Realworks is a totally new model for innovation in addiction services at a time when it is needed more than ever.


How it works.

Every Realworks pilot is targeted at piloting a specific, novel solution that has the potential to close a specific gap in addiction service delivery.

Steps we take:

  1. Understand specific gaps through frontline experts - including providers, patients, families and others in the community

  2. Prioritize gaps to “fill” based on feasibility, speed and scale of impact on the the overall treatment of SUD

  3. Identify the best potential solutions to fill a specific gap - by looking for existing tools targeted at the SUD space that need additional support to implemented effectively at scale and/or potential partners in adjacent markets with the right technical expertise to build what is needed

  4. Run a pilot targeted at the best potential solution - by scoping initial goals, structuring a 12-16 week pilot with provider-partners of Realworks

  5. Determine path to scale solutions that work — and share what we learn about what doesn’t


How we got here.

June 2017 - September 2017. Hacking Heroin (covered by Harvard Business School here)

○ Hackathon held in June 2017, led by 17a as a proof of concept for the idea that better tech tools could play a meaningful role in combating the opiate epidemic and improving addiction services more broadly. The City of Cincinnati and Cintrifuse/SPRY Labs co-hosted the hackathon and were anchor supporters of the work.

○ Follow on support for 3 hackathon winners continued through Sept 2017 presentations to Microsoft at IX Health Conference co-hosted by Cintrifuse, 17a and The Health Collaborative.

September - December 2017. Early conversations to form Realworks with commitments from two anchor organizations, St Elizabeth and Talbert House.

February 2018. Decision to form Realworks and move forward with modified approach (collected less than minimum $ required to move forward with initial model).

March 2018. Mercy Health invests in a pilot with Crosswave, winner of Hacking Heroin hackathon.

March - May 2018. Realworks start up work to define governance, collect funds and set priorities (e.g. detailed understanding of tech-addressable challenges via 1:1s and other work).

June - December 2018. Launch Wave 1 work for pilots specifically focused on better use of existing capacity to improve treatment outcomes.

January 2019. Begin Wave 2 priorities focus on better clinically integrated tools and continuity across the treatment pathway.