Startups Blog

Telehealth and Cultural Sensitivity: Dedner’s Hurdle Paves the Way

Mental health concerns are more prevalent now in the modern age than ever before. In light of recent global crises, several startups providing home mental healthcare have grown. However, for pioneering brand Hurdle, concerns stretch wider than mental struggles in and of themselves.

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Culturally Sensitive Support

Hurdle, an immensely popular Telehealth service, was set up by Kevin Dedner in light of worrying mental health trends. While other mental health startups may focus on wider scopes, Hurdle offers culturally sensitive care. In particular, the brand focuses on the lack of mental health care available to African Americans.

Specifically, Hurdle’s from-home Telehealth service offers users access to sensitive support from trained professionals. Founder Dedner explains that he created the brand in light of around half of African Americans failing to complete therapy. His research suggested that this was largely down to a poor fit on a cultural or understanding level.

Leaps and Bounds

As a result, Hurdle supports users in that its therapists and counselors are held to account for sensitivity. This means that those seeking help from the platform can effectively rate experiences based on the therapist’s approach. Dedner describes the ethos and approach from Hurdle to be one that breaks down barriers.

The founder is also aware that his app has skyrocketed at a time of great tension. Beyond global mental health crises due to the events of 2020/2021, we have witnessed the start of a cultural revolution. The murder of black civilian George Floyd at the hands of a police officer sent shockwaves across the globe. Dedner recognizes that this has been a critical time for black people to have access to adequate mental health support.

Of course, as the founder recognizes, this support should always have been available. However, Hurdle is stretching beyond other Telehealth startups in that it makes culture as important as care.

Are Startups Such as Hurdle Succeeding?

Hurdle has been a resounding success thus far at the time of writing. Towards the end of 2020, the venture completed a $5 million seed round. This led to Dedner extending his role into that of CEO, too. The brand receives backing from the likes of StartUp Health and Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab.

Three years from its inception, Hurdle is in the epicenter of an incredible need for culturally sensitive mental support. Millions of people are turning to their smartphones and tablets for daily inspiration and guidance. When it is not possible to meet with doctors face to face, these apps become essential.

Hurdle may be one of many app ventures looking to help modern mental health woes. However, its particular niche is prescient and deeply fulfilling. Dedner appears to have created a viable shoulder for many to cry on during a ‘perfect storm’ of crises.

Telehealth isn’t going away any time soon. Fundz is pleased to offer real-time information on up-and-coming startups, both niche, and broad-appeal. Why not take a look for further details?




Topic: Mental Health Startups