Sharecare acquires MindSciences, fortifies platform with best-in-class digital therapeutics for anxiety, tobacco and overeating
ATLANTA and WORCESTER, Mass. – June 3, 2020 – Sharecare, the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place, today announced that it has acquired MindSciences, the leader in evidence-based behavior change apps. Founded by renowned neuroscientist and behavior change expert, Dr. Jud Brewer, MindSciences provides best-in-class digital therapeutics that help people reverse unhealthy habits involving food, tobacco, stress and anxiety – which contribute to the most costly and widespread health issues in the United States. This acquisition builds on Sharecare’s existing partnership with MindSciences, through which its tobacco cessation program was made available to the digital health company’s payer, provider, government and employer group customers.
“We are deeply committed to helping our client partners deliver best-in-class digital therapeutics to those in their populations that need them most, which is why we partnered with MindSciences in the first place. And as levels of worry and unhealthy behavior skyrocketed across the country in April, behavioral health and remote patient monitoring have become increasingly critical, particularly as employers across the country prepare to return to work,” said Jeff Arnold, founder, chairman and CEO of Sharecare. “In the wake of COVID-19 in particular, our acquisition of MindSciences is a major step forward in optimizing the Sharecare platform to help our partners navigate the next phase of the pandemic while empowering their people to overcome habits they may have developed to cope, reclaim their well-being and build resilience for the future.”
According to more than 120,000 responses to Sharecare’s Flatten the Curve survey, the COVID-19 pandemic has escalated what was already a major mental well-being crisis in the United States, with 9 in 10 Americans reporting they are impacted by feelings of worry about the novel coronavirus and 1 in 5 reporting severe levels of stress and anxiety. Further, Flatten the Curve also found that each financial stressor tracked by the survey, including change in pay, likelihood of retaining employment, and ability to pay bills, was associated with higher odds of experiencing negative health behavior changes across exercise, eating habits, sleep, smoking and alcohol consumption – of which 58% of Flatten the Curve respondents exhibited one or more of since COVID-19.
Based on more than a decade of peer-reviewed scientific research yielding more than 70 publications, MindSciences’ programs help people understand how their brain works and how habits are formed through reward-based learning. Through a series of clinically validated, interactive daily modules with mindfulness lessons and exercises, MindSciences leverages that same system used to form bad habits – including smoking, overeating and anxiety – to unwind them for good. With over $15 million in funding for its research from organizations including the American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute and National Institute on Drug Abuse, to name a few, studies on the effectiveness of MindSciences’ programs have been conducted with more than 3,000 clinical trial participants and tens of thousands of real-world users.
Now available to Sharecare’s enterprise partners as well as consumers directly, MindSciences’ full suite of app-based digital therapeutics includes:
- Craving To Quit®: a mindfulness-centered smoking cessation program, proven to be twice as effective as the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking;
- Eat Right Now®: an evidence-based program for binge eating and weight loss that, according to a 2017 study from University of California, San Francisco, reduces craving-related eating by 40%;
- Unwinding Anxiety®: an award-winning app clinically proven to reduce anxiety by 57% as measured with GAD-7; and
- Breathe: a free app based on MindSciences’ award-winning behavior change programs, featuring simple and effective one-minute breathing exercises to help people be calmer, less distracted, more aware, and more focused when needed – whether in the midst of a busy day or a quiet moment at home.
Director of research and innovation at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University and associate professor of psychiatry at The Warren Alpert Medical School, Dr. Brewer (M.D., Ph.D.) has dedicated his career to researching how the human brain forms negative behavior patterns, habits and addictions, and the specific techniques needed to create lasting change. In addition to training U.S. Olympic athletes and coaches, foreign government ministers and corporate leaders, Dr. Brewer frequently appears as an expert in the media; and his TED Talk, “A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit,” was the fourth most viewed of 2016 and, to date, has generated over 15 million views.
“The widespread and persistent worry Americans are experiencing right now is unlike anything I have seen in my 20-plus years of studying, researching and practicing mindfulness – and we must empower people to use the single most powerful tool available to help them weather this storm: their own mind,” said Dr. Brewer, who joins Sharecare as its senior scientific and medical advisor for behavioral health. “Sharecare’s reach, engagement and depth is unparalleled, and I am incredibly hopeful about the positive change we can effect by putting the combined power of our platforms into people’s hands.”
Through the acquisition – terms of which were not disclosed – MindSciences becomes a cornerstone of Sharecare’s tools and programs for behavioral health, which also includes Sharecare Windows – a series of original HD relaxation and wellness videos created to reduce stress and anxiety, promote healthy sleep patterns, and support meditative practices. For more information about MindSciences’ digital therapeutics, visit www.sharecare.com/mindsciences.
MindSciences helps individuals lead healthier and happier lives through behavior change via evidence-based digital therapeutics for dysfunctional eating, anxiety and smoking cessation. The company’s suite of digital therapeutics apps use clinically validated mindfulness techniques to manage addictions, cravings and change behaviors, for good. See drjud.com for more information.
Sharecare is the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place. The Sharecare platform provides each person – no matter where they are in their health journey – with a comprehensive and personalized health profile where they can dynamically and easily connect to the information, evidence-based programs and health professionals they need to live their healthiest, happiest and most productive lives. In addition to providing individual consumers with direct access to award-winning and innovative frictionless technologies, scientifically validated clinical protocols and best-in-class coaching tools, Sharecare also helps providers, employers and health plans effectively scale outcomes-based health and wellness solutions across their entire populations. To learn more, visit www.sharecare.com.
 Mindfulness training for smoking cessation: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2011. 119(1-2): p. 72-80. PMCID: 3191261.
 Testing a mobile mindful eating intervention targeting craving-related eating: feasibility and proof of concept. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2017
 Physician Anxiety and Burnout: Symptom Correlates and a Prospective Pilot Study of App-Delivered Mindfulness Training. JMIR Mhealth. 2020