Behaivior is a Pittsburgh-based startup that is creating a technology to predict and prevent addiction relapses using advanced wearable devices (similar to a Fitbit) and pattern-detection machine learning algorithms. Our initial use case is opioid addiction. We want to help people maintain sobriety by bringing them the right intervention, at the right time, in real time.
We are creating software that can take real-time data streams from wearable devices that detect heart rate, heart rate variability, skin temperature, motion, and galvanic skin response (which is related to stress levels). This data is combined with other digital information about behavior, such as GPS location. As behavior and physiology changes, our software screens users for whether or not they are in a pre-relapse craving state, and therefore at higher risk of relapsing in the near future. When people in recovery from substance use disorder are in a craving state, the propensity for relapse is high. By the time a traditional intervention occurs, they are already reusing again.
Advances in technology have made inexpensive, accurate, and reliable physiological sensors available to the general public. With predictive algorithms, there is now an opportunity to be proactive and intervene in advance before a relapse occurs. Existing tools to fight opioid addiction have been historically reactive and after-the-fact. With our diverse team, advisors, and partners, we have the technology and infrastructure to make this a success. Reducing addiction relapses not only saves lives, but it also saves significant amounts of money by reducing re-arrests, re-incarcerations, and re-hospitalizations.
The number of Americans addicted to drugs and alcohol is roughly equal to the entire population of Texas. The United States also spends over $80 billion each year for incarceration, and more than 50% of those incarcerated for federal offenses are there for drug crimes. Over 90% of heroin users relapse. The US addiction rehab market is $35 billion, but 9 out of 10 people with substance use disorder (amounting to 20 million people in the US ) aren’t even getting treated.
Our team consists of bioethicists, designers, programmers, addiction specialists, and technologists based in Pittsburgh, PA, a growing tech hub on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence and healthcare. We are currently competing in the $5 million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, which gives us access to IBM Watson and other valuable resources. We are a part of Carnegie Mellon University’s startup incubator, Project Olympus, as well as Innovation Works’ nationally ranked AlphaLab accelerator.