Sponsor Finder: Treating Alcoholism and Alcoholics: A mutual help app

by Katie Robinette

A mobile app to help support alcoholics by matching those who want to get sober with those who are living in recovery.
Toronto, ON Canada Patient Power Tools! Healthy Living

All Team Company Patients Physicians Hospital Mission Innovation Details Supporters Comments Updates

About our project

The problem we solve:
In 2013, an estimated 26 million North Americans (8.6%) needed treatment for a problem related to drugs or alcohol. Only 0.9% got help in a treatment facility.$14.6 billion: In Canada alone, the economic costs of substance abuse are $39.8B with alcohol abuse accounting for over 36% alone. Recovery takes work: Learning to adjust to a new life can be challenging and we want to give people a tool that can help them connect and learn from people who are living in recovery.

About our solution:
Healthy Minds Canada is working with researchers and developers to perfect an algorithm that can successfully match sponsors (mentors/peer coaches) with those looking to get sober and abstain from alcohol. The app will offer resources (both 12 step-based and resources from other mutual help groups) and communication and home work suggestions.
Progress to date:

HMC has been in the mental health and addiction research, programming, and awareness space for over 35 years.  We have a national network of top researchers and psychiatrists in Universities and Teaching Hospitals across Canada that can help us recruit and market the app once launched.  Researchers and academics in the Toronto community with ties to HMC will also be tapped to help with the assessment/onboarding questions and evaluation metrics.

HMC is currently lead by an Executive Director with deep ties to the addictions treatment communities across Canada, having herself completed treatment at a 12-step based facility in British Columbia.  She is also active in Toronto’s Start-Up community, has been working with people in the eHealth space for over four years, and has drawn on that community to recruit a developer to help build the prototype.   

Team

Chris Hobson, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Privacy Officer at Orion Health.  Chris will serve as the Chief Advisor.

Christophe Bruchansky, Founder of Plural, Think tank & ideation studio and Author of Digressive Society.  Christophe will be our Lead Developer

Stefanie Freel, Consultant, World Health Organization.  Stephanie will serve as an Advisor and has expertise in surveys and evaluations.

In addition to being well positioned to develop the sponsor finder app, we have done extensive research into peer support (specifically in the addictions space), built a team, costed out a 2-yr budget, created a pitch deck, begun to identification user beta groups, and created a workplan.  We are in the process of sourcing funding.

 


About Our Team


Creator: Katie Robinette
Location: Ontario
Bio: Following decades working as a lobbyist, political staffer, and campaign organizer/manager, I am now running Healthy Minds Canada, a national charity in the mental health and addictions space.
Title: Executive Director

About Our Company

Healthy Minds Canada
Location: 240 Richmond Street W.
4-140
Toronto, Ontario M5V 1V6
CA
Website: https://healthymindscanada.ca/
Blog: https://healthymindscanada.ca/blog/
Twitter: @Healthy_Minds
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/healthymindscanada/
Product Stage: Idea
YTD Sales: Working on it
Employees: 3-5

How We Help Patients

HMC plans to work with doctors in Ontario to allow them to bill for recommending the app to patients presenting with alcoholism.  We are also working within the recovery community to on-board a cohort of those with 2+ years of sobriety and will be working through our existing channels to on-board those in early recovery and/or looking to get sober.  

We will also be working with treatment centres to ensure the app is part of a suggested tool kit upon graduation or leaving.  

We will also be working with ER departments to ensure this app is mentioned/suggested to those who enter the ER presenting with signs of alcohol abuse. 

How We Help Physicians

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/alcohol-hospital-admissions-1.4172091 

 

" placeholder="" maxlength="2000">

A report in June 2017 noted that alcohol was responsible for more patient visits to the ER than heart attacks and doctors often express frustration that patients who need to abstain from alcohol simply do not.  We think this tool will help ease that burden.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/alcohol-hospital-admissions-1.4172091 


How We Help Hospitals

The app can help reduce strain on public health system:  “People Powered” health approaches have demonstrated potential savings the UK public health system ?4.4billion (according to Nesta).  We expect similar potential in Canada where our model is mostly taxpayer funded.  


