Mark Goldenson, founder and CEO of Breakthrough, is having a good day. The startup, which launched in 2009, just announced that it raised $5 million in series A funding, meaning his mental health therapy app is at the forefront of a developing sector: "telehealth."
Breakthrough works like this: Patients suffering from a mental illness (there are 57.7 million of them in America now, and many receive inadequate treatment) get to browse a list of licensed therapists. Once they've found one that suits their needs, they make an appointment or schedule a live video-conference. This makes it substantially easier for patients who may not have access to quality local care to find treatment.
Perhaps the best part about Breakthrough is its insurance policy, namely that it accepts many different forms. Goldenson says other services charge patients out-of-pocket, something a lot of people simply can't afford.
Breakthrough isn't the first to experiment with telehealth—AT&T and Cisco have, as well, as has a company called TalkSession. But considering the prevalence of mental illnesses, and how hard they are to treat it, Goldenson's Breakthrough is one of the best efforts we've seen so far.
Every year, Fast Company names its 100 Most Creative People, highlighting the global leaders in tech, design, media, music, movies, marketing, television, sports and more. Goldenson, and other thought-leaders, will be considered for 2014's list.