“We are going to broaden our aim,” Brophy said. “Now we’re refining the next-stage strategy as we take the business to the next level.”
A veteran tech entrepreneur, Brophy became ADHD Online’s CEO at the end of June, about two years after he joined the company as chief operating officer and “just as we really started to spike up and grow.” Brophy succeeded co-founder Zachariah Booker as CEO at ADHD Online and Mentavi Health, an affiliated company that offers online assessments for mental health conditions other than ADHD.
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Booker and Randall Duthler, a family physician in Hudsonville with Corewell Health, co-founded ADHD Online in 2018. After stepping away from the company’s day-to-day operations, Booker remains on ADHD Online’s board of directors, and he and Duthler are still “very engaged shareholders,” Brophy said.
Since Booker and Duthler formed the company, ADHD Online’s platform has assessed more than 137,000 patients for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Brophy said. Doctorate-level psychologists review assessments and provide a diagnosis.
About 30,000 patients who underwent an assessment from ADHD Online receive ongoing treatment for their condition, either through their own doctor or from a care provider that’s part of a contracted provider network.
The company recorded about $20 million in revenue in 2022, Brophy said.
“The business has grown rapidly to get to this point,” he said. “It’s a large patient panel that we have.”
As ADHD Online plots further growth, leaders face two significant barriers to overcome: regulatory changes and drug shortages.
Medications to treat ADHD that are in short supply “cause a giant backup” and complicate care for patients, Brophy said.
On the regulatory front, the expiration on May 11 of the U.S. public health emergency for COVID-19 means that physicians are no longer allowed to prescribe medications without seeing a patient first. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has proposed a regulatory change to require an in-person visit before doctor can prescribe stimulants for an ADHD patient.
“We’re doing a strategy refinement because of the industry headwinds,” Brophy said.
ADHD Online intends to evolve its assessment platform to integrate more behavioral health screenings, including social media behavior issues and risk factors, plus build out Mentavi Health that will “tackle a broader range of conditions” in mental health, Brophy said.
Rather than building assessments for anxiety and depression into ADHD screening as is now the practice, the company will adapt the platform and questionnaire to offer separate online assessments that begin with those conditions, he said.
The company is “going carefully with our road map” and deciding the order in which it will tackle other conditions, Brophy said.
“Over time, we’re going to build more front doors into the assessment,” Brophy said. “The reality of mental health is we usually don’t have one crisp issue. It’s often a blend. We want to be that mental wellness assessor where you can come with a ‘what’s going on with me?’ question and get a combination of diagnoses.
“The way to think of it is there’s no wrong front door. The patient should not have to identify their condition.”
All of the screenings the company intends to offer will operate off “one assessment engine that, depending on where you’re starting, is going to bring you through that condition,” said Keith Boswell, Mentavi Health’s vice president of marketing.
“But then it’s also going to take you through the other conditions that may have co-morbidities,” Boswell said.
As ADHD Online and Mentavi Health begin the drive toward the next stage, they closed this month on the first $2 million of a Series AA capital round led by Michigan Capital Network; Grand Rapids-based Wakestream Ventures LLC, an early-stage investment fund founded by Rick DeVos; and Indianapolis-based Boomerang Ventures.
Michigan Capital Network first invested in ADHD Online in 2021 and anticipates high potential for digital and virtual health care providers coming out of the pandemic, which gave a major boost to the telehealth industry. Consumers today are much more apt to access a care provider virtually.
“The culture changed virtually overnight,” Brophy said.
The pandemic also accelerated rising incidence rates of mental illness at a time when care providers are in short supply.
High growth rates for telehealth providers have since eased, although accessing a care provider virtually now has a permanent role and a far larger role in the health care system than prior to the pandemic.
“You have more demand than you have providers, and that’s going to continue,” said Michigan Capital Network Managing Partner Dale Grogan, who serves on the ADHD Online board. “The opportunities are there. COVID really highlighted that here is a dislocation of just being able to get to a provider for an assessment. It’s shone a light on there is a gap, and telehealth plugs that gap.”
In setting up the operations for the next stage, ADHD Online and Mentavi Health have been building a deeper management team.
This year, they hired a chief financial officer, a chief medical officer in Dr. Barry Hermanand have assembled a team that has experience in digital health, Brophy said. A board-certified psychiatrist, Herman has 25 years of executive leadership experience, co-founded a digital health and wellness company and “is one of the nation’s leading thought leaders in the mental health space,” Brophy said.
ADHD Online wants to form partnerships with care providers around the U.S. to go with its contracted network of about 125 psychologists, physicians and nurse practitioners.
“We see more advantage in partnering with the health system than trying to be an ‘other,’” said Boswell, noting that “80% of what we’re doing is non-competitive.”