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Cloud-Based Predictive Software Developed for Addiction Treatment

April 14, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Polaris Health Directions, a Langhorne, Pa.-based behavioral health technology provider, has been awarded a $1.1 million, two-year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for the launch of the second phase of a project set to impact addictions outcomes.

Polaris will implement a cloud-based clinical system designed to predict and improve the likelihood of patient engagement in 12 addictions treatment programs of a large behavioral health system. The evidence-based, patient engagement predictive model is the first ever developed for clinical use, Polaris officials say.

The Polaris Engagement Enhancement for Chemical Dependency System (EECD) is an advanced version of Polaris CD, Polaris’s outcomes management system for substance abuse treatment. It’s a data-driven solution to help clinicians develop treatment plans that directly reflect the needs patients have reported, determine whether the current course of treatment is effective, and red flag those patients who are likely to dropout or relapse.

The predictive model aims to help clinicians identify early those patients who are unlikely to engage in treatment. Additional enhancements include a motivational, personalized patient feedback report and a clinical report that provides guidance for motivational Interviewing, a method known to be effective for improving engagement.

The new components were successfully developed with data from the New Hope Foundation, one of New Jersey’s largest addiction treatment centers. A prototype was field tested at New Hope during phase one. In phase two, data from about 10,000 patients will be used to study the effectiveness of EECD for improving engagement and lowering the rate of patients re-entering treatment within six months.

“We are very excited to start phase two of the EECD project,” Tony Comerford, Ph.D., president and CEO of New Hope, and a consultant for phase two, said in a news release. “The potential for the instrument looks extremely promising. During phase one, we saw no-show rates for treatment drop 14 percent from the previous year, and counselors found the reports helpful to their work.”

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