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December 15, 2020

New study finds digital CBT the most cost effective option for poor sleep, when compared to other leading choices


December 15th, 2020 — A new study authored by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and Big Health, a leading digital therapeutics provider, finds that digital Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (dCBT)—when compared to other care options such as sleep medication, group and individual CBT—is the most cost-effective intervention for helping people overcome poor sleep.

Published in the journal SLEEP, the study examined the cost effectiveness of dCBT over a six month period using a Markov model simulation of 100,000 individuals and measured the direct and indirect costs of insomnia, including health care expenditures, workplace accidents, and workplace productivity.

The results showed that, when compared to no insomnia treatment, dCBT—as represented by Big Health’s Sleepio—was the most cost-effective care option followed by group CBT, sleep medication, and then individual CBT. Sleepio had a positive net monetary benefit of $681.06 per individual over a six month period. A positive result means that the total cost benefits associated with Sleepio were greater than its direct cost.

Beyond cost, “digital Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help overcome significant barriers to insomnia treatment for millions of people, including limited access to clinicians in rural areas, the lack of trained clinicians and, for others, the lack of awareness of their treatment options,” said Dr. Andrew Krystal, Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. “The near universal availability of digital devices, including smartphones, gives dCBT the potential to reach many more people than traditional in-person group and individual CBT.”

“The results of this study demonstrate that dCBT can provide a significant return through lower healthcare expenditures, fewer workplace accidents, and better workplace productivity,” said Jenna Carl, Vice President of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Big Health. “In addition, its ability to provide a destigmatized and automated treatment option at scale makes it attractive for those suffering from poor sleep.”

Insomnia is a significant public health concern in the U.S. and it is estimated that 20-30% of the population experience symptoms each year.  Costs related to insomnia have been estimated to be at least $1,400 per individual over six months (Ozminkowski et al., 2007; when costs are scaled to 2019 dollars). Insomnia is also associated with other costly mental health and chronic physical health conditions, such as depression, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (Hertenstein E, et al., 2019; Lin et al., 2018; Javaheri et al., 2017).

The full study published in the journal SLEEP can be found here.

About Big Health

Big Health’s purpose is to help millions back to good mental health, with digital therapeutics—fully automated yet highly personalized behavioral programs for mental health. Big Health’s products are Sleepio™ for helping individuals address poor sleep; and Daylight™ for helping individuals address worry and anxiety. Designed by leading clinical and creative experts, Big Health’s solutions combine the intimacy of the human voice, engaging animation, and evidence-based cognitive and behavioral techniques to help people overcome their mental health challenges. Sleepio and Daylight are backed by world-leading clinical evidence with more than 56 papers including 13 randomized controlled trials. With offices in London and San Francisco, Big Health’s products are used by large multinational employers and major health plans to help improve sleep and mental health, covering millions of lives.

In accordance with FDA’s current Enforcement Policy for Digital Health Devices for Treating Psychiatric Disorders During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency, for patients aged 18 years and older, who are followed by and diagnosed with Insomnia Disorder or Generalized Anxiety Disorder by a medical provider, Sleepio and Daylight can be made available as an adjunct to their usual medical care for Insomnia Disorder or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, respectively. Sleepio and Daylight do not replace the care of a medical provider or the patient’s medication. Sleepio and Daylight have not been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these indications.

Johns Hopkins and UCSF do not endorse Big Health or Sleepio. The information stated above was prepared by Big Health and reflects solely the opinion of the corporation. Nothing in this statement shall be construed to imply any support or endorsement of Big Health, or any products, by Johns Hopkins University or the Regents of the University of California, its officers, agents and employees.

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, Sleepio and Daylight are being made available as treatments for insomnia disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), respectively, without a prescription. Sleepio and Daylight have not been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of insomnia disorder and GAD, respectively.

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