May 22, 2022

DDW22: SonarMD Data Shows Hidden Impact of Mental Health on IBD Costs, Company Expands Access to Support Services

DDW22: SonarMD Data Shows Hidden Impact of Mental Health on IBD Costs, Company Expands Access to Support Services

SonarMD’s platform pinpoints patients in need of mental health support better than claims data alone

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SonarMD, the leading care coordination company for gut health, will present an abstract at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2022 demonstrating the importance of proactive screening for mental health conditions in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). SonarMD is using this data to identify and connect IBD patients to services that promote emotional well-being and healthy sleep, via new partnerships with Happy and Rise Science.

“SonarMD is an extension of our practice, so these new services further augment our ability to manage the health and well-being of our patients with chronic disease.”

SonarMD will present abstract at DDW

Mental health issues like emotional distress and poor sleep can worsen IBD outcomes and increase the risk of hospitalization and surgery, driving up the cost of care. But patients with these co-morbidities cannot be fully identified by retrospective claims data alone, according to new data being presented at DDW.

SonarMD data reveals a nearly 40% increase in cost of care for IBD patients who have a positive depression screening score but no mental health claim in their history, compared to the general IBD population. That’s nearly twice the cost increase than when analyzing retrospective claims data alone.

“Mental health can have a major impact on the course of disease for patients with chronic digestive illness, but challenges often go undetected,” said Lawrence Kosinski, MD, MBA, lead abstract author and SonarMD’s founder and chief medical officer. “We have to be proactive in screening patients and connecting them to clinically relevant services that meet their individual needs — before those needs become health emergencies.”

In addition to the data being presented at DDW, SonarMD has previously shown care costs are 26% higher for IBD patients with claims related to sleep disorders.

The SonarMD platform uniquely combines multi-payer claims data, clinical information and patient-reported outcome measures, including Patient Health Questionnaire 2 (PHQ-2) depression screening scores, to better identify patients who would benefit from additional support services.

SonarMD expands to support whole person care

To help patients better manage their health, SonarMD is piloting partnerships with Happy and Rise Science to deliver emotional health and sleep management support at no cost to patients or practices. RISE is an app that uses sleep and circadian science and phone data to help patients improve their sleep and manage their energy, and Happy is a peer-based service pioneering “frictionless mental health” that uses a proactive engagement model to improve patients’ emotional wellbeing and reduce barriers to care. SonarMD is introducing these holistic services with the first patient cohorts this spring. This launch will also establish wearable device integrations for seamless remote monitoring, supporting future incremental expansions in diet and nutrition and beyond.

“I’m excited to see SonarMD offer more holistic tools and services in the care management of our patients with inflammatory bowel disease,” said Nadeem Baig, MD, vice president of Allied Digestive Health and chief medical officer of the Allied Health Management Services Organization. “SonarMD is an extension of our practice, so these new services further augment our ability to manage the health and well-being of our patients with chronic disease.”

DDW poster details

Session Title: Health Economics (Cost of Illness, Cost-Effectiveness, and Health Economic Models)
Session Sponsor: AGA
Session Date and Time: May 23, 2022 from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Poster Number: Mo1057

About Digestive Disease Week® (DDW)

Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. Jointly sponsored by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT), DDW takes place May 21 – 24 in San Diego, California and virtually. The meeting showcases more than 3,100 abstracts and hundreds of lectures on the latest advances in GI research, medicine and technology. More information can be found at

About SonarMD

SonarMD aligns incentives around the doctor-patient relationship to reimagine care for complex chronic diseases, starting in gastroenterology. Using AI technology and human support, we predict clinical deterioration in patients and make it easier for patients and specialists to work together to proactively address problems before they become health emergencies. Our approach is proven to keep people healthier and help health plans reduce costs by 15% per member per year. For more information, visit


Patty Keiler
[email protected]

Original Press Release