While the world continues to face problems receiving easy and affordable healthcare, there is an even larger problem with obtaining access to mental health services. Over half the world’s population, approximately three billion individuals, are struggling to find help and with the unclear future of healthcare in America, about 23 million citizens will lose access to behavioral health. The sad truth is that depression is the leading cause of both mental and physical disability. Although sources are available, the rising costs of healthcare are making it difficult for people to receive proper help. Sachin Chaudhry’s life calling has been to change that and as the CEO and founder of TrustCircle, he is doing just that.
http://www.TrustCircle.co is a new type of technology with a mission to “make mental health care continuous, accessible, and affordable” and with the development of innovative mHealth soultions, millions all over the world will now be able to access and afford mental health care on any device. anywhere, anytime. TrustCircle was not developed overnight but with Sachin’s passion, it has blossomed into something quite remarkable.
Sachin and his younger brother
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Sachin about his life mission and how we can benefit from using TrustCircle. His reason to create Trustcircle is a very personal one. In 1994, Sachin’s then twelve year old brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was a very happy child with a joyful personality that one day suddenly seemed to disappear. As it would soon be discovered, his brother was being bullied at school which resulted in his sudden, quiet reservation. When he experienced a breakdown at school, that’s when Sachin’s family knew it was more serious than originally perceived. With a visit to his primary care physician, his brother was referred to a psychologist, and then to a psychiatrist who further prescribed heavy anti-psychotics. All of this occurring within a duration of three weeks. Every three to six months, he was evaluated but because physicians are so limited in the amount of time they can spend with patients, these visits normally lasted only ten minutes. The doctor appointments were preceded by excessive wait times of up to two hours. While many grow impatient with such wait times, these particular moments turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Sachin. It was during these hours that Sachin began talking with the other families of patients who were going through the same ordeal. It was then that his passion for wanting to help people have access to easier resources began.
Sachin graduated with a computer science and engineering degree from the National Institute of Technology, India in 1998. He then proceeded with an education and degree in business at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. In 2011, he took a break from business school and quit working so he could begin creating this movement in mental healthcare. He ultimately received his MBA in 2013. Over the course of creation, Sachin spoke with thousands of individuals in the U.S., India, and beyond. Sachin states that their solutions in providing mental health resources are based on three things: preventative, participatory, and predictive. They also coincide with issues that his family experienced while getting care for his brother. Preventative – Sachin’s brother probably was simply depressed, anxious or maybe stressed out but there was no tool available that could give the family the right information they needed at the right time, in fact the family had to wait for months before they could see the doctor. Participatory – Sachin’s family did not know anyone else who was going through the same challenge with whom they could share, learn and start living with hope. Predictive – With each visit, they knew they would only have brief, ten minute appointments with the doctor. Although there are providers who have passion for wanting to help those like Sachin’s brother, they can only spend a short time with each patient due to their heavy schedules. Many are often so rushed, that they end up just prescribing medications that only treat the symptoms without taking the time to discover the source. That is where TrustCircle comes in.
One major problem attached to the discussion of mental illness and the hesitation for seeking help is stigma. As Sachin told me,
“Stigma is first in our minds and then out there in the world. We have to kill that first within ourselves, step up, talk about it, and then the whole world will follow. When people step up and they’re determined, things happen.”
For individuals who are wanting answers but not sure where to start, they should try mHealth Tests product. Individuals have the opportunity to take brief mental health surveys that are based on questionnaires that primary care providers, psychologists and psychiatrists use to better understand someone’s symptoms and current mind state. Surveys include finding out your current anxiety, depression, and even stress levels. Through the website, individuals can anonymously take the tests without signing up or entering any personal information. These surveys were originally developed decades ago and are clinically validated. The surveys are most effective when taken over time as symptoms can change from day to day and can vary from mild to extreme. mHealth Tests not only adds huge value for the Individuals but also for the organizations, universities, counties, cities, and states that gain access to population health insights that help identify high-risk population/areas and direct their limited resources to these high-risk population/areas to gain maximum impact for their efforts. These online tests are just one of the three core products that TrustCircle offers.
Sachin giving a demo of mHealth Tests at 7th International Digital Health Congress in Paris, France
Also currently available is mHealth Connect product. Available through enterprises in healthcare, education, insurance, research, and community settings, it is a mental health network that allows individuals to connect with others who are going through the same challenge or care about their challenge locally or globally and build their circles of trust.
The third product is soon to be available. It is called mHealth Care. It is specifically designed to help build stronger relationships between providers and patients. The provider side of the app is primarily used to identify high risk patients and automatically flags them. Providers are given the opportunity to follow these specific groups of patients to prevent continuous hospital re-admissions. On the patient’s side, they are expected to provide daily medication compliance. If a patient is not being compliant, the system will automatically notify the provider. Providers can then reach out to patients and approved family members to inform them that they are not taking the important steps towards their recovery. Patients will either be asked to come in to the clinic or be sure that they are following the original instructions. The ultimate goal is to build a circle of trust and loyalty between the providers and their patients.
Sachin & TrustCircle.co took home 1st prize at the 7th Annual International Digital Health Congress in Paris, France
Sachin’s vision is complete with the support of a distinguished team that includes his business partner and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sunil Dhir. As well as Head of Engineering, Krishna Balasubramanyam. Several influencers have joined the TrustCircle family, including their Brand Ambassador, and creator & founder of the Make-A-Wish foundation, Mr. Frank Shankwitz. Other influencers include the son of Italian industrialist Ferruccio Lamborghini, Mr. Tonino Lambhorgini. Best-selling author and acclaimed speaker, Greg S. Reid and actress and entrepreneur Clarissa Burt are also influencers endorsing TrustCircle’s mission. The app also recently won first prize at the International Digital Health Congress in Paris, France due to being a significant game changer in mental health care.
Don’t hesitate a second longer. Visit Trustcircle.co today to begin your journey to a healthier mental well-being. If you have any questions or would like additional information regarding Trustcircle, Sachin can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“As a Physician, I see a huge gap in demand and supply of mental health care services and TrustCircle mHealth innovations will not only help reduce this huge gap but also provide access to quality care for all.” – Dr. Sunil Dhir, Chief Medical Officer and Business Partner (right)
“I’m all in for the TrustCircle mission for a very long run because I truly believe the mission and want to leverage my technology skills to simplify life of those impacted by mental health issues.” – Krishna Balasubramanyam, Founding Team Member and Head of Engineering (left)
All photos courtesy of Sachin Chaudhry