Zach Booker, the co-founder and CEO of ADHD Online, was referred to VisionTech Angels by the Michigan Capital Network. The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based venture capital firm is the lead investor in ADHD Online. With $24 million in annual revenue rate, ADHD Online has far more traction than our typical investment opportunities. Obviously, this is very attractive, but their mission to help the mental health community is well timed. In 2020, the National Institutes of Health reported that one in five adult Americans live with a mental health condition. It’s easy to imagine those numbers have swelled since the global pandemic and resulting social isolation and economic struggles. As the VisionTech Screening Committee delved into ADHD Online, we were even more impressed with ADHD Online and invited Zach to present at our September virtual pitch events. Here’s a preview.
BP: Some founders have a personal connection to their startup. What’s yours?
ZB: I have ADHD as does my co-founder and chief innovations officer, Dr. Randall Duthler. Dr. Duthler is a family physician and on the faculty of Michigan State University and has a deep understanding of the challenges ADHD causes for parents, their children and adult patients. Our personal experiences drive our desire to make diagnosis and treatment of ADHD faster, easier and simpler.
BP: How does someone know they have ADHD?
ZB: They likely don’t know and that’s a big part of the problem. In adults, you may have a hard time focusing your attention and tasks. Kids with ADHD are more fidgety, impulsive, talk or move excessively. ADHD becomes more apparent once kids go to school because of the structured environment. It’s hard to sit still and be quiet! But these characteristics may not be ADHD. You really need a professional assessment to be sure.
BP: How are you connecting with potential patients?
ZB: Patients can be referred by schools, their doctors and health systems. More importantly, people can self-refer. We market across all of our social media platforms along with search engine optimization.
BP: Tell me about ADHD Online and the problems you’re solving.
ZB: If you think you or your child has ADHD, you face a bunch of hurdles. First, it will take you about seven months to start the process. That’s an incredibly long time to wait if you or your child are struggling. The system for diagnosis and treatment is very hard to navigate. The complexity of taking time off from work or school for multiple appointments can be challenging. Imagine how tough it was during COVID when in-person services were shut down and telemedicine alternatives were few and far between. It’s also expensive. Expect to spend about $2,000 out-of-pocket even with insurance.
ADHD Online launched in 2018 as an online assessment tool. For the first two years, we bootstrapped and worked on our platform. During COVID, we expanded our services to assessments, consultations and ongoing treatment. Our clinical assessment tool requires patients answer some 250 questions, which can take 60-90 minutes to complete in one sitting. The patient has an unlimited amount of time to complete the assessment with the option to start and stop as they wish. That, coupled with the dynamic experience of the questions changing as answers are submitted ensures not everyone has the exact same test. The questions vary based on the patient’s answers. We use doctorate level psychologists for the diagnosis. Patients receive their diagnosis in an average of three days. Think about that. You think you might have ADHD. You get online, do our assessment, and in that same week later you have professional results. That’s huge.
ADHD Online provides congoing consultations via synchronous visits with a board-certified physician or patients can choose to take their assessment to their physician. Either way, the complexity is gone.
BP: What’s been the patient response to ADHD Online?
ZB: Whether it’s parents of a child who is having issues at school or an adult, people simply want to know what’s wrong. Once they’ve used our service, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive about the process, the quick results, and the compassion of our psychologists. I would encourage people to visit our website and read some of the reviews.
BP: What are your competitive advantages?
ZB: From the patient perspective, it’s the ease and immediacy of access, how quickly they get their diagnosis, the ability to choose how they receive ongoing care, whether it’s through our physicians and telemedicine or through a local physician in a traditional face-to-face setting. Also important to patients, schools, employers, and health systems accept our assessments so people can get special accommodations at school or work.
For obvious reasons, what we do is highly scrutinized. There used to be multiple competitors in this space. However, in 2022,the U.S. Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration shut several of them down. Today, there are no other practices that do what we do or use the model we use. We stand alone in the market.
BP: What kind of intellectual property do you have?
ZB: we are currently working to secure a process patent for our diagnosis model. Our dynamic assessment questions changes based on answer given, making it a unique product in the mental health system.
BP: What is your total addressable market?
ZB: For ADHD, we estimate the total addressable market to be $170 million. However, half of America has something going on with their mental health. We’re front line with our business model and as we expand the platform to include other mental health issues, the market becomes much, much bigger.
BP: What is your revenue model?
ZB: It’s pretty simple: fee for service and self-pay. We charge $149 for the assessment, $199 for a 30-minute medical treatment appointment with a physician, and $99 for the follow-up appointment 30 days later. ADHD is a chronic condition, meaning it does not “go away.” Patients can schedule 50-minute teletherapy sessions with a psychologist on a regular or as-needed basis for $99 per session. We use board certified MDs and DOs for our telemedicine services. This is the standard of care for ADHD. Many insurance companies reimburse patients for their care.
BP: Where are you in terms of commercialization?
ZB: These quick facts demonstrate where we are. ADHD Online currently serves as many as 650 patients a day. To date, we have assessed more than 90,000 people. More than 35,000 physicians have accepted our diagnosis and continue to treat our patients to this day. We have processed $27 million in credit card payments to date.
BP: What is your planned use of funds?
ZB: This is a $5 million bridge round, and we are looking at a fast close. We intend to use the funds to drive growth in three areas. First, we plan to add more dynamic questions in our assessment so that we can identify additional mental health disorders, including anxiety, bipolar, depression, and PTSD. Second, we’d like to establish more partnerships with health systems. There is a tremendous shortage of mental health services, including diagnostics. Partnerships with health systems would allow us to refer patients as well as co-manage with local health systems. Our technology is API first and can easily integrate with electronical medical record systems like EPIC, which is used widely in health care. Finally, we want to establish partnerships with payors, which will support patient access and reimbursement.
BP: Why should VisionTech Angels invest in ADHD Online?
ZB: Three words: opportunity, demand and growth. We have great traction, and we need to continue to keep the gas pedal down. We are beginning to dramatically change the mental healthcare delivery system by giving more people more access to care, rapid diagnostics, and more convenient ongoing care that is the standard of care. We have proven demand among patients, health systems and schools, and our assessments are profitable. The growth opportunity extends beyond the United States to Canada and the United Kingdom, where there is a two-year backlog for services. We can plug into their systems quickly.
VisionTech Angels’ September Pitch Events will be virtual on Thursday, September 29 at Noon and at 6 p.m. ET. Pitch events are open to our members and accredited investors interested in joining our group. To register, check your email for an invitation, go to our Events page where you’ll find the RSVP links, or email Ben Pidgeon at email@example.com.