Five months ago, weight loss company Noom announced $540 million in funding, dwarfing its previous investments. With locked-down users flocking to its app, revenues in 2020 had surged to $400 million, and the company made an ambitious pitch: It would spend the money to expand its behavioral change approach to other conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, and sleep.
Now, Noom is taking its first big step toward becoming a diversified digital health company with Noom Mood, a smartphone wellness app targeted toward people with daily stress and anxiety. Like the company’s weight loss program, Mood — which the company first rolled out as a beta program last year — primarily draws on concepts from cognitive behavioral therapy. “It was kind of a no-brainer,” said Andreas Michaelides, Noom’s chief of psychology. “These concepts are really what we consider to be the gold standard with psychology.”
Noom, a New York-based company founded in 2008, is wading into an exploding field of apps for mental health, dozens of which are based on the same CBT tools that aim to change the way people think and behave. Users can download simple mindfulness reminder apps for free, or pay for more built-out programs like Bloom, Youper, and UnitedHealth Group’s Sanvello. And CBT is used in over half of prescription-based digital therapeutics with FDA market authorization — for everything from insomnia to PTSD to irritable bowel syndrome — according to an IQVIA report on digital therapeutics.
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