WEconnect, maker of an app that helps addiction patients through their first year after substance abuse treatment, announced yesterday that it has closed a $6.05 million Series A round.
Investors in the company include ServiceNow founder Fred Luddy, Buckingham Capital Management Chairman Larry Leeds Jr., Metalab founder Andrew Wilkinson, CEO of Venturehouse Mark Ein, and others.
The app — which was launched in 2016 by founders Daniela Tudor and Murphy Jensen, a former French Open Champion — offers patients a recovery support network via counselor check-ins and rewards for recovery activities. For care teams, the app includes a monitoring component that can track recovery patients as they follow their treatment plans and prioritize those who are at greater risk of relapse.
According to the company, the app is being used by thousands of patients and has been adopted by two treatment centers: Volunteers of America and Zepf Center.
What’s the impact
Substance abuse has been front and center as of late, with the US government and healthcare system pushing efforts to stem the ongoing opioid epidemic. In 2016 CDC reported 63,632 drug overdoes deaths in the US, 66 percent of which involved opioids. The East Coast has been hit particularly hard with West Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire, DC, and Pennsylvania accounting for the highest drug overdose deaths in the country.
“Addiction in the U.S. is the single largest public health crisis of our lifetime,” Tudor said in a statement. “During my recovery process, I discovered that 80 percent of patients relapse after treatment — that is simply unacceptable. The WEconnect app leverages data for improved outcomes, and has helped thousands of patients stay in recovery. Our mission is to save lives, and I’m proud our team is doing that every day.”
What’s the trend
In light of the ongoing epidemic, a number of tech-driven efforts have surfaced targeting addiction treatment and recovery. Meanwhile, legislature backing telemedicine programs for opioid addiction treatments have seen bipartisan support, and social media networks have begun to surface support resources following relevant searches.
On the record
“Drug and alcohol addiction in the United States costs the economy $600 billion a year while ruining millions of people’s lives,” Tim Kerr, one of the company’s investors, said in a statement. “WEconnect uses evidence-based treatment methods to create a support network for patients across the US. WEconnect will put support in the pockets of every patient using techniques research shows cuts relapse rates.”