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Our story

Transforming mental healthcare, by unlocking the power of clinical data

Little is known about what makes mental healthcare successful and why. We’re blending data science and deep clinical expertise, to learn what helps people access the right treatment and recover. We use this knowledge to create fully scalable, highly personalised, digital solutions that help prevent, treat and manage poor mental health.

Our pioneering discoveries in mental healthcare are improving how the world understands and treats mental health. From the beginning, we’ve placed patients at the heart of everything we do, and believe in a world where everyone has access to effective mental healthcare that is right for them at the time they need it. 

Our story begins...

ieso was established in 2000 by two psychologists who were passionate about unlocking the power of the internet to improve access to mental health care. After many years of exploration and testing, a research paper published in The Lancet in 2009, demonstrated the clinical effectiveness of online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Seed funding

We raised our first outside funding in 2011 to build a virtual care platform. This provides confidential text-based CBT on a one-to-one basis via computer or smartphone and was then made available to patients in England through our continuing partnership with the NHS.

The global mental health crisis

Since then, the world has changed considerably. Global awareness of mental health has risen, which is a welcome step, but it has exposed a fundamental problem – as more people come forward, healthcare systems around the world are unable to meet the increased demand for treatment – a problem further amplified by the coronavirus pandemic.

This led us to commit to transforming mental health care by unlocking the power of clinical data, and in 2020 deployed a novel AI-based platform, transforming the use of real-world treatment data to understand the active ingredients of psychological therapy, allowing it to be tailored to specific needs.

The future: clinical-grade DTx

Despite our efforts, recovery rates are not as high as we believe they could or should be. Because there will never be enough trained therapists to meet growing demand, we need to radically scale up care, use automation and augmentation to make scarce clinical resources go further, and democratise access to quality mental health care.

Having raised our Series B funding in 2021, development of our digital therapeutic (DTx) products is now underway to address this need.

And so, the next chapter of our story has begun.

ieso breakthroughs

ieso was founded in 2000 with a vision to transform mental healthcare through the combined impact of clinical expertise, data science and technology. Here are some of the key milestones so far.

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Psychology Online incorporated in England UK


Randomised control trial in The Lancet proves that people are just as likely to recover through online CBT


Seed funding investment powers scale up of our therapy service for the NHS


Rebranded to ieso


Cost effectiveness of online CBT demonstrated in health economics study with York Health Economics Consortium


Our dataset reaches 100 million words of therapeutic conversation


ieso announce $24 million Series A funding


Our In-house algorithm deployed, analysing therapist language and scoring their performance on core components of CBT


First US-based pilot programs


3 papers published, including a JAMA paper evidencing a relationship between psychotherapy content and clinical outcomes in a large dataset


First AI-based clinical decision support tool launched


Our dataset reaches 500 million words of therapeutic conversation


Research discovering sub-types of depression published in the Journal of Psychological Medicine


Randomised control trial into biomarkers launches, which involves giving Fitbits to patients in order to understand how behavioural biomarkers affect treatment outcomes


We develop and adopt our own patient assessment model, which improves risk profiling and streamlines assessment and triage


Total patients treated reaches 50,000


Number of patients in treatment at any one point in time reaches 3,500


ieso announces $53 million Series B funding


First trial of AI-based patient-facing conversational agent

Our investors

Breakthroughs in mental health: word by word

In an emergency
Call 116 123 talk to someone
Call 111 mental health crisis
Call 999 life’s at immediate risk
Call Samaritans on 116 123 if you need to talk to someone
Call 111 if you’re experiencing a mental health crisis
Call 999 or go to A&E if your life’s at immediate risk