Junto Profile: Nicotrax

A look at smoking habits in the United States courtesy of Gallup

A look at smoking habits in the United States courtesy of Gallup

We all know how difficult it is to quit smoking. Whether we have learned through mass media campaigns, watching friends or family members battle addiction, or battled addiction ourselves, the health consequences of smoking are not unknown. Sixteen million people in the United States live with smoking-related diseases. However, despite the public perception of smoking as dangerous and harmful, 34.3 million people in the United States still smoke.

A major reason that many people continue to smoke is because quitting is incredibly difficult. Only 4-7% of people who attempt to quit smoking are able to do so once-and-for-all. Many Americans have spent decades formulating this addictive habit, and despite their doctors’ warnings, various treatment programs, and their family’s pleadings, they simply cannot stop.

Enter Nicotrax. Nicotrax uses digital technology to optimize the efficacy of smoking therapeutics. Using Artificial Intelligence, Nicotrax personalizes treatment plans for smokers, allowing them to quit faster and more cost-effectively. At the frontier of digital health, Nicotrax gives smokers hope that quitting is possible.

We spoke with the Kyle Linton, CEO of Nicotax, to learn more about Nicotrax’s innovative approach to therapeutics for those who smoke.


Interview

Junto Health (JH): What was your inspiration for founding Nicotrax?

Kyle Linton (KL): I have always had a passion for building technology solutions to help people. Being able to better understand why people do what they do and creating a solution that empathetically caters to their needs is critical in catalyzing behavioral change. 

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Junto Health (JH): Can you talk a little bit about the various components of Nicotrax?

KL: Nicotrax has developed a cloud-based software platform designed to be the most scalable, customized, and effective smoking solution on the market for employers, payers, and most importantly, users. Users begin by filling out an online application with their goals, motivations, and current health data. Using behavioral models and predictive analytics, Nicotrax then places users into goal-oriented cessation programs centered around their specific needs. Users interact with the Nicotrax program with a mobile app on their smartphone, while trained smoking cessation counselors monitor user data and behavioral suggestions on an online dashboard. The Nicotrax app keeps records of users’ smoking metrics (cigarettes smoked, reported cravings, and others), pairing these with location data and other metrics to allow real-time improvements to cessation plans. Users also have access to interactive learning materials on the Nicotrax mobile app, allowing them to better understand their personal habits and the benefits of cessation. This integrated digital approach allows us to provide not only customized behavioral support, but also customized Nicotine delivery based on real-time user data. 

Junto Health (JH): How does Nicotrax compare to other products that help people quit smoking? 

KL: Our unfair advantage is our ability to collect specified trigger/consumption data which can be leveraged to create algorithms to provide more effective behavioral support and drug-delivery. Current smoking cessation products are not customized or scalable to the capacity that smart-phones can support. By collecting granular trigger data (that has not been collected before) we can directly impact the customization and quality of care provided in digital smoking cessation and other addiction treatment programs. 

Junto Health (JH): What feedback have you received on Nicotrax? (From clinicians, researchers, and smokers). 

KL: We have received very positive feedback from clinicians, researchers, counselors, and smokers. For care providers, the ability to monitor real-time data and have a direct channel of communication with the users is very appealing. For smokers, better understanding their unique patterns helps them proactively avoid situations and triggers that would push them to smoke. 

Information on why it is hard for individuals to quit smoking courtesy of    Column Five

Information on why it is hard for individuals to quit smoking courtesy of Column Five

Junto Health (JH): How does Nicotrax compare in price to other products on the market?

KL: Being a more intensive program, Nicotrax is more costly than some other solutions. That being said, the costs of the program pale in comparison to minimally effective or localized smoking cessation programs. Specific costs are dependent on NRT reimbursements. 

Junto Health (JH): What are your next 3 major milestones at Nicotrax? (Where are you looking to expand? What’s on the horizon?)

KL: 1. Launch a large scale pilot trial sponsored by 1b revenue strategic partner. This will begin Q2 2019.

2. Establish commercial partnership with large life insurance player. Conversations in progress. Estimating Q3 2019. 

3. Raise seed capital to expand customer base internationally.