First-of-Its-Kind Technology Uses Artificial Intelligence to Facilitate At-Home Addiction Recovery Health Programs for Individualized, Socially Distant Treatment During the Pandemic
Nonprofit Midwestern Healthcare System Recently Scaled Recovery Coach Offering to Five Hospitals
illuminate.health, a digital health assistant platform designed to help people live healthier, today announced the general availability of Recovery Coach, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered digital health assistant and evidence-based addiction treatment resource, to virtually support patients in their journey towards substance use disorder (SUD) recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted both the immediate value and long-term needs for the offering as Recovery Coach provides health systems and addiction recovery clinics with the capabilities to take health services online. By combining several core tenets of a SUD program into a single, easy-to-use tool, individuals are empowered with personalized guidance and clinically-validated addiction treatment resources at home in compliance with social distancing recommendations.
Leading the charge for virtual SUD initiatives in the state of Indiana is a nonprofit health system who is already realizing the full potential of the offering through its Recovery Coach pilot program. In January 2019, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) patients from one of the system’s hospitals were granted access to the app. The hospital benefited from having digital access to personalized recommended resources right at their fingertips. It was proven that over 50% of total patients involved were active app users in any given week, user retention rates averaged at 44% over a 45-day time period, and 86% of patients reported that the app addressed their recovery needs. The offering was then rolled out to an additional four affiliated hospitals with ongoing conversations for adding more care settings in the future.
Key features of the Recovery Coach app include:
- Medication Guidance – Almost 50% SUD patients have a chronic condition and a majority take meds for other mental health issues. The app provides education, intelligent dose scheduling, and safety checks in order to optimize medication treatment.
- Care Network Collaboration – Connects individuals with their support system including family, sponsors, support group, and health providers.
- Sober Timer – Tracks sobriety date and time and celebrates key milestones.
- Health Status Check-ins – Tracks patient progress through prompts to enter mood, symptoms, log medication side effects, and complete health journal entries.
- Wellness Activities – AI-powered prompts for wellness activities in response to an individual’s current status including readings, meditations, exercise, meeting attendance, sponsor contact, etc.
- Community Resources- connects users to group meetings taking place in their neighborhood whether it is Alcoholics Anonymous, Smart Recovery, Heroin Anonymous, and more.
Jim Ryser, MA, LMHC, LCAC, CADAC II, ICDAC, and former Director of Pain Services and Chemical Dependence programs at an Indiana health system, stated that, “When I started working with the Recovery Coach app it was powerful. People began to see personal results and receive a pat on the back. Folks with addiction need that reinforcement as the disease has taken the ability to feel good about oneself so we need external ‘love’, for lack of a better word. The thing I loved about the app is that it immediately got people engaged and gave them positive feedback about what they were doing. And it gave them a checklist of things to do because compliance is difficult.”
“Access to substance abuse disorder treatments remains a challenge which is only compounded by associated societal stigmas. Digital tools like illuminate.health’s Recovery Coach were built specifically to harness the power of AI to help people get started on their path to sobriety in a simple, non-invasive way,” said Varun Goyal, CEO of illuminate.health. “Through the collaboration with Midwestern healthcare system, we’ve had the tremendous opportunity to learn and refine our product to help SUD patients, while validating the approach via demonstrated patient engagement and satisfaction, as well as clinicians providing addiction recovery health services.”