A Blockchain for Addiction Recovery
inRecovery launches the first blockchain for addiction treatment and recovery. Helping addicts not only achieve sobriety, but go beyond it — to fully reintegrate as thriving members of society.
Enhancing an Industry
The addiction treatment industry is in urgent need of adopting measured and proven industry wide standards for treatment. While in rehab, patients are guided through a program of activities setup by their treatment center. These programs typically include: therapy sessions, drug screenings, medical prescriptions, monitoring of vitals, group activities such as meditation, exercise, yoga, art therapy, and others. All of which are managed by the different participants: rehab staff, individual therapists, outside service providers, consultants, labs, and doctors. As treatment centers grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a consistent one-on-one connection with individual patients. Resulting in lowered patient engagement and less effective treatment outcomes.
We start at the treatment center. Using the comprehensive inRecovery platform to help manage patient activities and enhance the overall rehab experience. inRecovery+ App was designed to help keep patients engaged throughout their recovery journey by encouraging positive behavior and rewarding it. Patients earn points for: check-ins at therapy sessions, group activities, meetings, drug screenings, and more. Patients can even give instant feedback about activities, just like we rate an Uber ride. This gives rehab owners valuable insight into the efficacy of each activity. The gamification model helps reprogram the addict mind by helping patients regain trust in themselves for doing the right thing. Moving them away from compulsive behavior and instant gratification mindsets to having set daily schedules and goals. Showing them their growth and progress in the program and thus restoring the confidence they’ll need to achieve 30/60 day and longer term goals.
All activities are controlled through Therapy Paths, which therapists create using a simple dashboards and based on the patient’s addiction type and required level of care. inRecovery even suggest Therapy Paths from results of similar cases on the Recovery Blockchain. Therapy Paths are powered by EMMA, Enhanced Machine Medicine for Addiction, our intelligence engine that becomes a 24/7 assistant to therapists by continually monitoring patients, suggesting activities and using machine learning and AI to personalize the Therapy Paths. Giving therapists actionable data and even letting set an auto-pilot mode that lets EMMA adjusts Therapy Paths and report results.
Traditionally, therapists only meet with patients a few times a week and can’t always be there when a trigger occurs. While peer leaders or house managers are available after hours, patients are pretty much on their own. When triggers occur, EMMA can guide the patient out of a potential relapse by providing immediate tools and suggestions. While alerting the therapist and rehab managers if heightened risk levels are detected. All incidents are recorded on the inRecovery Blockchain — which can then be analyzed to better understand Therapy Path efficacy and the external factors that can trigger relapses.
inRecovery will help enhance the addiction treatment industry. Rehabs will be able to provide better quality of care using their existing teams. Therapists will gain a deeper understanding of their patients by using EMMA, improving the results of their therapy. And family members and friends will be more connected throughout the process via weekly Report Cards and progress updates. Providing them with peace of mind and hope that their loved ones are getting better.
Blockchain in Action
inRecovery Blockchain will create an eco-system for the treatment industry. One that greatly reduces the friction between treatment centers and insurers, helping simplify billing efforts through transparency and compliance.
Therapy Paths, staff input and patient input will trigger the execution of Smart Contracts — for example (refer to graphic below):
Cindy P. is assigned to be at group therapy with therapist Matt L. on Monday 9am. Cindy is picked up from her living facilities at 8:30am by rehab staff Steven O. and driven to the treatment center. She “checks-in” to group therapy at 8:55am. After that session she has a UA (drug screening) that she checks-in to, which is sent out to Paul W. for analysis. Followed by 10:30am Yoga session with Sandra F., which she also checks-in to through her inRecovery+ App. At 4pm, Cindy checks-in when she meets with Dr. George K and is prescribed medication. Dr. George K assigns a prescription to Cindy.
Cindy’s mom, Kelly P. can check Cindy’s progress through the Report Card that summarizes Cindy’s activities. She can also settle any outstanding bills such as prescriptions.
In this scenario, the blockchain records a number of transactions. First, from therapist Matt L. assigning the treatment plan. Second, by Steven O. picking up the patient and driving her to the treatment center. Third, by Cindy P. checking-in to the group therapy. Fourth, drug screening UA sample is sent to the lab. Fifth, Yoga session is completed. Sixth, meeting with doctor is registered and prescription assigned.
Smart Contracts self execute, assigning Cindy points for complying with her Therapy Path activities and creating a billable record that the treatment center can submit to insurance for reimbursement.
