Vector Health buys Get A-Head training platform
December 14, 2022
TORONTO – Mental health training and delivery platform Get A-Head has been acquired for $17 million by Vector Health Labs. Building on successful use cases with a range of professional sports teams and Dr. Peter Cornish of the University of California, Berkeley, this first-of-its-kind platform focuses on both the training of future mental health professionals and the cost-effective delivery of mental health therapy.
This is made possible using:
- a patent-pending digital one-way mirror that facilitates remote supervision of graduate students deploying therapy;
- artificial intelligence that provides quantitative metrics to increase the likelihood of success in delivering care;
- an agreement with the Province of Ontario that will help future mental health professionals graduate faster and equip them with the training they need to provide higher-quality care.
Ahad Bandealy (pictured), the platform’s founder, will continue to lead the Get A-Head team in the role of CEO, as well as chief digital officer of Vector Health Labs.
“Get A-Head was founded with the ambition of revolutionizing mental healthcare by empowering student trainees to increase the available pool of mental health professionals,” said Bandealy.
“Today, this acquisition will allow us to scale our platform’s offerings and continue to deliver high-quality care, while also supporting the training needs of aspiring mental health service providers from a variety of backgrounds ranging from psychology to high-performance athletics.”
The need for mental healthcare has increased dramatically over the last several years, and in certain jurisdictions like Ontario, the supply of qualified professionals falls well short of the demand. Ontario ranks ninth among Canadian provinces in registered psychologists per capita and wait times to see a therapist can often exceed one year.
Demand is particularly high among post-secondary students: according to the latest National College Health Assessment survey, 52 percent of Canadian students reported feeling so depressed within the previous 12-months that it was difficult to function, while 16 percent had seriously considered suicide.
Following the success of a 2021 Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities pilot program (which resulted in a 98 percent retention rate for students receiving care), Get A-Head has provided over 14,000 sessions to students in need of therapy since the beginning of the 2022-23 academic year.
“The platform’s ability to support the mental health needs of the wider post-secondary student population, while simultaneously helping psychology graduate students fulfil their training requirements is transformative,” said Dr. Chris Mushquash, psychology professor, Lakehead University, and board director at the Ontario Psychological Association.
“In a post-pandemic context where demand for psychological services has increased, creativity and ingenuity are needed to expand access to care and support the training needs of the mental health workforce.”
Get A-Head’s AI-driven Natural Language Processing (NLP) recognizes patients’ linguistic patterns and word usage to provide key metrics on rapport, authenticity, and cognitive processing, which then help supervising professors teach graduate student trainees how to develop a more empathetic tone with their patients, while zeroing in on specific therapeutic areas of need.
The platform is currently in use by departments and supervisors from 34 educational institutions and represents a significant addition to the Vector Health Labs portfolio, which will now deliver healthcare across multiple business lines from non-invasive lab testing to traditional video and telehealth, to much-needed mental health support.
About Get A-Head
Founded in 2019 by Ahad Bandealy, Get A-Head is a mental health SaaS platform that provides educational institutions, practicing clinical therapists, corporations and more with the digital infrastructure needed to deliver and manage mental health services for their students, members, and employees. For more information, please visit geta-head.com.
About Vector Health Labs
Vector Health Labs is a Canadian healthcare technology and service delivery company. Vector Health is the owner/operator of a licensed Ontario Laboratory, as well as Tulip Health, a virtual health platform offering high-quality virtual appointments to residents of Ontario. For more information, please visit vectorhealth.ca.