15 Oct New App to Support Those In Addiction Recovery
For individuals recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, moment by moment tracking of their progress can be an essential component in their efforts towards sobriety. This population is one that the startup, pala·linq, is targeting to help with their new app, WeConnect.
WeConnect offers a support platform, in app form, that features several functions that serve to support recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, including:
- Regular notifications that are context-specific in order to promote open communication within support groups
- Personalized dashboard view that provides support for structuring daily activities that are the most beneficial for the recovering addict’s wellbeing, including regular reminders to engage in prayer or meditation
- Ongoing progress reports on attendance at recovery meetings, utilizing geofencing to discourage dishonest reporting
The app also features an “SOS” button that the addict may utilize during periods of feeling particularly down, low, hopeless/helpless, or just simply in need of urgent support. This “SOS” button instantly sends a message to pre-selected contacts requesting for them to reach out to the recovering addict for support.
The startup’s co-founder, Daniela Tudor, described that the purpose of developing WeConnect was to lessen the feeling of isolation that recovering addicts commonly struggle with, which is believed to be linked to high rates of relapse. Tudor actually developed the idea herself while in rehab for addiction. Following completion of her rehabilitation program, Tudor realized that she wanted a way to stay in contact with those who had supported her through the recovery program — these were the people who she felt would be the ones to really help her stay on track once she left the program.
Rewards are also an important element of WeConnect. These rewards allow recovering addicts to earn things like coupons for coffee or free yoga sessions. Tudor emphasizes that they only offer rewards that will help the individual’s progress toward sobriety.
An important feature of WeConnect’s platform is its privacy. Unlike other, more socially-based, recovery- or wellness-support applications available, there is no way for users to search for other users. The only way to add a contact within the application itself is if the user has the person’s email and phone number. Even then, the WeConnect user must confirm that they would like them as part of their network. Tudor emphasizes that the app is compliant with all HIPAA regulations.
WeConnect also offers benefits to providers who are working with recovering addicts. The applications platform offers a feature that provides data on the recovering addict’s progress to individuals who are involved in their care during recovery.
At this time, WeConnect is in beta testing and many have begun using the app across inpatient rehabilitation and treatment centers in Arizona, California, and Washington. These teams are working together to collect data on the application and whether it can have beneficial impacts on relapse rates of those recovering from addiction. After that, the startup hopes to present their application to insurance companies.