Alma launches AI-generated progress notes tool for mental health professionals

Steven Loeb · June 11, 2024 · Short URL:

The company gives providers tools and software to help therapists run their practices

Alma is a company that helps mental health professionals run their practices. Its membership-based network gives providers access to tools and software to help them run their practices.

Now, it's is adding a new tool to its arsenal: an AI-generated progress notes tool called Note Assist, which the company unveiled on Tuesday, a HIPAA-compliant tool that requires both providers and clients to opt in and provide explicit consent.

Once both parties have opted in, the tool records therapy sessions and generates a progress note that providers are then able to review, edit, and adjust as they see fit before saving. All session recordings are automatically deleted after the progress note is generated. 

"We always knew that we wanted to take a thoughtful, clinician-informed approach to AI. With Note Assist, we set out to create a valuable tool for mental health providers that would save them critical time in their workdays," Alma founder and CEO Dr. Harry Ritter told VatorNews.

After launching its custom-built EHR, Note Assist felt like a natural next step for the company as clinicians must write progress notes after every therapy session, he said, which can be a pain and a hassle to manage.

"We also believe that more robust documentation is important to supporting quality care, capturing insights and next steps from therapy. We incorporated extensive therapist feedback into building Note Assist to ensure the tool was meeting their specific pain needs and creating real value in their workdays."

Founded in 2017, and launched in 2018, Alma provides insurance support, teletherapy software, automated billing and scheduling tools, as well as a community of clinicians that come together for education, training, and events. The company also allows patients to find a physician on its platform, and uses technology to help match the right patients to the right providers. 

The company' network has over 22,000 mental health providers that are licensed to practice in all 50 U.S. states. Almost 40% of providers in Alma's network self-identify as Black, Hispanic/Latine, or Asian, and 10% self-identify as LGBTQIA+, enabling them to provide culturally responsive care to diverse populations.

Alma's data shows over 80% of clients who start therapy with symptoms of depression or anxiety see improvement over the course of their time in therapy. The company is also focused on removing barriers to accessing care in the first place: when people come to Alma they’re able to begin care with a therapist in Alma’s network within three days on average. 

To date, Alma has raised over $220 million, including a $130 million round in August 2022; in the last two years since raising that funding, the company has been investing in the product experience for its mental health providers, ensuring they have the technology and support they need to grow their private practice and support their clients, Ritter explained.

"I’m really proud of the custom EHR we’ve built, which enables our members to seamlessly onboard new clients, document care, and adhere to clinical best practices in a single place,"  he said. "In particular, we’ve put a lot of investment efforts towards improving access to clinical assessment tools which helps ensure we are supporting data-informed care."

Note Assist was launched via a partnership with AI-native therapy documentation platform Upheal, which helped accelerate time to market and to create a tool "that offered real and immediate value for our customers," Ritter explained.

"They’ve been fantastic to work with. After vetting several vendors and soliciting feedback from our own members, it became clear that Upheal’s technology provided the best and highest quality clinical documentation experience," he said.

"Upheal also aligned with our company values, and shared our commitment to support mental health providers, incorporate provider feedback throughout product development, and prioritize data security and privacy. We also appreciated how nimble Upheal was, which enabled them to respond quickly to our feedback."

Note Assist is meant to enable providers to save time in their workdays and allow them to be more present in-session with their clients. In our pilot of early users for the tool, it was shown that Alma providers spent 50% less time writing progress notes. In addition, 88% said the tool was easy to use and saved them time. This time back can help reduce provider burnout, which American Psychological Association found was affecting 36% of providers.

"We want to be a one-stop-shop for providers, giving them everything they need to run thriving, in-network practices that helps them deliver outstanding, quality care. Note Assist plays a critical role in that vision, enabling mental health providers to save time and be more present in the room with their clients," said Ritter. 

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