Mental Wellness, News

Grant to Develop Recovery App For Smartphones

Proctor and Tien Receive

$300K Federal Grant

To Develop Addiction

Recovery Smartphone App


MIAMI-/BALTIMORE–Steven Proctor, Ph.D., of PRO Health Group of Miami, in partnership with Allen Tien, M.D., of Medical Decision Logic, Inc. (mdlogix) —a Baltimore based behavioral health care software company—has received a nearly $300,000 federal grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Dr. Proctor will lead all research and evaluation for the Phase I project, while Dr. Tien, President, mdlogix, will oversee technology development. The 12-month grant will provide funds to support development & evaluation of the “PROCare” platform—a reward-based recovery outcomes monitoring smartphone app for people with opioid use disorder. A randomized controlled trial will be conducted to test the preliminary effectiveness of PROCare among a sample of patients receiving addiction treatment through Thriving Mind South Florida in Miami.

The federal government’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant program provides seed funding to start-ups and small businesses across technology areas with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to make huge societal impacts.

The Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is an aggressive effort to speed scientific solutions to address the national opioid overdose crisis & offer new hope for individuals, families, & communities affected by this devastating epidemic.

Dr. Proctor, Founder of PRO Health Group, also serves as Senior Health Outcomes Advisor at Thriving Mind South Florida, and holds a faculty appointment at the rank of Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.

Allen Tien, M.D., M.H.S., is Founder, President, and Chief Science Officer of Medical Decision Logic, Inc. (mdlogix), a Baltimore-based software company specializing in behavioral health solutions.  He has over 30 years experience as a clinical and research psychiatrist. Since 2007, Dr. Tien has led the continuous development of BH-Works, a web-based platform that helps organizations deliver behavioral health services in nontraditional settings, including emergency departments, primary care facilities, schools, community-based organizations, and workplaces.

Thriving Mind President and CEO John W. Newcomer, M.D. will serve on the advisory board for the project, which consists of distinguished industry experts, researchers, health care professionals, administrators, and people/families in recovery from opioid use disorder, varying in background and expertise. Thriving Mind is a research partner on the project and will serve as the study site for recruitment for the randomized controlled trial. Drawing from his longstanding record as Principal Investigator on research grants funded through the NIH and other federal agencies for the past 28 years, Dr. Newcomer will provide expert guidance on the scientific and strategic direction of the Phase I project.

The reward-based smartphone app being developed in the grant will leverage the power of “contingency management” (i.e., providing patients with monetary and non-monetary incentives for achieving their recovery goals), a highly effective but underutilized evidence-based intervention for addiction. Contingency management for substance use disorders was featured recently in a NY Times article.