University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Division of Medical Toxicology, Department of Emergency Medicine

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Biomedical Devices and Instrumentation | Health Services Administration | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Substance Abuse and Addiction | Telemedicine


Background: Substance use disorders are a highly prevalent group of chronic diseases with devastating individual and public health consequences. Current treatment strategies suffer from high rates of relapse, or return to drug use, and novel solutions are desperately needed. Realize Analyze Engage (RAE) is a digital, mHealth intervention that focusses on real time, objective detection of high-risk events (stress and drug craving) to deploy just-in-time supportive interventions. The present study aims to (1) evaluate the accuracy and usability of the RAE system and (2) evaluate the impact of RAE on patient centered outcomes.

Methods: The first phase of the study will be an observational trial of N = 50 participants in outpatient treatment for SUD using the RAE system for 30 days. Accuracy of craving and stress detection algorithms will be evaluated, and usability of RAE will be explored via semi-structured interviews with participants and focus groups with SUD treatment clinicians. The second phase of the study will be a randomized controlled trial of RAE vs usual care to evaluate rates of return to use, retention in treatment, and quality of life.

Anticipated findings and future directions: The RAE platform is a potentially powerful tool to de-escalate stress and craving outside of the clinical milieu, and to connect with a support system needed most. RAE also aims to provide clinicians with actionable insight to understand patients' level of risk, and contextual clues for their triggers in order to provide more personalized recovery support.


craving, digital diagnostics, digital health, digital therapeutics, mHealth, stress, substance use disorder, wearable

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Copyright © 2021 by the author(s). Licensee Hapres, London, United Kingdom. This is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

DOI of Published Version



Carreiro S, Taylor M, Shrestha S, Reinhardt M, Gilbertson N, Indic P. Realize, Analyze, Engage (RAE): A Digital Tool to Support Recovery from Substance Use Disorder. J Psychiatr Brain Sci. 2021;6:e210002. doi: 10.20900/jpbs.20210002. Epub 2021 Feb 24. PMID: 33748430; PMCID: PMC7978415. Link to article on publisher's site

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Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of psychiatry and brain science

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.