Innovation Details

Intellectual Property Summary

The materials attached provided by Healthy Minds Canada (HMC) does not purport to be all-inclusive or to contain all  information that a reader may need to investigate HMC. The information contained herein is subject to amendment,  addition, and updating. No one should rely on the contents of this presentation being either directly or indirectly, a promise,  forecast, guarantee, or assurance. These materials are merely for preliminary discussion and may not be relied upon for any purpose.  No representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to the fairness, accuracy, or completeness of the information  contained herein. There can be no  assurance that the HMC will achieve objectives.

This document is not, and under no circumstances is to be construed as a prospectus, a public offering or an offering memorandum  as defined under applicable securities legislation anywhere in Canada, the United States, or in any other jurisdiction.

HMC is dedicated to protecting all user data through the adherence of industry best standards. HMC will be collecting content and other information the user provides when using the app.  Data, not including the user’s email address, may be shared with independent parties.

Clinical Information

Dr. John F. Kelly, PhD, Founder & Director of the Recovery Research Institute at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has found that AA and other mutual help groups significantly help people make changes in their social networks and aids in improving members’ ability to withstand social pressures to use alcohol and drugs. These groups also help members increase their ability to cope with negative effects of early recovery, such as depression and anxiety, improve - and assist in the maintenance of - motivation for recovery and help introduce abstinence self-efficacy and coping skills. For some, in addition to these mechanisms, AA and similar mutual help groups also aids recovery by boosting spiritual practices, which in turn, may help members re-conceptualize and reframe stressors and mobilize active coping.

Dr. Kelly’s research also demonstrates that obtaining the support of a sponsor in AA improves the chances of long-term sobriety.  A study of 338 individuals with cocaine dependence, with nearly half presenting with a co-occurring alcohol use disorder, showed that having a sponsor was related to higher rates of attendance and involvement in 12-step groups & abstinence over time.   Upon completion of treatment, individuals with a sponsor had a 33% to 50% greater chance of not using illicit drugs or stimulants at 1-month post-treatment compared to those without a sponsor. 

https://www.recoveryanswers.org/research-post/mounting-evidence-of-the-benefits-of-12-step-sponsors/

According to a study on “People Powered Health Program”, the UK company Nesta found that the adoption of “people powered” health approaches for people with long-term conditions offered the potential to save the UK’s NHS at least £4.4 billion a year while delivering better outcomes for people.

http://www.nesta.org.uk/publications/business-case-people-powered-health

The importance of a strong match based on mutually agreed upon goals is also supported by research in the US: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26961963

Regulatory Status

There are no foreseen FDA clearance requirements.  For the first 6 months, this will be limited to a Canadian market and we will explore all US regulatory issues (including HIPAA privacy issues) after Beta and prior to Piloting.

How we will use the funds raised

Technology/R&D (Prototype: $40K)

$280,000

Marketing & Promotion (Conferences, Focus Groups, Travel, Social Media Ads, Hard Launch event, sector marketing & promotion  - treatment centres, detoxes, MD groups)

$188,000

Salaries & Admin

$115,700

Sustainability (surveys and evaluations to drive improvements; explore tiered funding options)

$58,370

TOTAL

$642,070

Thank You

Digitally driven people-powered health has the potential to revolutionize Canada's health care system.  In the addictions space, it can lessen the demands on the ever-stretched tax-payer funded model while, at the same time, improving abstinence and reducing relapse. 

Healthy Minds Canada has been in the mental health and addiction research, programming, and awareness space for over 35 years.  We have a national network of top researchers and psychiatrists in Universities and Teaching Hospitals across Canada that can help us recruit and market the app once launched.  Researchers and academics in the Toronto community with ties to HMC will also be tapped to help with the assessment/onboarding questions and evaluation metrics.

HMC is currently lead by an Executive Director with deep ties to the addictions treatment communities across Canada, having herself completed treatment at a 12-step based facility in British Columbia.  She is also active in Toronto’s Start-Up community, has been working with people in the eHealth space for over four years, and has drawn on that community to recruit a developer to help build the prototype.    

Supporters

Comments

  • image
    Katie Robinette posted on 12th December, 2017

    This app is now called Sponsor Finder and is not being branded under Healthy Minds Canada. Details can be found at www.yoursponsorfinder.com

Login to post your comment!
Click here to Login

Updates

$ 0

pledged of $ 15,000 goal

  • 16 Days left

24

Interest
Score

0

Adoption
Score


Rewards All contributions are tax-deductible.