New Randomized-Controlled Trial Finds that Quit Genius Digital Clinic is Significantly More Effective than Traditional Standard of Care for Addiction

NEW YORK, May 05, 2022Quit Genius, the world’s first digital clinic for treating multiple substance addictions, announced today that a new study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research found that the Quit Genius Digital Clinic for smoking cessation is significantly more effective than traditional in-person cessation support.

The typical standard of care for smoking cessation today, provided in primary care settings, is known as Very Brief Advice (VBA) – a brief intervention and referral to smoking cessation services.

In this study, 556 adult smokers were randomly assigned to one of two paths: traditional VBA, or Quit Genius, a digital, clinician-assisted, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) intervention integrating pharmacotherapy with behavioral treatment. Study participants were followed for one year to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of each method in helping smokers quit and remain abstinent over time.

To achieve this, the impact of Quit Genius on smoking cessation was compared to that of VBA at 4, 26, and 52 weeks post-quit date. 7-day point prevalence abstinence and consecutive abstinence rates were examined at each timepoint, with biochemical verification of abstinence using carbon monoxide breath testing in a randomly selected subset of participants.

Among the results:

  • Those who received the Quit Genius intervention and had quit successfully at 4 weeks were 70 percent more likely to report 7-day point prevalence abstinence at 6 months (95% CI  = 1.22, 2.37, p=0.003), and 71 percent more likely to report abstinence through 12 months (95% CI = 1.17, 2.50, p=0.005).
  • Quit Genius participants evidenced higher rates of biochemically verified self-reported abstinence compared with those who received the control intervention (VBA) at 6 months (44.6 percent quit rate vs. 33.2 percent) and 12 months (44 percent quit rate vs 36.8 percent), and a significantly greater proportion of participants were able to maintain abstinence through one-year post-quit date compared to those in the comparison condition (28.8 percent consecutive 7-day sustained point prevalence abstinence vs. 16.5 percent among controls).

According to a recent review of smartphone and app-based smoking cessation interventions, 6-month abstinence rates ranged from 4 to 18 percent, suggesting that the extended, multi-modality approach inherent to the Quit Genius program may contain a combination of elements (i.e., clinician-delivered content, pharmacotherapy, and treatment duration) that optimize the effectiveness of digital, clinician-assisted treatment for individuals with tobacco addiction.

“The challenge with tobacco use isn’t a lack of motivation to quit. In fact, according to the CDC, 70% of people want to quit smoking and 55% will make an attempt in the last 12 months. The real issue is a lack of access to high-quality treatment programs that actually work, which is why only 8% of people who try to quit are successful,” said Yusuf Sherwani, M.D., co-founder and CEO of Quit Genius.

“Through this trial, which is our 9th peer-reviewed study, we can conclusively say that evidence-based programs such as Quit Genius can significantly bolster that success rate and are a cost-effective way to tap into people’s inherent desire to quit tobacco.”

“The majority of empirical studies of digital addiction intervention programs focus on short-term outcomes, leaving a limited understanding of their long-term effectiveness,” said Suzette Glasner, Ph.D., Vice president of Clinical Affairs at Quit Genius. “We used a highly conservative methodology for defining long-term success and found that the Quit Genius intervention produces sustained quit rates that are between 2 and 4 times higher than those typically observed in response to usual care.”

Quit Genius delivers the industry’s most complete virtual clinical care model for addiction. The program combines virtual behavioral therapy with approved medication and remote monitoring devices to help people overcome addiction from the comfort and privacy of their own home. To date, Quit Genius has helped more than 750,000 people improve their lives and conquer their addictions. The average success rate for people in the Quit Genius tobacco program is 52 percent, far higher than traditional methods. Members enrolled in the Quit Genius alcohol program have a 62 percent reduction in alcohol use frequency within the first 30 days of care. And, on average 51 percent of members that participate in opioid Medication-Assisted Treatment programs report negative opioid tests after 20 days in the program. Members access the Quit Genius program via their employee benefits or health plan.

Already recognized as the #1 digital clinic for substance addictions, Quit Genius grew revenue by 10x in 2021, and now partners with more than 100 employer and health plan clients, covering 2.5M lives. Its headcount grew by 4x in the past year. Quit Genius is the only such solution with 9 peer-reviewed studies and a randomized controlled trial demonstrating best-in-class outcomes.

About Pelago

Pelago, formerly Quit Genius, partners with enterprises as the leading virtual clinic for substance use management among their employees. We are transforming substance use support—from prevention to treatment—delivering education, management skills, and opportunities for positive change to members struggling with substance use, most commonly tobacco, alcohol, or opioids. Our solution gives employers the means to offer on-demand, personalized support to workers seeking to live healthier lives. Pelago’s cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs deliver convenient, accessible, and effective support that seamlessly integrates with health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, and wellness platforms. To date, Pelago has helped more than 750,000 members manage their substance use and improve their lives.

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