For the last six years, Rock Health has brought stakeholders from healthcare, venture, research, and technology together for their digital health conference, the Rock Health Summit. During the two-day event, the confluence of innovators, policymakers, and healthcare leaders discuss the future of healthcare.

Rock Health is the first venture fund dedicated to digital health. They support cutting edge companies aiming to have a positive, impactful effect on healthcare and the healthcare system, including Welkin Health.

The 2017 Summit

This year’s Summit convened on October 17th and 18th. At the intersection of healthcare and technology, leaders at organizations such as Omada Health, the FDA, Stanford, Verily, and Sutter Health- to name just a few- held discussions, panels, and skills-based workshops on using data and innovation to transform healthcare.

Welkin Health co-founder and CEO, Chase Hensel, participated in the discussion “Can Digital Health Help Solve the Opioid Crisis?” Moderated by Dr. Kelly Pfeiffer, the Director of High-Value Care at California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), Hensel, along with David Vivero (CEO & co-founder of Amino Health), and Dr. Alan Levy (Chairman & CEO of Chrono Therapeutics) examined how technology can be leveraged to combat America’s pervasive opioid epidemic. The three entrepreneurs spoke about how their companies’ support patients throughout (and even before) the recovery process, and the role digital health plays in improving pain management and clearing access to treatment.

Digital health for addiction support

Asked how Welkin’s platform can address the opioid crisis, Hensel answered, “Welkin builds a configurable case management platform. We tend to work with companies who are trying to innovate in patient services. That spans the gamut from folks working in diabetes to folks working in behavioral health to folks working in addiction recovery. We tend to do a lot of work with patients who have really complex social needs and that, as a result, lends us to doing a lot of work in this space.”

Because the platform has 6 distinct communication channels built-in; nurses, coaches, and therapists can proactively perform outreach to patients going through recovery. One such example is Face It TOGETHER (FIT), who use integrated technology and programs which help individuals and their loved ones with addiction recovery support, to strengthen communities and reduce overall healthcare costs. FIT has also created  a Workplace Initiative, which helps employers change their internal culture around addiction, and provide access to effective care and support for employees and their families.

Another Welkin Health partner- and member of the Rock Health family- helping workplaces support their employees’ mental and behavioral well-being is Lyra Health. Through their innovative technology, Lyra matches patients to excellent providers. Care recommendations are tailored for each patient, including the best types of support and provider for every person, and they assess all treatment outcomes to ensure they set the gold standard in patient care.

Rock Health company Amino Health wields big data to help people “find low-cost, high-quality care.” David Vivero explained, “in the case of opioid, but also other types of addiction, the price of keywords for these types of clinics- that are also lead generation services- can be hundreds of dollars.” Amino’s platform assists patients seeking addiction support find “unbiased, data-driven help, helping people find in-network high-quality, low-cost providers.” Vivero continued, “our hope is we can continue to identify trigger points inside the healthcare system that allow you to avoid cascading into a problem related to opioids and that generally means finding providers that have a culture of understanding this issue.”

Dr. Pfeifer’s organization, CHCF, has joined together with the California Department of Public Health, Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, and the Department of Justice to build the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard. The collaboration tracks and compiles state and county data on non-fatal and fatal opioid-involved overdose and opioid prescriptions.

Concluding the discussion, Dr. Pfeiffer said “we in the healthcare community can make a mistake and we can recover, and we can make patients better and practice more safely, and we can make sure there’s enough addiction treatment for all”.

See you next year

What improvements will digital health contribute to healthcare and patient outcomes in the coming year? In what new and innovative ways will technology be leveraged to better support patients battling addiction? We will see.