By his age, Shrenik Jain, a Boston native by birth, experienced firsthand what many people don’t witness over an entire lifetime. Working as a first responder since sixteen, he saw patients dying for overdose and suicide—and the effects of such experiences on fellow responders.
In fact, the idea for his startup Sunrise Health came to Jain after observing one of his colleagues, who developed PTSD after they responded to “a very traumatic call,” Jain said.
Sunrise Health is a mobile platform for text-based group therapy and peer support that uses AI to detect clinically relevant content in peer messages. Most importantly, what makes Sunrise different from other mental health platforms is its natural language processing-based monitoring system, which acts like a moderator that prevents potentially dangerous interactions in real time.
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“Trolls go ahead and tell people to go kill themselves on these support forums,” Jain said, referring to some of the online support groups that his colleague joined.
Jain and co-founder Ravi Shah founded Sunrise Health in 2016. The company licenses to existing healthcare system for a price ranging from $25,000 going up to six figures, depending on the size of the provider, Jain said. Clinicians who offer the service to their patients are immediately notified, should unapproved interactions happen on the platform.
In its first year of business, Sunrise ended up working on a pilot with Johns Hopkins – where Jain went to college – and received the award “Most Disruptive Startup in Psychiatry” from the American Psychiatric Association.
With offices in Boston, Baltimore, and Houston, the company has a staff of five full-time employees. It was drawn to the city by MassChallenge Boston, where Sunrise graduated in 2017.
Sunrise Health, which is currently raising its pre-seed round, has received about $200,000 in early funding from the Maryland Technology Development Corp., Johns Hopkins, National Institutes of Health, Rough Draft Ventures and Dorm Room Fund.