Health IT, Startups

Data Cubed’s ResQ app uses video game technology to tackle opioid addiction

The ResQ app, which uses video game technology to help prevent relapse in individuals recovering from opioid addiction, has been selected as one of five semi-finalists in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Opioid Challenge.

pills, drugs, pill, pile of pills, medication

Data Cubed, a startup based in New York City, was founded a little more than two years ago by Paul Glimcher, who serves as CEO, and Hannah Bayer, who serves as chief strategy officer.

The duo “wanted to be able to gather a large amount of data on individuals ranging from things as small as their microbiome to as big as their social networks,” Bayer explained in a recent phone interview. But the tool they needed for that didn’t exist. So they built it, and Data Cubed was born.

Sponsored Post

Physician Targeting Using Real-time Data: How PurpleLab’s Alerts Can Help

By leveraging real-time data that offers unprecedented insights into physician behavior and patient outcomes, companies can gain a competitive advantage with prescribers. PurpleLab®, a healthcare analytics platform with one of the largest medical and pharmaceutical claims databases in the United States, recently announced the launch of Alerts which translates complex information into actionable insights, empowering companies to identify the right physicians to target, determine the most effective marketing strategies and ultimately improve patient care.

Now, the life sciences tech company has come out with an app called Resilience IQ (or ResQ) that leverages video game technology to help prevent relapse in individuals recovering from opioid addiction.

Due to this app, the startup has been selected as one of five semi-finalists in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Opioid Challenge. In the next phase of the challenge, three participating companies will pitch live to judges. The winners will be announced at the Health 2.0 Fall Conference in September.

ResQ offers patients a seamless, gamified experience, Bayer said. Users can select an avatar and travel through a city environment. This aspect helps users keep coming back to use the app again.

“It uses the video game world … to make the experience a pleasant one and an engaging one,” Bayer added.

But it’s not just about being enjoyable for patients. The app is also measuring things like consumers’ impulsivity and whether they’re craving. While some technologies ask patients to record how they’re feeling from day to day, there are some changes in behavior that patients themselves may not be aware of, Bayer said. By tracking unchecked changes, ResQ seeks to predict when patients may relapse.

In addition to games, the app also gives consumers surveys to take that measure certain behaviors.

Patients can also use the app to track their own progress and how they are changing over time.

Going forward, Bayer described success with the app as such: “For ResQ, it would certainly be to have lots and lots of people using it.”

Though ResQ is specifically focused on opioid addiction, there are numerous companies in the space using video gaming technology as treatment in other ways. Akili Interactive Labs, which recently closed a $55 million Series C round, developed a video game to improve attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Litesprite uses video games to help patients manage behavioral health issues like anxiety and depression.

Photo: Martin Barraud, Getty Images