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Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R44DA054010-01
Agency Tracking Number: R44DA054010
Amount: $314,004.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIDA
Solicitation Number: DA19-019
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-08-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-01-31
Small Business Information
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2274
United States
DUNS: 079901417
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 (415) 787-7510
Business Contact
Phone: (415) 787-7510
Research Institution

Project Abstract
High attrition and low adherence rates continue to hinder the efficacy of digital addiction treatment programs.
When individuals prematurely drop out of treatment programs, they are unable to realize the numerous
benefits associated with completing an addiction treatment program, such as fewer relapses and higher levels
of employment. Workit Health is developing a fully integrated chatbot to increase engagement in digital
addiction treatment programs. The chatbot will be able to make customized, actionable recommendations to
provide care administration and psychosocial support. The integration of this chatbot will also provide the
opportunity for individuals to track their progress, identifying behavioral patterns, and incremental
improvements. While other mental health chatbot technologies have been applied more broadly, offering
support for individuals with anxiety and depression, our chatbot will be the first to specifically cater to
individuals struggling with addiction. Moreover, our chatbot will be the first of its kind to be fully integrated into
an addiction treatment program, adopting a hybrid human-first approach. Where other chatbots seek to replace
certain roles of mental health providers, our chatbot seeks to identify areas that chatbots can support and
augment mental health professionals. We expect this nuanced difference to lead to new insights into how
medical providers can collaborate with a chatbot and new ways to utilize the technology. The long term goal of
the project is to identify novel ways to engage members in online addiction treatment programs to increase
retention. This project will explore how chatbots can be used to offer personalized and scalable interactions
with individuals in addiction treatment programs. In Phase I, we seek to understand how we can engage
members to utilize the chatbot. In Phase II, we will focus on identifying the best scenarios for a chatbot to
respond to and how to persuade members to act on recommended items (such as scheduling an appointment
with a counselor or attending a group therapy session). As leading health plans adopt value-based care
models, it is imperative that addiction treatment providers can effectively communicate their impact through
standard metrics such as retention, adherence, and appointment attendance. As member engagement
increases, we expect to see improvements in these standard outcome metrics, allowing members to maximize
the benefits that they receive from their addiction treatment program. This project will offer insights into best
practices for other treatment providers looking to integrate a chatbot into mental health treatment programs.Project Narrative
In this SBIR, Workit Health plans to develop a fully integrated chatbot for digital addiction treatment programs
to increase member engagement. This project is expected to improve addiction treatment outcomes, for
individuals with substance use disorder. The data from this chatbot will provide additional insights into the
behavioral patterns of individuals struggling with addiction.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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