At the eye of the storm of the US’ opioid crisis is Dayton, Ohio — the pocket of the country where addiction rates to opioids are at their highest.
This is why earlier this month, Google, out of its life sciences sister company, Verily, chose to launch its first data-driven addiction centre there.
“Dayton has been at the epicentre of our national addiction crisis, and we have worked to share what we’ve learned through that experience with other communities,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley in a press release earlier this year. “OneFifteen’s focus on continuously learning how to improve addiction treatment aligns closely with our community’s innovative and collaborative approach to this issue.
OneFifteen is a “new non-profit ecosystem” dedicated to the full and sustained recovery of people living with opioid addiction. It will deploy a tech-enabled system of care to treat substance abuse disorders.
It includes two organizations: OneFifteen Health, which will manage behavioural health services, and OneFifteen Recovery, which will coordinate community-based wrap-around services for patients and their families.
These are two out of six centres to open and they will start to see patients later this summer. The other four are on track to open by 2020.
“It will almost operate as urgent care for behavioural health, which does not exist in the region today,” said Danielle Schlosser, Verily senior clinical scientist for behavioural health.
Named after the 115 tragic overdoses that occur every day in the US, OneFifteen will also respond to overdose emergencies, treat inpatients in a rehabilitation unit and will soon expand to include a sober living facility.
For the 2 million people in the US suffering from opioid addiction, rates of relapse are high with a shocking nine out of 10 people relapsing post-rehab.
“Recovery is not a 28-day process and requires a long-term, holistic approach for success,” said Marti Taylor, president and chief executive officer of OneFifteen in an announcement earlier this year. No stranger to public health epidemics, she was a HIV nurse at the height of the AIDS crisis in the ’80s and ’90s.
“OneFifteen will offer evidence-based care that addresses the many unmet needs of people in recovery, including vocational training and sober living. By taking a community-based, partnership-driven approach, the OneFifteen ecosystem is working to establish a virtuous cycle of recovery, creating an environment conducive to broader rehabilitation efforts,” Taylor continued.
Inside OneFifteen. Image Credit: Ty Greenless
In January 2019, Verily had announced that it raised $1 billion in an investment round run by private equity firm Silver Lake to fund growth and innovation.
To build the facility — which looks more like a tech company than a health centre with its sleek features, thoughtful design and ping-pong tables — Verily partnered with Alexandria Real Estate to design and develop the facility.
OneFifteen, a facility driven by data, statistics and analytics and managed by specialist behavioural health experts, could be the missing piece for the US’ fatal blight that is the opioid epidemic.