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Freespira Named UCSF Health Awards 2021 Finalist


Freespira Recognized in the Best Mental and Behavioral Health Category 

KIRKLAND, Wash.Sept. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Freespira, Inc., maker of the first FDA-cleared digital therapeutic to significantly reduce or eliminate symptoms of panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in only 28 days, has been named a finalist in the prestigious 2021 UCSF Health Awards, mental and behavioral health category.

Freespira is transforming the treatment of panic disorder and PTSD by addressing the underlying physiological factors of these conditions. As an alternative to medications and therapy, the treatment normalizes breathing irregularities developed in response to underlying carbon dioxide (CO2) hypersensitivity, which contributes to the symptoms of panic disorder and PTSD. Freespira provides users with real-time physiological feedback-based training to regulate their respiration rate and exhaled CO2 levels. Telehealth coaching also guides patients through the care journey to deliver maximum benefits from the twice daily, 17-minute treatments.

“We are honored to be among the finest digital health solutions in the world recognized by the UCSF Health Hub,” said Dean Sawyer, CEO of Freespira. “Millions of Americans experience the debilitating, life-limiting effects of panic disorder and PTSD, major sources of suffering and medical cost, yet standard treatments for these conditions remain inadequate to the vast need. Freespira is the only solution that addresses the underlying physiological cause of panic disorder and PTSD and has been shown in multiple peer-reviewed studies to reduce or eliminate symptoms in a majority of patients.”

The UCSF Health Awards are sponsored by the University of California at San Francisco’s Health Hub, an innovation hub and startup studio supporting the next wave of health tech entrepreneurs improving healthcare with technology. The awards launched with over 1,200 nominations and the finalists were selected by an expert panel of judges.

“The competition was rough and scant points separated the finalists from those that did not advance.  It’s a great group of companies that represent the top 5% of the submissions we received and really are the best of the best and represent the future of health tech and life sciences,” said Mark H. Goldstein, Chairman of the UCSF Health Hub and General Partner at venture capital firm Builders VC.

Join UCSF Health Hub on October 7, 2021 to see the winners crowned. Sign up here. Guests can join in person or online.

Preview Video Link for the Award Show can be viewed here. To learn more about the UCSF Health Awards visit here.

Peer Reviewed Studies Support Freespira’s Efficacy

Multiple peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated the clinical effectiveness and cost savings of the Freespira solution, including:

  • A clinical trial[1] conducted by Stanford University researchers at the Veterans Administration medical center in Palo Alto, Calif. demonstrated the efficacy of Freespira for veterans and non-veterans suffering from PTSD. Significant reductions in measures of PTSD severity were achieved by 88% of subjects 2-months post-treatment, with half of subjects in remission six months post-treatment.
  • A multi-center trial[2] conducted by David Tolin, PhD, Director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at The Institute of Living, and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, found that Freespira produced a clinically significant reduction in panic symptoms 12 months post-treatment in 82% of subjects, with 84% adherence and 88% patient satisfaction.
  • A study[3] led by Alicia Kaplan, MD at the Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh found that use of Freespira not only resulted in 91% of patients reporting significant reduction in symptoms at 12-months but also significant cost savings for the patients’ insurance provider, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. These included a 65% reduction in emergency department costs; a 68% reduction in pharmacy costs; and a 35% reduction in total medical costs for treatment of the study subjects.

To read further studies and learn more about Freespira, please visit

About UCSF Health Hub 

UCSF Health Hub is a 501c3 non-profit supported and funded by Silicon Valley’s top health-related venture capital firms in a unique affiliation with UCSF. UCSF Health Hub connects ideas and companies with the people, expertise, and capital to scale breakthrough healthcare solutions and produces monthly on-campus events operates a company-to mentor-to clinician online matching system called Health Hub Connect and produces the UCSF Digital Health Awards show. Visit us at and follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.

About Freespira, Inc.

Freespira, Inc. is the maker of Freespira, the only FDA-cleared digital therapeutic proven to significantly reduce or eliminate symptoms of panic attacks, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in just 28 days by training users to normalize respiratory irregularities. Health plans, self-insured employers and the Veteran’s Administration provide the company’s drug-free solutions to improve quality of life, reduce medical expenditures and support the appropriate use of valuable healthcare resources. Find out how at and follow us on LinkedIn.


1 Ostacher, M.J., Fischer, E., Bowen, E.R. et al. Investigation of a Capnometry Guided Respiratory Intervention in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback (2021).

2 Tolin D, McGrath P, et al, A Multisite Benchmarking Trial of Capnometry Guided Respiratory Intervention for Panic Disorder in Naturalistic Treatment Settings, Journal Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 2017, 42: 51-58.

3 Kaplan, A., Mannarino, A.P. & Nickell, P.V. Evaluating the Impact of Freespira on Panic Disorder Patients’ Health Outcomes and Healthcare Costs within the Allegheny Health Network. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback 45, 175–181 (2020).