The conversation about how people access mental health care has become a major concern today. As people seek new avenues for therapy beyond the traditional 1: 1 therapist and client model, the Real Mental Wellbeing platform prides itself on being a tool that can bring meaningful practices to a widespread demographic at a fraction of the cost. The platform is designed to take scalability challenges out of 1: 1 models as they address the concerns of millions of people nationwide. Having recently welcomed a new pharma-tech executive to their team, Ajay Khatri plans to use his background in developing and growing healthcare systems to further Real’s mission. I recently spoke with Ajay that he sees Real’s goal of equalizing mental health resources as the key to making a significant impact and he shared with us how his experience of him can help to do so.
Gary Drenik: Tell us a little about your background in the pharmaceutical industry and how will your background in the pharmaceutical industry support your role at Real?
Ajay Khatri: With a background in growing platforms for pharmaceutical companies, I have worked for some of the most cutting-edge brands including Johnson & Johnson and Alto Pharmacy, leading new company creation, restructuring, innovative practices to drive growth and more.
I believe there are similarities in the pharmacy space that prepared me to take on this role at Real. I’m:
- Opportunities to drive a new type of service and how to provide high user satisfaction while providing a scalable service model
- Regulated spaces are among the most difficult to operate in, but they have one of the highest needs for change and improvement for patients
- There are so many different actors in the ecosystem and supply chain that it can make access to quality care difficult
I am already using the skills I have finely honed from my experience to amplify Real’s ability to satisfy people outside the traditional mental health care system.
Drenik: Why did you choose to join Real Madrid?
Khatri: I am a true believer in Real’s mission to scale and equalize mental health resources, having seen firsthand just how broken the existing mental health care system is.
Real’s main differentiator and one of the main factors that influenced me to join the company is the power of the platform to be the first form of intervention or a way to manage mental health challenges before reaching potential emergencies.
The industry has a fundamental supply and demand problem with more Americans needing help than we therapists have. Current models do not support the growing need for Americans. Notably, there are a number of apps that have launched into space, but few are releasing studies at the pace they should be to prove they are equivalent to today’s standard of care. This is where Real differs and will continue to differ, as we believe showing clinical data and impact will be the way to engage more Americans in different care models.
Long-term patient involvement has been one of the biggest problems facing the mental and behavioral health industries. Most Americans stop seeing their therapist 1: 1 after only a few short appointments. Several companies are creating markets, but again this doesn’t solve the problem of root engagement. Real is driving a care model that allows members to engage at their own pace, in their homes, and when it’s needed most.
Drenik: What is the real?
Khatri: Real is a mental health company building a new therapeutic model. Through a monthly subscription, Real provides assistance to members that they can access anonymously, on their own terms and at a cheaper price than other therapeutic approaches. Through our modern, therapist-designed programs, we are improving the quality of mental health care and making it accessible to more people, particularly to nearly 93% of people excluded from the current traditional 1: 1 therapy system.
Drenik: What do you hope to bring to Real?
Khatri: According to a recent Prosper Insight and Analytics survey, over 30% of Gen-Z have become more anxious or depressed by the pandemic, and the mental health care crisis has only increased since March 2020. I am excited to bring many lessons learned from my previous one. experience to reality. This includes everything from navigating highly regulated spaces to securing high impact business partnerships.
We have an incredible team at Real and my intention is to compliment and balance the existing team with my experience and really amplify the fantastic work that is already underway.
I have spent nearly the last three years helping to grow Alto Pharmacy’s business, I hope to bring that experience to help Real grow in a similar way. I look forward to supporting Real’s continued growth and scalability so that even more people can have access to high-quality, affordable mental health care.
Drenik: How do you practice mental wellbeing every day?
Khatri: Mental wellbeing is an important aspect of my life. One way I practice wellness is to make sure I spend meaningful time outdoors every day. I find it gives me time and space to think while I appreciate being able to move my body.
Also, having a loving and supportive partner to talk to, to spend quality time with, is another source of support for me. I also have two young children, who both put into perspective what life is. Being able to see them grow and see the world through their eyes is something that gives me real joy.
And finally, I am a user and I believe in Real! I welcome the opportunity to take care of my mental health on my own schedule. I am constantly looking for new tools and resources to build a stronger relationship with myself and I am so happy to have found it in Real Madrid.
Drenik: Ajay, thank you for your insights into the mental wellbeing and Real platforms.