ADHD tech solutions are on the rise with an upsurge in ADHD startups and now, a new browser dedicated to ADHD management. There has been remarkable growth in ADHD tech solutions, including websites, apps, and online drug deliveries.
Although the reasons for this surge are unclear, it could be due to the COVID-19 pandemic, because of increased social media usage by ADHD TikTok enthusiasts or perhaps the negative effects of smartphones.
Globally, there were 139.84 million and 366.33 million adults affected by ADHD in 2020. It is estimated that adults with ADHD lose an average of 22 days of productivity each year. Furthermore, in the US, childhood ADHD diagnoses increased by 42% between 2003 and 2011. The mental health space, of which ADHD is a part, experienced growth in the past few years. In 2021, venture capitalists invested $1.4 billion in the European mental health sector. However, there was a decline in investments to $354 million the following year due to a downturn.
Despite this setback, there has been plenty of activity. HelloSelf, based in London, matches ADHD patients with licensed therapists and covers various mental health conditions, including ADHD. Inflow, an app based in New York, helps members to better manage ADHD through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)-based support. They raised $11M in a Series A round led by Octopus Ventures.
Centred, a desktop app, provides AI voice coaches to help ADHD sufferers stay focused, along with Pomodoro timers and calendaring. Buddy Sessions are also available between members and productivity and ADHD coaches. Numo, a Ukrainian-originated startup, has created an app for adults with ADHD that gamifies daily tasks and provides support. Healios raised a £7 million ($9.9M) Series A round to expand its platform across the UK.
The latest addition to this growing list of ADHD tech solutions is Sidekick, which aims to be a “productivity browser.” Sidekick, founded by Dmitry Pushkarev, an ex-Amazon exec and ADHDer who holds a Stanford PhD in Molecular Biology, was a member of the 2020 Y Combinator cohort. In March 2021, they raised $2M in a round led by Kleiner Perkins. The company claims that users with ADHD noticed a “significant improvement” after using the browser. The Chromium-based browser includes AdBlock 2.0 to nullify distractions, a Focus Mode Timer that disables all sounds, badges, and notifications for a selected time or indefinitely, a Task Manager that organizes your day, and a built-in Pomodoro timer. It also claims to run three times faster than Chrome, which is significant for ADHD sufferers. The browser has various other distraction-killing features, which we won’t list here.
CEO & Founder Dmitry Pushkarev stated, “Modern browsers are not designed for work, but for consuming web pages. This gap really hurts hundreds of millions of users. We are convinced that reducing web distractions reduces anxiety and increases the quality of people’s work and the quality of their lives.” The startup plans to generate revenue by offering corporate subscribers a chance to get their ADHD-afflicted workers into a more productive mode.
Sidekick has competitors in the attention-reducing browser space, including Arc, Brave, and Vivaldi.