Therapy Areas: Devices
Wysa Receives FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for AI-led Mental Health Conversational Agent
16 May 2022 - - The US Food and Drug Administration has granted Breakthrough Device Designation for US-based behavioral health digital companion Wysa's AI-based digital mental health conversational agent for patients 18 years and older with a diagnosis of chronic musculoskeletal pain (defined as pain lasting longer than three months) and depression and anxiety, the company said.

The device delivers cognitive behavioral therapy via a smartphone-based conversational agent to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduce pain interference, and improve physical function.

The designation follows an independent peer reviewed clinical trial, published in JMIR, that found Wysa to be effective for managing chronic pain and associated depression and anxiety, which was found to be more effective than standard orthopedic care, and comparable to in-person psychological counseling.

The FDA Breakthrough Device program is designed to help accelerate the development and approval of medical devices and products that have the potential to provide more effective treatment or diagnosis of life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating diseases or conditions.

The FDA designation of Wysa's platform will enable Wysa to efficiently communicate with FDA's experts through various program options, facilitating the development of the product prior to the premarket review phase.

Wysa has published peer-reviewed work in the domain of chronic pain which codified user-centric insights, examined the efficacy of the solution in a clinical trial, and future protocols which aim to study this novel solution further in chronic pain.

Wysa is in AI-driven mental health support, available both to individuals and through employer benefits programs. Wysa is intended to support individuals with the help of an "emotionally intelligent" conversational agent.

The bot uses evidence-based cognitive-behavioral techniques, meditation, breathing and mindfulness exercises, as well as micro-actions to help users build mental resilience skills.

Currently, Wysa has facilitated over 400m conversations in 65 countries across the globe.

Wysa works with 20 enterprise partners and 7m employees worldwide, with partners that include Accenture Global, Aetna International, NHS, L'Oreal, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and the Ministry of Health in Singapore.