BEAM receives $1.84 million NIH grant to improve preventative screening for opioid use disorder in partnership with UVA Health

BEAM Diagnostics, Inc. (BEAM), a behavioral health company delivering digital assessments to improve patient-centered healthcare – has been awarded a $1.84 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to commercialize its pioneering technology, improving and increasing proactive assessment of opioid use disorder in outpatient medical clinics.

BEAM’s proprietary technology, Beacon-OUD, is a digital screening tool that quickly and accurately determines a patient’s risk of opioid use disorder without asking stigmatizing questions. In a clinical study, providers viewed Beacon-OUD as a means to encourage patients to be a part of their treatment, provide education, and build provider-patient rapport.

“We care for patients with chronic pain who require opioids, which carry a risk of addiction. We plan to use Beacon-OUD to help us identify our patients who are at higher risk for opioid use disorder and provide better care,” said John Day Gazewood, MD, MSPH, FAAFP, Harrison Medical Teaching Associate Professor of Family Practice, Residency Program Director, and Vice Chair of UVA Health’s Department of Family Medicine.

The 24-month Phase II SBIR grant from the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) builds upon previous validation work, allowing BEAM to finalize the development and implementation of Beacon-OUD into primary care clinics as a digital assessment for providers. In partnership with UVA Health, BEAM will begin interfacing with UVA Health’s electronic medical record system, making the tool readily accessible to providers and patients.

“Behavioral health screenings should be as easy and routine as taking your blood pressure,” said Dr. Sarah Snider, BEAM Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer. “The NIH funding and our partnership with UVA Health will help make that a reality. By demonstrating how impactful preventative screening can be to patients and providers, this work takes us closer to making proactive, patient-centered healthcare the industry standard.”

Beacon-OUD will be accessible on BEAM’s digital assessment platform, Beacon, which can be administered anywhere, simplifying assessment delivery. Beacon and its library of behavioral health assessments will be available to large healthcare systems and smaller practices alike through its standalone web application and EMR-application marketplaces. BEAM plans to capture the digital behavioral assessment market by expanding its offerings with data-driven results and seamless integration into healthcare workflows and digital health solutions.

Note: “Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R44DA048689. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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