MEET: Dr. Harold Jonas, Founder and CEO of Sober Network, Inc., Delray Beach, Florida
THE CHALLENGE: Opioid Recovery App Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Launched in March 2016, the challenge encouraged solvers to create apps to help patients receiving outpatient medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder maintain their recovery and avoid relapse. Winners were announced in July 2016.
THE PRIZE: $15,000, which was used to further development and make the app available to people nationwide in recovery for opioid addiction.
THE SOLUTION: FlexDek MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment) Edition provides a method of tracking, connecting and providing accountability for those in recovery. Built upon the FlexDek technology for wellness management, the app is free for those in recovery and is data-driven, precise and scalable, making it affordable for insurance and treatment providers as well as other stakeholders burdened by increasing costs. FlexDek MAT Edition empowers both clients and care managers by allowing for customized levels of clinical involvement.
IN HIS OWN WORDS …
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF YOUR SOLUTION FOR SOCIETY?
Our goal is simple yet crucial: use our smartphone app to reduce relapse, re-hospitalization and ultimately overdose for those addicted to opioids. FlexDek MAT Edition is designed to help people receiving outpatient medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder maintain their recovery and avoid relapse.
Numerous studies show drug overdose deaths are rising faster than ever. If you look at the statistics showing the extent of the drug overdose epidemic just last year alone, you realize you’re witnessing firsthand a modern plague. Sober Network Inc. is here to combat that, and FlexDek MAT Edition is our first line of defense.
HOW DID PARTICIPATING IN THIS CHALLENGE HELP YOU ADVANCE YOUR SOLUTION?
These funds enabled us to further development and roll out FlexDek MAT Edition nationwide.As a first-of-kind adaptable smartphone app, it increases client compliance by introducing rewards for usage, and reduces relapses which often require re-hospitalization or, sadly, lead to overdose.
STATUS: By June 1, 2017, FlexDek MAT Edition has had more than 10,000 downloads. The company is preparing to privatize the app in order to serve the public in a more efficient manner since the goal is to reach the most people possible and broadly penetrate the market in the most efficient manner. Interestingly, the app was used as a springboard to launch Wrestling Legend and Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle’s new recovery management mobile app “Anglestrong” in February 2017. Dr. Jonas designed and developed Anglestrong, which is powered by Sober Network Inc.’s FlexDek platform, in conjunction with Mr. Angle, who has been in recovery for four years for opioid addiction. Anglestrong, designed to help addicts stay in recovery and avoid relapse and rehospitalization, is free to download and available from the App Store and Google Play.
Since its inception in 2010, GSA’s Challenge.gov program has provided resources and training to federal agencies using crowdsourcing competitions to solve critical problems. More than 770 competitions have been listed on Challenge.gov, where citizens can find and participate in crowdsourcing events open to the public. Success Stories is an ongoing series that highlights past winners and their work.