Image Credits: ADHD
Was it an epidemic? Is everyone following too many ADHD TikTokers? Have smart phones fried our brains? Whatever the case, there’s a boom in ADHD tech solutions, from online medications to websites and apps.
There is definitely something out there. In the year In 2020, 139.84 million and 366.33 million adults were affected by ADHD worldwide. Adults with ADHD are said to lose an average of 22 days of productivity per year. And between 2003-2011, the US experienced a 42 percent increase in childhood ADHD diagnoses. And the mental health space (of which ADHD is a part) took off a few years ago. Venture capitalists have invested $1.4 billion in Europe’s mental health sector by 2021, according to Dealroom data, but that investment has dropped to $354 million as VCs take off at a slower pace.
However, there is still a lot of activity. Based in London, HelloSelf matches patients with licensed therapists and covers a range of mental health conditions, including ADHD. Out of New York, Inflow, an app that purports to help members better manage ADHD with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-based support, has raised an $11M Series A round led by Octopus Ventures. Centered is a desktop app that offers AI voice coaches to help ADHD sufferers focus (with Pomodoro timers, calendars, etc.) and also has “buddy sessions” between members and for productivity and ADHD coaches. Ukraine-based Numo is an app for adults with ADHD that streamlines daily tasks and provides support.
Healios has raised a £7 million ($9.9M) Series A round to expand its platform across the UK.
Now there’s Sidekick, which claims to be a “productivity browser.” Today, it is treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients in general.
Sidekick was a member of the 2020 Y Combinator cohort, and in March 2021 they raised $2M in a round led by Kleiner Perkins.
The company claims that ADHD users have noticed “significant improvement” after using the browser. The Chromium-based browser was founded by Dmitry Pushkarev (PhD in molecular biology, Stanford), ex-Amazon X and ADHDer).
So how does it work?
Browser AdBlock 2.0 to avoid distractions; Focus mode timer disables all sounds, badges, and notifications for a limited or indefinite time; A task manager organizes your day; And there’s a built-in Pomodoro timer; It also claims to run 3x faster than Chrome, which is useful for ADHD sufferers. Suffice it to say, it has many other distraction-killing features, but I won’t list them all here.
CEO and founder Dmitry Pushkarev said in a statement: “Modern browsers are not designed for work, but for consuming web pages. This loophole truly affects hundreds of millions of users. We are convinced that reducing the focus of the web can reduce stress and increase people’s quality of work and quality of life. .
He says that the startup plans to earn money through corporate subscribers, who pay their ADHD-afflicted employees to find a more effective mode.
Unfortunately for Sidekick, it has a lot of competitors in shrinking browser space, including Arch, Brave, and Vivaldi.
All this being said, sediac attention (gaddid?) can find a very useful place for ADHD, especially if there is an epidemic of ADHD sufferers.