Rey transports mental health to VR
The Future. A startup called Rey is democratizing access to therapists by bringing in VR and other tech tools, allowing for therapists to use remote tech to treat patients. The move is an attempt to optimize a therapist’s already stretched-too-thin time. With the ability to transfer patients anywhere, VR therapy could become a common way to receive care.
What if a therapist could put a patient with a fear of heights on top of a skyscraper as a form of exposure therapy? With Rey, it’ll be possible (and legal).
- “VR-empowered” mental-health startup Rey raised a $26 million Series A round led by Optum Ventures and Oxford Sciences Innovation after launching in April.
- Rey’s platform uses tech tools such as VR (developed with Oxford psychologists) to help facilitate a “personalized combination” of behavioral therapy, talk therapy, and medication.
- It also plans to expand a therapist’s reach by allowing patients to keep up with wellness goals and check-in via VR and interactive coaching instead of always needing to meet person-to-person.
- Through tech, Rey will also monitor a patient’s care and track progress.
Rey plans to use the new funding to expand its footprint in both the U.S. and abroad.
“We’re gonna need a bigger pool”
Rey is run by CEO and founder Deepak Gopalakrishna, who was previously a medical doctor and has been behind several biotech startups. Chief Commercial Officer Mike Desjadon said that the company’s goal is to “play a big part in democratizing access to good care, which is right now still elusive for people.”
Mental health startups have been some of the most desirable companies in the past several years, with Crunchbase reporting a collective investment of $2.6 billion since 2016. Despite all the funding, access to a licensed therapist remains difficult to find. The American Psychological Association says that there are only 34 therapists per 100,000 Americans. Hopefully Rey can optimize their workload.