Google’s Verily Wants to Close the Opioid Information Gap, Starting Just an Hour Away
Verily — the life sciences branch of Google-parent company Alphabet — is in the process of building a “learning health system” aimed at fighting the information gap in the national opioid crisis. Forged by a team of clinicians, engineers, and health systems specialists, Verily conducted a complex assessment of the opioid crisis in order to create a response to the epidemic.
“We recognized that a common thread through these challenges was the absence of high-quality information to guide individuals, communities, and legislators to adopt treatment models that they are confident will support prevention and recovery,” read a February 2019 blog post announcing the mission.
Plans for the not-for-profit ecosystem, dubbed OneFifteen, have been underway since January 2018. Part rehabilitation center, part health system, the Dayton-based center will help treat patients on an everyday basis while providing the kind of insight that allows for ever-evolving approaches to successful addiction treatment.
Marti Taylor, President and CEO of OneFifteen, comes to the project from roles at University Hospital and the Ross Heart Hospital at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
“[OneFifteen is] dedicated to the full and sustained recovery of people suffering from opioid use disorder,” said Taylor, in an email. “People living with addiction are our children, sisters, brothers, parents, friends, and neighbors, whose lives are worth fighting for, and within the OneFifteen ecosystem we hope to give them the best opportunity to not only manage their condition but thrive.”
Health networks Kettering Health and Premier Health are helping to create the system, while life sciences real estate leader Alexandria Real Estate Equities assists with OneFifteen’s ambitious tech-enabled campus — which will house clinical services, recovery housing and mixed-use facilities for patients and the community.
Verily specifically set its sights on Dayton, given that the city is the county seat for Montgomery County. From 2015 to 2017, Montgomery County had Ohio’s highest rate of accidental overdose deaths and has been given the unfortunate title of “ground zero” for the opioid epidemic.
In addition to providing tools and resources to support the OneFifteen mission, Verily will work with the local community to invest and help revitalize the surrounding area.
Clinical services for OneFifteen will be provided by Dayton mental health center Samaritan Behavioral Health, and both organizations will be hiring for a number of positions during the first year of operations.
OneFifteen hopes to open its campus to patients in the late spring to summer 2019, said Taylor. In regards to Central Ohio and the rest of the state — Ohio had the second highest opioid-related overdose death rate per 100,000 people in 2016 — Taylor said partnering with other behavioral health organizations is a possiblility.
“OneFifteen’s focus is on Montgomery County to begin with, but we hope to grow our capacity over time,” said Taylor. “Our vision for OneFifteen is to advance best practices in addiction medicine as well as advocate for updated reimbursement models, both of which could support the goals of other behavioral health treatment organizations.”
“Long term, we hope that the knowledge generated by OneFifteen can be applied widely,” said Taylor.
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