Ria Health Awarded $2 Million Grant from NationalInstitutes of Health (NIH) for Clinical Trial Moves to Phase Two

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Research partnership with Stanford University will assess Ria Health’s program
effectiveness at decreasing liver disease markers caused by alcohol consumption.

September 2023 – Ria Health, the leading telehealth provider specializing in Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) treatment, today announced it has successfully completed phase one and is beginning phase two of a study to assess the screening and early intervention of patients with AUD. The clinical trial will assess Ria Health’s medication assisted treatment program’s effectiveness in early intervention and impact on decreasing problem drinking and risks of alcohol related liver disease. The study has been funded by a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The study design, including the data that will be used to identify patients at risk as well as the patient recruitment workflow, and IRB approval were completed in the first phase of the study, and phase two will begin enrollment and treatment. “At Stanford, we are pleased to collaborate on this grant from NIH,” said Judith Prochaska, PhD, MPH, Professor of Medicine with the Stanford Prevention Research Center. “It supports a randomized controlled trial evaluation of Ria Health’s telehealth intervention to increase screening and treatment for alcohol use disorder.”

Over the last decade, U.S. life expectancy has consistently dropped, and alcohol use has been a top contributor. For people over the age of 26, prevalence of AUD doubled from 10,618,000 in 2017 to 22,400,000 in 2020. Meanwhile, treatment rates have been declining, and in 2020 only 7 percent of people with AUD received treatment. Further, less than 1 percent of people with alcohol use disorder received medication-assisted treatment (or MAT), even with decades of peer-reviewed evidence of its effectiveness.

The Ria Health Program focuses on reducing alcohol consumption by combining medical treatment with structured counseling, leading technology and content. The program offers several FDA-approved medications for AUD that, when combined with coaching, have been proven highly effective at reducing cravings and instances of harmful drinking. Program participants are also provided Bluetooth devices to track and monitor their blood alcohol levels. Perhaps most significantly, the program does not mandate total abstinence goals from alcohol but supports shared decision making which empowers patients to choose their outcome goals which range from reduction to abstinence, leading to higher levels of engagement and improved outcomes. By reducing episodes of harmful drinking via MAT, evidence supports improvement in overall liver function, blood pressure, and reduction in consequences from destructive behavior. Healthcare providers, in turn, have been increasing their efforts to find effective means of early interventions and educating their patients to the harms from alcohol misuse.

This study is intended to demonstrate that early identification and intervention in people with AUD can significantly reduce the long-term health risks and improve their overall quality of life.

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