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University, Technology Company Team Up to Support Pregnant Women's Recovery

March 26, 2019

The director of the Addiction Medicine curriculum at the University of Arizona College of Medicine is partnering with a technology company on a platform to support recovery for pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorders.

Maria Manriquez, MD, a professor in the school's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will work with iTether Technologies Inc. to tailor its digital care management platform to the multifaceted needs of pregnant women and new mothers in recovery.

“Even with coordinated care, such as medical homes, a huge gap exists,” Manriquez said in a news release from the university. “This is especially prevalent when part of the 'prescription' includes medication, obstetric and addiction medicine visits, counseling, support groups and learning new material such as cognitive behavioral therapy techniques.”

iTether's app was among 10 first-round winners in a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) challenge for innovators in addressing opioid use disorders in pregnant and parenting women. The company and the university will use a $10,000 cash prize for first-round honorees to enhance the app's content and to begin small-scale testing through August of this year.

Manriquez last year received a $700,000 grant from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System to launch a Phoenix clinic for pregnant women and new mothers with substance use disorders.

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