Treating eating disorders with tech

Eating disorders are complex brain disorders with strong genetic, neurobiological and psychological underpinnings. These often can be hidden by anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, PTSD, and substance use disorder.

According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), eating disorders are the second-deadliest mental illness (after opioid use) and 26% of people with an eating disorder attempt suicide.

Societal and cultural factors such as the pandemic, diet culture, and social media can trigger an eating disorder for those with a genetic predisposition and/or big emotions to people that try to combat with disordered behaviors. In the US, cases of eating disorders doubled during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) are “significantly” less likely to receive treatment compared to white people, and close to 50% of LGBTQ+ people reported disordered eating behaviors. For instance, US-based Within Health, the online eating disorder treatment app offer different approaches in their programs and one of them is virtual care to LGBTQIA+ people. 

On Dealroom, we’ve mapped digital health startups that are treating eating disorders, from psychotherapy to remote monitoring (with numberless scale and blood pressure cuffs).

Startups tackling eating disorders [/button]