A slew of new patents and tools are now in the hands of a KCK-rooted startup that aims to protect aging military veterans that suffer from loneliness, anxiety and depression.
MoodSpark has acquired assets previously held by California-based Dthera Sciences — an early leader of the digital therapeutics space, known for its innovative quality of life therapies, the company announced Wednesday.
MoodSpark’s digital companion uses artificial intelligence to detect such behaviors, alert family, friends, or caregivers, provide digital check ins and assistance in times of social isolation, provide behavioral health intervention, and share engagement data, activity, and response information with caregivers.
As part of the acquisition, MoodSpark has received a sizable IP portfolio that contains patents, a technology platform, an FDA breakthrough device designation, and clinical pilot research related to Dthera’s system for treating anxiety, agitation, and depression in elderly patients experiencing neurodegenerative diseases that include Alzheimers and dementia.
The publicly traded company ended operations in late 2019 after raising about $5 million in five years.
“Dthera pioneered digital therapeutics targeting geriatric CNS disorders. This deal provides us a significant amount of market validation, broadens our IP portfolio, and gets us closer to our dual-use vision for the MoodSpark digital companion,” said Eliot Arnold, co-founder of MoodSpark and a 2021 Techstars Kansas City cohort member.
The Dethera assets will be used in combination with existing MoodSpark technology — known for its ability to detect sadness and promote (or spark) a shift in a person’s mood using memories, conversations, and video visits from loved ones.
“Some of the brightest minds in digital therapeutics were behind Dthera. We are very excited to bring the combined solution to market and establish ourselves as a market leader in social assistive technology.”
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As the company rolls its new IP into its existing growth strategy, MoodSpark intends to use its technology to reach aging U.S. veterans, the company said.
“The United States has the largest generation of warfighters quickly approaching or at retirement age,” the company explained, noting the Department of Veterans Affairs lists anxiety, depression, loneliness, and social isolation as on the rise among senior veterans.
“The United States is increasingly turning to advanced technology to not only support independent living among older veterans, but to foster human connections and combat cognitive decline.”