ventures, General Catalyst, Foresite Capital, Bezos Expeditions, Decheng Capital, Berggruen Holdings, and One Mind Brain Health Impact Fund. To learn more about Mindstrong Health, visit www.mindstronghealth.com.