TBV & Rocket Insights launch a mobile app to support and empower people in recovery

We recently worked with Trust But Verify (TBV), a company focused on providing support and accountability for people struggling with addiction to launch a mobile app and software platform to help combat this national epidemic.

According to AddictionCenter.com, almost 21 million Americans struggle with at least one addiction, with alcohol being the most widely-abused substance. Every year, about 88,000 people die as a result of alcohol in the U.S. Additionally, accidental drug overdoses are currently the leading cause of death in the U.S. for people under 50. More Americans died from a drug overdose in 2017 alone than died in the entire Vietnam War.

“These numbers are scary,” said Chuck Madden, Founder and CEO of TBV. “The opioid crisis has put addiction issues front and center in our country, which is a good thing, but there is still so much to be done to support addicts and aid in their recovery. The founders of TBV, all with some connection to addiction ourselves, set out to improve one part of the recovery process - verification of attendance at self-help meetings. We came to Rocket Insights to help us see this vision through.”

Millions of Americans are being mandated to attend some form of self help meetings (mostly Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous) as part of their court supervised treatment resulting from an arrest and upon discharge from inpatient treatment facilities. While they are mandated to attend a certain number of meetings by their probation officer, many addicts struggle to attend for a variety of reasons. And to date the system in place to prove their attendance at a meeting was a sign in sheet that could be easily doctored to show false attendance.

We worked with TBV to build a mobile app and software platform that would make it easier for people in recovery to be accountable and also enable probation officers to get real-time updates on meeting attendance to better assist those they are supervising.

Rocket built the TBV app to be able to capture all of the possible support meetings (AA, NA and 12 other nationally recognized self help programs) taking place throughout the U.S. at any given time. An app user can log on to find the meeting closest to their current location and then check in to show they attended the meeting. The app uses geofences to pinpoint location of the app user so that they are only able to check in to the meeting if they are in the right location, and uses biometrics to confirm the app user’s identity and phone. During the meeting, the app pings the nearest cell tower to make sure the app user has stayed in the geofence. At the end of the meeting, users go through the same process in order to check out and show that they stayed for the duration of the event.

In addition to the app, we built a software platform to give probation officers and all supervisors a portal to be able to monitor meeting attendance in real-time. This gives the support and oversight team more information and data to help support recovery efforts and help addicts get their lives back on track.

TBV is not designed to be a punitive tool. The app is meant to make the process easier for all involved, helping facilitate better dialogues between probation officers, who have essentially become case managers for addiction treatment, and the addicted individual. If an officer can clearly see that someone has been missing meetings, they can better figure out how to support them during their monthly check in meetings and quite possibly prevent a probation violation, relapse or overdose.

To date, TBV has launched pilot programs with justice departments in both Massachusetts and Florida, with planned rollouts in other states in the coming months.