Businessman Ara Chackerian is known by many names. Some people call him an angel investor, others call him a serial entrepreneur, and Chackerian himself would probably say he’s a healthcare advocate. In his very successful career, Ara Chackerian has invested in numerous start-ups, all of them falling within the healthcare market. Start-ups such as PipelineRx, BMC Diagnostics, and Embion/Provider Links. Chackerian’s most notable investment to date is TMS Health Solutions, which currently has 7 locations throughout the San Francisco Bay area. In a recent interview, Ara Chackerian sat down to discuss TMS Health Solutions and why he chose to invest in it.
TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. It is a device-led treatment originally designed to combat clinical depression. The treatment involves using an apparatus to stimulate the brain with electromagnetic waves. TMS was greenlit by the FDA back in 2006 but has been tangled in red tape ever since. Many, including Chackerian, believe Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as the forefront of psychiatric care with the potential to treat a variety of mental illnesses. Ara Chackerian himself has called it a possible future pillar of psychiatric care. However, because of problems with insurance coverage as well as the medical community’s reticence to utilize an “experimental” treatment, TMS has never garnered the attention it deserves. Chackerian hopes he can change this.
“We were first turned on to TMS through a mutual partner,” Chackerian stated, “When we looked further into the treatment, we realized its potential.” Chackerian and his partner were surprised that TMS was not garnering more attention, and as they looked further into the innovative treatment, they happened upon a chance encounter. They ran into a doctor who was using TMS in his own practice. Dr. Richard Bermudas had used TMS since the FDA signed off of it, but always with a long list of limitations. “Rich’s passion led us to believe that TMS could be a viable solution,” Chackerian said, “We realized our role could be to let Rich be a doctor.”
TMS Health Solution centers offer treatment to a wide variety of insurance companies. This cuts through the red tape so the treatment can be utilized. The centers treat patients for a wide variety of illnesses with most attention paid to depression. Through the centers, Dr. Bermudas and staff are able to test the limitations of TMS as well as its boundaries.