More than 14.4 million adults over the age of 18 in the United States displayed some sort of alcohol usage disorder, and only about 7.9% of those people got treatment. Alcohol-related deaths number roughly 88,000 individuals in the U.S.– making it the third leading avoidable cause of death in the nation. And alcohol-related illnesses cost the U.S. $249 billion.
For Monument founder Mike Russell, those numbers aren’t just data, but a window into his own life. The co-founder of Monolith, a tele-health service that provides access to prescription medication and therapies to combat alcohol usage disorders, started business after looking for treatment himself.
As Russell set out in a Medium post announcing his business’s launch previously this year, Monolith was formed from the awareness that Russell had about the accessibility of alternative treatment options which weren’t receiving the very same attention as the rehab centers and referrals to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings that represent the most typical treatment alternatives in the U.S.
Russell, a previous nightlife promoter, utilized to be a professional drinker (the club promotion business required it), and even after he left the nightlife world to end up being an entrepreneur, he stayed a binge drinker. That behavior performed his very first stopped working startup, VenueTap, to his 2nd, more effective venture into the world of tech organisation development with MyClean, an on-demand cleaning market.
By the time his 3rd, and the majority of effective start-up, Paintzen, was acquired, Russell said he recognized 2 things– the first was that his drinking was, in truth, an issue, and the second was that there were alternatives to AA and rehab that he might explore. Those twin realizations led him to release Monument, with $7.5 million in seed funding from the exact same group of financiers that had backed him in Paintzen. Those financiers, consisting of Collaborative Fund, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Red Sea Ventures, Datapoint Capital, Corigin Ventures and NextView Ventures, all purchased into a thesis that has captured the attention (and capital) of investor on both coasts– that treatments for alcohol and drug dependence are investable businesses.
And while personal equity financiers are also financing networks of rehab centers as part of their push into health care– endeavor financiers believe that the remote shipment of healthcare services can offer meaningful outcomes without the same expenditures that operating a network of areas can sustain. It’s not the location, so much as the treatments that are readily available and the people providing them.
Unlike Tempest, another New York-based startup with venture support focused on suppressing alcohol abuse, Monument is working to link people with therapists, using the platform as an entrance. Tempest’s technique is built around providing a host of tools as part of a subscription service to get people to stop drinking.
Financing for Monolith closed in December 2019, and by January, Russell had actually penned his article and the company began developing its neighborhood of users trying to find info about methods to conquer their disorders and linking potential clients with doctors and therapists who might recommend medication to treat their conditions or deal cognitive behavioral therapy to attempt and do the same.
There are 4 facets of the Monument company.
There’s the free-to-access community of people trying to find details and assistance around their choice to stop drinking and there’s likewise free group treatment sessions offered for community members feeling increased advises to utilize substances because of added pressure from quarantine constraints. This resembles the sort of treatment sessions that companies like Ro, Hims and others are giving market in the time of COVID-19. For neighborhood members who want to take the next step with their treatment, there’s the one-time cost to see a doctor who can recommend medication to suppress the need or desire to consume. And, lastly, Monument provides two tiers of treatment services for those who want either bi-weekly or weekly sessions.
“We connect members to doctors that understand the medication options or they could opt not to take medication,” said Russell.” [Members are] linked to a certified therapist that focus specifically on co-morbidities.”
The medication-only plan costs $19. A bi-weekly assessment with a therapist and a preliminary consultation for a prescription costs $149 each month and a medication management plus a weekly therapy sessions costs $249 each month.
Far, Monument has around 700 people on its network and anticipates to see more members come on board for the free neighborhood membership as it releases in California today.
“The treatment strategies were available through New york city, New Jersey and Florida for our beta,” says Russell. “For launch it will be those three states plus California and Connecticut.”
While telemedicine companies have the ability to operate in all 50 states without licenses– thanks to modifications in guidelines made as an outcome of the pressures that have been placed on the health care system from the COVID-19 break out– psychological health providers still need to be accredited in the states where they operate. “We’re still needed to construct a supply of physicians, clinicians and therapists that are licensed in each state,” stated Russell.
To get the new business off the ground, Russell relied on his co-founder at MyClean and Paintzen, Justin Geller, and added Amit Klein, a data scientist, as the business’s co-founder and chief item officer, respectively.
“The core of this is information,” states Russell, of the importance of Klein’s function in the company. “As members go into treatment– we’re understanding health results … Someone goes into a plan. Their medical diagnosis. We understand age, gender, drinking patterns, and then we can see if the treatment that they’re on is working or not.”
And Russell stresses that the company won’t use anonymized information or sell of its insights to 3rd parties.
“It’s a binary result,” Russell said of the business’s decision to monitor the procedure. “We can track success … gradually as we treat we build a data set and ultimately it ends up being tailored.”
The timing for Monolith couldn’t be more important, states Russell, provided the increased stressors that the social response to COVID-19 is putting on people’s psychological health.
“People are in the fights of their lives with their struggles with alcohol,” right now, Russell said.
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.