ieso has raised £39 million in Series B financing to address the global mental health crisis.

The round was led by Morningside, with further new investment from Sony Innovation Fund and existing shareholders IP Group, Molten Ventures and Ananda Impact Ventures.

ieso says there is a lack of clinically evidenced digital therapeutics for treating diagnosed mental health conditions.

The Cambridge-based firm is developing autonomous therapy systems that it says match the high standards of human care delivery, at significantly lower cost to health systems. 

These new tools could improve the lives of the 500 million people globally who struggle with their mental and behavioral health every day but cannot access appropriate personalised care.

ieso’s AI-enabled digital assessment tools and therapeutics for mental health conditions will build on the insights developed from the world’s largest outcomes-linked therapy dataset, which surpasses 460,000 hours. 

The data encompasses insight into, and treatment of, common mental health conditions including depression and anxiety and those linked with long term conditions such as diabetes.

ieso will seek regulatory approval for its autonomous digital tools in the US and UK ahead of bringing them to those markets. The company will extend its commercial teams to the US and target co-development and distribution partnerships that can facilitate scalable market access.

ieso will also continue to make its digital therapy service available to more than 20m people in the UK via existing partnerships, including with the NHS. 

“At ieso, we’re looking to transform global mental health by unlocking the power of clinical data to develop AI-enabled digital therapeutics,” said CEO Nigel Pitchford.

“Our experience delivering outstanding mental health care within the NHS ideally places us for starting to tackle this challenge. A new generation of clinically-validated digital mental health care products could ultimately improve millions of lives. 

“But we cannot do this alone, and look forward to working with our patients, clinicians, investors, as well as existing and future partners, to better serve those who require mental health support.”

Stephen Bruso of Morningside Ventures will join the company’s board.

“ieso’s advanced AI-driven digital therapeutics platform is further evidence of the power of data in the realm of mental health,” he said. 

“By pairing one of the world’s largest databases in cognitive behavioural therapy, with sophisticated AI algorithms, ieso is delivering improved mental health care to patients with significant unmet need. 

“We are proud to partner with them in this endeavor.”

Dr Andy Richards CBE, chairman of ieso, added: “We are in a global mental health crisis. There are simply not enough clinicians to assess and treat the growing number of people who need help. 

“Whilst we have seen an explosion in the number of mobile apps to help address mental health conditions, there is an urgent need for true digital therapeutics which have been approved for treating patients. 

“Through the support of our investors, who share our purpose, we’ll continue on our mission of combining clinical expertise, data science and technology to enable better and more accessible mental healthcare.”