Behavioral Health Innovation: Trails Competition Kick Off

October 15, 2021 Julie McComish

Roughly 1 in 5 people will have a behavioral health need in a given year, and COVID-19 has only caused those numbers to increase. In early 2021, the number of US adults reporting symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder was four times higher than before the pandemic. Yet, the “underserved” population of people keeps growing as providers and payers struggle to get these people the care they need.

It’s a big reason we’re so proud to be part of the Cambia TRAILS competition.

Everyone deserves access to high-quality affordable mental healthcare–and digital is the key to scalability. Behavioral health is ripe for new approaches and we’re excited to see not only what ideas come forward but also help collaborate with the Grand Prize Winner to help them ensure success in a large-scale health system environment.

A few words of advice to entrants:

Really understand the problem you are uniquely solving. Be specific. There are many small challenges that if solved, can create big positive impacts.  One entity can’t solve all the behavioral health problems, so understanding where and how you fit in is critical. And make sure to dive super deep to understand the nitty gritty of the problem you’re trying to solve. A thorough understanding of the problems is required to build a solution that works.

Think about how to innovate at both ends of the value chain. That means understanding what will deliver value to both the creators and consumers of the product/service — in healthcare, that’s patients and caregivers. Both of these groups have the only permanent place in the health care value chain and adoption of solutions requires buy-in among both.  In fact, the finalists will all receive a tour of Cambia Grove’s 5 Points of Health Care™ to gather real-world insights from patients, providers and those surrounding them (payers, policymakers and purchasers).

Involve people in your solution. Don’t just assume what people will use, involve them in the process. Creating an equitable solution involves going out into the communities that have historically been left out of the creation process and who are in need of the services and tools.

For more insights and ideas on what it will take for behavioral health solutions to be successful, watch this conversation between Samantha Clark, Executive Director of Behavioral Health Strategy, MultiCare Health System's Behavioral Health Network, Gabe Howard, Speaker, Author, and host of Inside Mental Health podcast and Julie McComish, Senior Digital Strategy Manager, Providence Digital Innovation Group.

Entries for the TRAILS Competition are accepted through October 31.

See more about our perspective around the potential for digital in scaling behavioral health here

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