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Meet Our Clinical Strategy and Research Team

Modern Health’s in-house Clinical Strategy and Research Team works to continuously validate and uphold our care model, proving our impact and effectiveness with clinical research, quantitative analysis, and testing against the industry.

We believe there is no one-size-fits-all solution for your mental health and wellness, which is why we chose to implement an evidence-based, stratified-care model that incorporates multiple modalities for our platform. Our care is the translation of the best available science combined with first-class user experience and we validate with ongoing research. At the heart of our individualized offerings is our Clinical Strategy and Research Team (CS&R), which collaborates with experts across Modern Health to integrate clinical excellence with technology to best serve our members and clients. The CS&R team brings 135+ years of mental health and research experience from a wide variety of backgrounds, including clinical, counseling, and health psychology, psychiatry, social work, research, and coaching. They contribute greatly to the level of expertise needed for Modern Health to continue to offer innovative, impactful mental health and wellness solutions. 

Why do we have a Clinical Strategy and Research Team? 

Because employee well-being is continuously evolving, health tech companies like Modern Health must have strong clinical strategy that supports ethical, culturally-centered care. This is where CS&R steps in, rigorously evaluating our current and future offerings to ensure the best possible product. Our clinical strategists shape how we think about good practice—the types of therapies we deliver, the best assessment measures, the appropriate level of care for individual members—based on decades of research in the broader field. Modern Health then translates that strategy and research to the real world. In tandem, our researchers continue to refine that application while continuing to contribute to the greater literature available in their respective fields. 

“There is plenty of psychological research about how people can take care of their mental health and what sort of care can help them improve. Some of that research includes really, really, controlled tests of evidence-based therapies. And bringing those highly controlled therapies to people is one way for people to do better,” says Jessica Watrous, Director of Clinical and Scientific Affairs at Modern Health. 

But there are drawbacks to including only highly controlled clinical treatment. “First and foremost,” continues Watrous, “it can be difficult to do that in the real world.” 1:1 clinical therapy can require a lot of time and may feel restrictive or like it lacks adaptability for the individual who may not want, or need, to engage with an intensive, approach. So how do you reach those individuals who are seeking care but are intimidated by this approach?  

“We’re thinking about how we can make care rigorous, and we’re thinking about how people can actually do it. We’re realists,” says Watrous. “Our model is intended to balance member and provider needs and preferences with the realities of time, cost, and varying degrees of comfort and receptivity to care.”

What does the Clinical Strategy and Research team do? 

The CS&R team works cross-functionally so that Modern Health’s stratified-care model continues to evolve to meet client needs while surpassing the standards set by traditional models like EAPs. From the beginning, the expertise and research from the CS&R team is directly implemented into our care model. 

However, health and wellness does not exist in a vacuum—for the individual or the industry— so the CS&R team expands their research beyond our own product. Members of the Clinical Strategy and Research team actively continue to contribute to the body of scientific literature available on mental health, wellness, and support solutions. Collectively, our team has more than 175 peer-reviewed publications related to mental health—not including the robust Modern Health exclusive white paper research we provide for HR leaders and decision makers. 

What impact does clinical research have on employee benefits? 

By retaining a team of mental health experts within our company, we can directly implement strategic improvements to care as new findings develop while also helping clients understand the needs of employees. In a peer-reviewed study with Rutgers, the surveyed population reported the following mental healthcare preferences: 

  • 44% preferred 1:1 therapy
  • 24% preferred self-guided resources
  • 8% preferred group-based therapy
  • 24% were unsure of where to start 

“We need to listen to that and we need to educate our prospects on that,” says Dr. Cynthia Sweet, Senior Director of Clinical Research at Modern Health. “Because the client may be thinking ‘Everybody should have 1:1 therapy,’ and that’s all they’re seeing. What we want them to understand is that your population is not saying they all want therapy. They want and need different things from us.” Another example of the CS&R’s impact on our offerings is the application of research that suggests individuals are more likely to return to 1:1 therapy sessions if they feel confident their provider understands their cultural and lived experience. This finding directly informs Modern Health’s network of vetted global therapists and counselors who provide the culturally-competent care that keeps individuals continuing with their mental healthcare journey. 

This is also why clients with international workforces experience improved utilization and engagement rates with benefits when switching to Modern Health. Additionally, our research team looks at the mental healthcare industry’s pain points for both therapists and patients, allowing us to create a benefits platform that not only creates connection to care but supports providers in long-term delivery. With this knowledge, Modern Health implements improved stratified-care for our clients that ranges from the expected 1:1 sessions to self-guided video series on stress to Circles on global traumatic events. 

Modern Health’s commitment to continued clinical excellence 

We are dedicated to finding new and innovative mental health solutions that make prioritizing mental well-being accessible for everyone. By backing our solutions with expert clinical research from a diversely experienced team, we continue to test, experiment, and grow our offerings to better meet the unique needs of our clients while continuing to adapt to an ever-changing industry facing accessibility and affordability issues with increasing urgency. 

If you’d like to better understand Modern Health’s platform and offerings, or to find a package that best fits your employee needs, you can request a demo. To keep up with our clinical team’s current findings, visit our Press page.