As the rehab experience comes to an end, Therapists normally meet with their patients to create an exit plan and provide common tools for relapse prevention. This can include worksheets, sober living, setting up sponsors, providing lists of meetings and other local resources to the patient. This method is the standard in the industry — a method that yields a 60% relapse rate within the first year of leaving rehab. This statistics translate to thousands of deaths and millions of dollars of related costs from crime, hospitalizations, re-admission to rehab, and countless burdens to society.
inRecovery Connect aims to shift these statics with an improved model for aftercare. A week before graduation, therapists meet with their patients to plan out the next year of their lives. During that meeting, they create an aftercare Therapy Path that the patient will continue to follow after leaving rehab. Using the inRecovery Connect app that provides a familiar experience and reminds members they’re still accountable and not going through this alone. They will continue to have EMMA and be in touch with their therapists remotely, through monthly video calls. A few days before leaving rehab, patients are introduced to their new Sober Circle.
Sober Circles are an intelligently selected group of three peers and a team leader. Leaders usually have a few years of sobriety. This group is assigned to every inRecovery Connect member. Criteria for group selection includes: location, type of addiction, personality, risk levels and many other factors.
While in rehab, the Sober Circle meets via a video call to get acquainted and excited about staying in the program and making sobriety fun. They’ll do all sober activities together and be there for each other. This provides a tight knit group where the recovering addicts can be honest and learn to be comfortable with who they are. Unlike social media that triggers people to seek peer validation and not to mention all the potential bullying. The Sober Circle is a safe, intimate and positive place free of judgment and away from past relationships and circles who might trigger drug use.
By continuing to use inRecovery Connect the recovering addicts keep on track, continue earning points on a daily basis, and get drug tested twice a month. It keeps them accountable and connected well after leaving rehab. Dramatically decreasing relapse rates and the associated costs.
Treatment Centers benefit from having their alumni on inRecovery Connect. Improving their outcomes and having an ongoing connection with alumni can significantly increase the amount of referrals from member’s families and friends. It also helps give hope to newcomers by letting alumni send updates and pictures and even encouraging messages to people who are just starting on their recovery journey.
People are not themselves during active addiction. They tend to make decisions fueled by low self-esteem and impaired judgment. This often leads to unemployment, financial crisis, damaged credit, evictions, trouble with the law — the list goes on.
Even after sobriety is achieved and maintained, it’s often very difficult for addicts to come back as normal members of society. Traditional credit systems might show a disastrous picture — not accounting for positive actions such as successful rehab graduation, on-going therapy, and great track records in sobriety. There is currently no way to accurately measure and present such records.
inRecovery Blockchain solves that by becoming an authority source and advocate for the recovering addict. Our accurate, secure and immutable records of sobriety and relapses will serve as a window into a person’s recovery. Sobriety Scores will be calculated by many reputation factors, creating a very relevant model based on the context of addiction recovery.
This will serve as a supplement to the traditional credit report and can be provided to lenders, landlords, schools and potential employers. It will also reduce the stigma associated with addiction by helping society better understand addiction and the efforts people make to stay sober.
Ultimately, it becomes the single source of truth of a person’s recovery. Encouraging members to stay in the platform by helping them move past sobriety and onto full social reintegration. Turning them into thriving members of society.
Addiction Treatment Research
Historically, medical and academic researchers have had limited datasets and isolated studies for addiction research. It is difficult for researchers to conduct large scale studies given privacy concerns of active and recovering addicts. The effectiveness of treatments are not regulated in a systematic way due to lack of scientific research. This catch-22 needs to change and our blockchain is on the forefront of making that happen.
inRecovery allows researchers to use the platform to study outcomes of Therapy Paths. Giving them powerful analytics tools that provide detailed data about patients, their treatments, and outcomes — all while maintaining patient anonymity. For the first time in history, researchers will have access to millions of accurate records of addiction recovery. The implications of this are outstanding.
Our wearable technology, the inRecovery WATCH app, plays a major role in data collection. By adding an additional dimension to our data: real time vital monitoring, physical activity, sleep patterns, and other behavioral data. Helping researchers better understand both biological and behavioral patterns that lead to relapses. inRecovery’s open API makes it possible for researchers developing wearables and sensors to test and add to patient datasets. Such as the research conducted by Dr. Stephanie Carreiro using the Empatica E4 Watch in which she accurately detected opiate and cocaine relapses from participating addicts via electrodermal skin data, temperature and activity patterns — discovering “signatures” of drug use in the human body.
Creating an ecosystem of collaboration that will let academia, scientists, mental health and the medical community tackle addiction and discover treatment innovations that will help restore and the save lives of the millions of addicts worldwide.
inRecovery is more than an addiction recovery platform. It is a vision for the future of addiction treatment. An ecosystem fueled by support and collaboration with the sole purpose of advancing addiction treatment, together.
— David E Sarabia, Founder inRecovery.org