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8 Top Stories from 2017

emocha expands team, grows customers, and achieves new results

Welcome to emocha’s blog, where we will provide updates and analysis on the latest in mobile health, telemedicine, medication adherence, and more.

As we begin this new year, we wanted to share the progress and success that took place in 2017. We expanded our team, tailored our platform to help patients suffering from opioid addiction and other chronic diseases, and learned of stellar results and data from our pilot sites. We also welcomed a fast-growing group of new customers, while bringing on investment and funding from venture firms as well as the NIH. Here are eight of emocha’s top stories from 2017:

  1. Video DOT helps to stem a tuberculosis outbreak in Puerto Rico: Between the years 2010 – 2017, Puerto Rico was in the midst of a recurrent tuberculosis outbreak that could not be contained at a home for men with mental illness, which resulted in the deaths of six residents. With conditions worsening for many of the patients, emocha deployed our video DOT platform on a pro-bono basis at the facility one week prior to Christmas 2016. By May 19, 2017, all patients using emocha’s video DOT solution demonstrated clinical improvements in health over the six-month treatment program and the outbreak was declared contained by the Puerto Rico Department of Health.

  2. mHealth closes the gaps in medication adherence during a crisis: Harris County Public Health has leveraged emocha’s video DOT platform to monitor patients with tuberculosis for approximately three years. Harris County covers nearly 1,800 square miles surrounding Houston, is the third-largest county in the country, and has one of the nation’s highest tuberculosis rates. Recently, the area was devastated during Hurricane Harvey and -- despite severe flooding -- most patients using emocha were able to continue their treatment. According to report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 59 of 61 patients using emocha’s video DOT maintained 100 percent adherence throughout the storm.

  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse funds new adherence technology for opioid use disorder: In partnership with the University of Washington School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, emocha received a Small Business Innovation Research award by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to demonstrate the feasibility of video directly observed therapy for patients beginning treatment for opioid use disorder with buprenorphine, a type of medication assisted treatment. Through the NIH Fast-Track mechanism, the Phase 1 award totaled $225,000, with an additional $1.5 million for Phase 2 granted upon achieving milestones.

  4. emocha deploys video technology to fight opioid crisis: Dallas-based Pathway Healthcare became the first private clinic network to use asynchronous video Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) technology for the treatment of opioid use disorder. Pathway Healthcare’s Jackson, Tennessee-based clinic, Impact Healthcare, began using emocha’s video DOT platform to support patients who are beginning buprenorphine in October.

  5. emocha closes $1M seed round: In June, emocha secured $1 million in seed funding, including investments from Kapor Capital, the Baltimore Angels, the Propel Baltimore Fund, the Silicon Valley-based Sand Hill Angels and the Blue Jay Syndicate. The funds were raised to expand sales efforts and tailor the technology for opioid use disorder treatment.

  6. Tech designed for Africa helps U.S. fight disease, save money: Global Health Matters, a newsletter by the National Institute of Health’s Fogarty International Center, highlighted emocha as an example of an investment in global health that has led to jobs in Baltimore and innovations that support patients and providers in the United States. Dr. Bob Bollinger is the founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education and Fogarty grantee who developed the initial idea for emocha in 2008 while working in rural Uganda.

  7. emocha co-founder named CTO of the year: Gorkem Sevinc, emocha’s Chief Technology Officer, was named Baltimore’s CTO of the year by Technical.ly Baltimore as a part of its 5th Annual Baltimore Innovation Awards.

  8. emocha receives Maryland Incubator Company of the Year award: emocha received the award for best health IT company in 2017. The awards recognize achievements by current clients and graduates of Maryland incubators and are sponsored by Saul Ewing LLP, Emergent, M&T Bank, The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), RSM US LLP, The Maryland Department of Commerce, and the Maryland Business Incubator Association.

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