From April to August of this year, Rushford logged 2,000 interventions as a result of the mobile app, TryCycle. The company behind the app, TryCycle Data Systems, has been honored as Connecticut “Innovator of the Month” for August by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
Rushford’s partnership with TryCycle is funded by a portion of a $1.5 million, three-year Connecticut Treatment Expansion for Accessibility (CTEA) grant. Described as a “digital compassionate tether,” the platform connects clients in recovery from opioid use disorder (OUD) with their clinical team and a recovery support specialist (RSS) outside of their scheduled appointments.
“The tidal wave of addiction is tearing families in Connecticut apart. In order for us to fix this crisis, we’re going to have to be innovative and that’s exactly what TryCycle is doing. Their app uses real data and human compassion to help save lives. I’m proud to highlight TryCycle as a Connecticut innovator this month, and look forward to watching their company grow and save lives,” said Sen. Murphy in a statement.
Michelle Voegtle, M.Ed., LPC, clinical program manager and CTEA project director at Rushford, said the app is a crucial tool in recovery with 63 percent of clients using TryCycle at least once a week and about a third using it almost every day. It is designed to improve client engagement, increase retention rate and decrease the number of relapses. Its ultimate goal is to prevent death by overdose or suicide.
“TryCycle helps us find patterns that we couldn’t necessarily find before because we were only seeing clients for short periods of time,” she said.
Currently, the mobile app is monitored from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, but the goal is to expand coverage to 24 hours a day. RSSs are at the forefront of monitoring, checking every hour to two hours with alerts for any client activity that is flagged as high risk or concerning. Clients are able to take an inventory assessment for self-awareness as well as use the journaling component to track their feelings, all of which is monitored.
“From the app, we noticed a client was in a difficult spot and we were able to get them to come in for a visit before her scheduled appointment. By the time she got here, she had decompensated and was suicidal. We were able to get her help. If it wasn’t for the app, we wouldn’t have seen her,” Voegtle said of one of the many interventions from TryCycle.
“With the combination of TryCycle and group [therapy], I have stayed clean since the beginning of February,” said one client. “I love TryCycle because it helps me to look at areas in my recovery where I may be falling short or need to focus on more.”
Rushford recently finished the pilot of a mental health side of TryCycle, expanding it from only a substance use perspective. A Spanish version of the app is also in the works.