Ria Health Launches Platform To Manage Alcohol Use Disorder

Medical tech science brings medical care to patients beyond the doctor’s office


Alcohol Use Disorder, sometimes known as alcoholism, continues to be a significant drain on society. People are killed because they try to drive while under the influence of alcohol, work days are miss when people suffer from the abuse of alcohol, and the disease can tear apart families and organizations. Unfortunately, fighting AUD has proven to be difficult because the delivery of services to those affected has been difficult and sometimes impossible.

But there are methods of treating AUD that have been shown to work. The National Institutes of Health explains that AUD is a medical condition that can be treated through medications, behavioral and mutual support groups. But finding the necessary treatment can be problematic for many people. Reaching those people is the mission of companies such as Ria Health.

“RIA Health is a national medical practice that’s essentially on a mission to help people change their relationship with alcohol,” explained Tom Nix, CEO of Ria Health, “and we’re doing that by helping people by providing them with a evidence based, comprehensive program that combines a medically managed approach with a support coaching approach.”

Nix said that the inclusion of their technology was designed to make their AUD treatment more accessible rather than trying to replace people with machines. “When we started on this mission in 2017, we looked at technology not to replace the human to human interactions that would result in really strong outcomes for people, but to assist in giving people the opportunity to have this treatment program delivered in a private way that secure, and that is also making it so that they are engaged and continuing on their efforts,” Nix said.

Innovative Technology

The technology that Ria Health delivers consists of an online telehealth platform, a smartphone app and a Bluetooth equipped breathalyzer that pairs with the app on the phone. When the breathalyzer is used, it reports the user’s blood alcohol level to the app on the phone where it’s available to the user as well as the counselors at Ria Health.

Telehealth brings treatment to wherever the patient is.


Ria Health recently received a $2 million grant from NIH for clinical trials to asses their program’s effectiveness. Ria Health is working with the Stanford Prevention Research Center in conducting the clinical trial.

The clinical trial is coming at an opportune moment. According to Ria Health, treatment for AUD has been declining in recent years, starting before the Covid-19 pandemic, reaching the point where in 2020 only seven percent of people with AUD were receiving treatment. To make matters worse, with the onset of Covid-19, alcohol use has risen dramatically.

In addition to the app on the phone, the online telehealth program includes HIPAA compliant video portal, and access to the health team members such as a psychiatrist, an addiction medicine physician or a certified addiction counselor.

The app also provides access to support groups. “The other part of the app that’s really interesting as we bring together opportunities for people to participate in anonymized groups that happen every day,” Nix said. The app can also include people such as family members to help the patient with their treatment.

The NIH grant is going to help Ria Health move their research along. “The grant is going to further help us develop more innovative aspects of our technology to drive more meaningful engagement,” Nix said. “The simple way to look at how we can provide the best possible opportunities for quality outcomes for our patients is to keep the narrow and deep focus, but also to just continuously focus on improving the patient engagement experience,” Nix said.