Quit Genius expands addiction treatment program to include alcohol and opioids

With the updated FDA regulatory requirements during COVID-19, it’s expanding to include programs for multiple addictions.
By Mallory Hackett
02:58 pm
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Quit Genius, a digital addiction-recovery program, has extended its platform to support alcohol and opioid addictions.

The program is designed for enterprise and health plan customers in the U.S. to help their employees recover from addiction.

Fees are paid for by the user’s employer or health plan. Employers are charged an annual fee for each participant that actually enrolls in the program.

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The company currently has a remote tobacco-cessation program. Now, with the updated FDA regulatory requirements during COVID-19, it is expanding to include programs for multiple addictions.

“It’s the same concept as the Quit Genius tobacco cessation platform,” Dr. Maroof Ahmed, the COO of Quit Genius, told MobiHealthNews. “They’re still getting 100% digital, 100% remote treatment in the comfort of their own home.”

The model that Quit Genius created for smoking cessation will be applied to the new platform. It includes one-on-one counseling with a board-certified counselor, physician-led pharmaceutical therapy and drug testing.

In the case of alcohol-addiction therapy, users will be given a breathalyzer that measures the level of alcohol in their system. For the opioid program, users will test their saliva. The results of the drug tests will flow directly into the app to track users’ progress.

Quit Genius developed this system for members to see their progress towards recovery and for health plans to see how many people have actually quit using substances, instead of relying solely on self-reported data.

WHATS THE IMPACT?

Through the work that Quit Genius did in its tobacco-cessation program, the leaders saw a need to change how they targeted addiction.

“When we looked into this in more detail, we actually found that one in three workers that are battling addiction has, unfortunately, another type of addiction,” Ahmed said.

With the addition of alcohol and opioid-addiction treatments to its platform, Quit Genius aims to provide a whole-person approach to addiction, Ahmed said.

Although the company got the go-ahead from the FDA through its emergency use authorization during the pandemic, Quit Genius has a plan to ensure its users have access to treatment beyond this time.

The company had been working on this platform for a year leading up to the FDA’s authorization, and it only accelerated the launch, according to Ahmed.

“This recent guideline change that came in place in April was just perfect timing for the launch of our program,” he said.

Although the future for this and other products that came out following the FDA’s guidance, Ahmed is hopeful.

“Our expectation is that the regulatory change is just an acceleration of what they were planning to do previously,” he said. “So as a result of this, they continue this in place for the long term.”

If the allowances are revoked after the pandemic, Quit Genius is ready to implement the platform into community clinics.

THE LARGER TREND

Originally developed by doctors at Imperial College London, Quit Genius got its start focusing on tobacco and vaping. It has since moved to San Francisco and has its eyes on expansion. Earlier this year, the startup scored $11 million in Series A funding.

The field of digital tools for addiction treatments is growing. Others in the space include Pear Therapeutics, which got FDA clearance back in 2017, and Carrot, which focuses on smoking cessation.

ON THE RECORD

“Quit Genius has delivered industry-leading health outcomes and a meaningful return on investment for our customers thus far. With COVID-19, we have seen a positive acceleration in the adoption of digital health solutions. This expansion makes Quit Genius the first digital therapeutics program for poly-substance addictions and represents a big step in our mission of helping 100 million people conquer their substance addictions.” said Yusuf Sherwani, MD and CEO of Quit Genius, in a statement.

 

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