iTether and Healthcloud Engage Patients with Critical Recovery Resources

Prove Your App’s Value Quickly with Progress Health Cloud

  March 26, 2018 0 Comments

Prove Your App’s Value Quickly with Progress Health Cloud_870x450

Traditional HIPAA-compliant backend solutions can be very slow to develop and costly to build and maintain. Progress Health Cloud gets you to market dramatically faster.

Substance abuse recovery apps are not new. They’ve been around for years now, from AA’s digital ‘Big Book’ to Pear Therapeutics’ mobile 12-step program. What iTether has done, however, is something different.

Sean Gunderson, CEO and co-founder of iTether believes the first step in the fight against substance abuse starts by transforming the way treatment is delivered to patients struggling with addiction.

“The way it’s been done the last 40 years is through a paper-based system,” Gunderson explained. “You come into a program and get a booklet with a program you’re going to follow. Whether you’re a 19-year-old heroin addict or a 55-year- old alcoholic, you’re going down the same path. If that’s all you do, a 30-day in-patient clinical program, there’s a 90% chance of relapse within one year.”

Using Progress Health Cloud, iTether has developed an app and clinical portal that puts patient care in the hands of providers, allowing them unprecedented control over the recovery experience offered by the app. Where before a provider would either have to use the existing framework of an app, or simply not engage their patient outside of scheduled meetings, now they can check in 24/7 with an app customized to their specifications.

iTether App

The iTether team initially began working with an outsourced development house, but the developer proposed a backend that would take upward of six months and hundreds of thousands of dollars to build. This simply didn’t work—the iTether team wanted to get a product to market as soon as possible to prove concept value.

While developing a brand new application from the ground up could have taken anywhere from six to eight months, doing it with Progress Health Cloud took a fraction of the time. The iTether team was able to build the backend in just one week and had a minimal viable product in beta in just over two months.

One of the key selling points for Progress Health Cloud was the fact that it was a HIPAA-compliant app cloud. If this wasn’t the case, it would have been up to iTether to gain HIPAA compliance and to maintain it—and that can cost millions of dollars and take far too much time.

A study at the Washington University Medical School has shown that over 75% of patients believe that the iTether app gives them more information and more motivation to make decisions regarding their health and recovery. 85% of patients surveyed agreed that they would use iTether in the future if they needed to make decisions about their recovery.

iTether allows for a data-driven approach to recovery, one that has traditionally been impossible. With the data that is fed to payers and providers alike, accountability, adaptability, and accessibility have become the prevailing forces in patient recovery. Using Progress Health Cloud, iTether is transforming the substance abuse recovery space and making it easier and more accessible for patients, providers, and payers.

To learn more, check out the iTether case study.


Drug Overdose Related Deaths Reach 65,000 in 2016

An early calculation of 2016 drug deaths by The New York Times estimates that overdose deaths were as high as 65,000 last year. That is equivalent to a fully loaded 747 crashing 3x a week, EVERY WEEK, for a full year. The infographic below helps to visualize that shocking fact.

Imagine the panic and outrage that would result if these deaths were occurring in a more visible way. The drug overdose epidemic is now claiming more lives than both homicides and automobile accidents combined.

Here are some addiction facts about the U.S. opiate epidemic that really put this crisis into perspective:

  • Today, Americans consume 80% of the global opioid supply.
  • Opiate overdoses in the U.S. have more than tripled since 1999. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that the number of drug overdose deaths has increased for the 14th consecutive year.
  • Many new heroin users actually started by misusing prescription opioids. About 80 percent of people in the U.S. who recently started using heroin report that they previously took opioid pain relievers for non-medical reasons. (SAMHSA)
  • In the U.S. there were 16.3 drug overdose deaths per every 100,000 people in 2015. In West Virginia there were 41.5 for every 100,000 people.
    According to Health and Human Services, in 2015, 276,000 adolescents (12 to 17 years old) were current non-medical users of pain relievers, with 122,000 having an addiction to prescription pain relievers.
  • In 2015, more than 300 million prescriptions were written for opioids, which is more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle.

It is clear that this epidemic will continue, if not grow, if drastic steps are not taken to better prevent and treat addiction. Some of the priorities of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is to focus on improving access to treatment and recovery services and to provide support for cutting-edge research on pain and addiction.