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Evaluating the Usability, Efficacy and Commercial Utility of a Digital Platform to Deliver Comprehensive Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 4R44DA050354-02
Agency Tracking Number: R44DA050354
Amount: $1,450,804.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIDA
Solicitation Number: DA19-019
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-04-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-03-31
Small Business Information
Brooklyn, NY 11211-4171
United States
DUNS: 081360900
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (704) 604-8343
Business Contact
Phone: (704) 604-8343
Research Institution

Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a problem of national concern. Medication-based treatment (MT) reduces opioid
use, associated risk behaviors and death. Despite evidence supporting MT with buprenorphine, in more than ½
of US counties (mainly rural), there are no prescribers. Patients travel long distances, join waitlists, or go
without MT. Other barriers to care include lack of transportation, competing demands (work, childcare) and
stigma. Combined, lack of access and barriers leaves millions without treatment. Our innovative solution
(Boulder) is a telehealth-based treatment solution offering long-term support for OUD. Our vision is to deploy
care teams (Prescribing Clinician, Nurse Coach, Care Advocate and Certified Peer Coach for each patient) to
deliver a comprehensive array of services, supervised by addiction specialists with decades of experience.
Technology enables us to effectively scale a program that meets all of NIDA's guidelines for appropriate
oversight, and provides low-barrier, patient-centered interventions (e.g. video medication monitoring and
private (at home) random observed saliva drug testing. The long-term goal of this proposal is to build a
scalable solution able to reach patients who are unable to access evidence-based treatment. Our digital
program promises to dramatically improve the patient experience, boosting patient retention, satisfaction,
medication adherence, and functional outcomes by providing low barrier, quality care. The patient-facing
product is developed. In preliminary testing, patients reported high satisfaction, engagement, and usability, and
access to care was increased by 38% in three months. The overall objective is to evaluate the ability of a
virtual platform to create the necessary paradigmatic shift in OUD treatment. To achieve this objective, we
propose the following aims: Phase I, Aim I: Advance Boulder's mobile platform development and obtain
patient feedback; Phase II, Aim II: Determine Boulder's impact on patient engagement, program retention,
access to care, and care continuity; and Phase II, Aim III: Determine Boulder's impact on opioid use and
patient functional status. Purchasers of our product (e.g. private/commercial/governmental payors, at-risk
provider groups, etc.) who provide remuneration on a per-patient, per-month basis, realizing substantial cost
savings through our integrated services. Unlike typical fee-for-service care delivery, our economic model aligns
incentives around delivering superior patient outcomes. The virtual OUD treatment product's end-users are
resource-constrained patients who will access care no cost to them. Technology enables our team of medical,
behavioral, and social service providers to bring comprehensive telehealth-based care for the longitudinal
management of addictive disease directly to the patient, rather than bringing the patient to the care. The
research team includes staff and affiliates of Boulder, the Addiction Research and Education Foundation and
community partners. Boulder's current investors provide a wide range of support services to ensure success
through a national network of experienced entrepreneurs and leaders that provide mentorship and guidance.

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

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