Spectrum partnership to help addiction treatment go digital
Spectrum Health Systems, an addiction treatment and behavioural health provider in the US, has announced a new partnership to help increase access to treatment via the use of prescription digital therapeutics.
The Massachusetts-based provider, which offers inpatient, residential and outpatient services, is partnering with Tufts Health Plan and Pear Therapeutics through its subsidiary New England Recovery Center, to pilot an FDA-approved digital therapeutics platform supporting people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.
The collaboration supports Tufts Health Plan and Spectrum’s Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Center of Innovation, a new joint effort between the two companies to address the complicated nature of substance abuse, and provide solutions for easier treatment access and innovation in care.
Substance abuse and deaths by overdose are on the rise in the United States as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital therapeutics could play a critical role in addressing this, by making treatment more accessible and convenient.
“This collaboration with Tufts Health Plan and Pear Therapeutics will bring much-needed attention and resources to addressing substance use disorders in Massachusetts,” said Sherry Ellis, Chief Operating Officer of Spectrum Health Systems.
“We are eager to work with Tufts Health Plan and Pear Therapeutics to bring evidence-based treatment to more people throughout the Commonwealth, many of whom would otherwise not be able to access treatment without telehealth and digital alternatives.”
Pear Therapeutics is currently leading the development of the new therapeutics class of prescription digital therapeutics, with three FDA-authorised products and further products in the pipeline across other therapeutic areas. Certain Pear products have been measured in real world use and their therapeutic content studied in randomised controlled trials, with results published in peer-reviewed medical journals.
Through this partnership, the three organisations will align financial incentives and technology innovation, with the aim of changing traditional treatment pathways for people with substance abuse disorders.
“We believe in strong relationships with SUD providers like the New England Recovery Center at Spectrum Health Systems to bring new treatments and innovations to our members, especially given the impact of COVID-19 on members struggling with SUD” Emily Bailey, LICSW, vice president of Behavioral Health at Tufts Health Plan said.
“It is critical, especially now, to ensure our members have access to the resources and treatments needed to support those on a recovery journey from substance use disorder. Spectrum Health Systems and Pear Therapeutics are two strong collaborators that will make innovative resources and digital therapeutics more accessible to our members.”
Zoom enters the healthcare market - a timeline
Since the pandemic began Zoom has become an integral part of daily life for people working from home, as well as a vital tool for families and friends to communicate. However it's also been eyeing up the healthcare space since 2017, and following the boom in telehealth the company has been rolling out additional services. Here we chart Zoom's move into healthcare.
2011 - 2013
Zoom is founded in San Jose, California, by Eric Yuan, formerly of Cisco. He got the idea to create a video calling platform from his visits to his girlfriend while he was a student, which would take 10 hours by train.
A beta version is released in 2012, which can host up to 15 participants. In 2013 this rises to 25. By mid-2013, Zoom has 1 million users.
2014 - 2017
Zoom attracts investors, including Sequoia Capital, Emergence and Horizon Ventures. By January 2017, Zoom has a series D funding worth $100 million.
2017 - 2019
Zoom for Telehealth launches, including an integration with EHR system Epic. It has cloud-based video, audio, and content sharing features, a "waiting room" for patients, and can easily be integrated into healthcare provider's workflows.
In 2019 Zoom goes public, with its IPO rising 72% in one day.
As a result of the pandemic, Zoom gains 2.2 million new users, more than in the whole of 2019. On the 23rd of March alone - the day the UK lockdown was announced - the platform was downloaded 2.13 million times around the world.
Share prices rise to around $150, and founder and chief executive Eric Yuan becomes one of the world's richest people, with an estimated net worth of $7.9 billion.
Early security issues are addressed by encrypting data with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). By now the the platform allows 99 people to be on a call simultaneously
New features launch, including Zoom Home and Zoom for Chats. Throughout the year the platform is used to replace most kinds of real life events: work meetings, online classrooms, church services and social events.
Renamed Zoom for Healthcare, users can share secured video, audio, and content through desktops, mobile phones, and conference devices. As well as Epic, it can be integrated with Strmr, IntakeQ, and Practice Better.
It can also be used with diagnostic cameras and other point-of-care devices, including digital stethoscopes.
In an interview with Korea Biomedical Review, Zoom Global Healthcare Lead Ron Emerson said: "Our service is not simply a virtual care and telemedicine platform but a multi-purpose platform that can satisfy the needs of healthcare institutions."
"It can be used for administrative tasks, including telemedicine, medical team meetings, recruitment, medical education, employee training, and disease prevention. Analysing electronic records managed by Zoom could provide meaningful insights into patient care."
Phoenix Children's Hospital, Belfast's Hospital Services Limited, Butler Health Services and the global Project ECHO are among Zoom for Healthcare's current customers.