CFN Media Exclusive Interview with Resolve Digital Health CEO Rob Adelson
December 14th, 2017
Exclusive, News, Top News
The global medical cannabis market is growing at an exponential rate. More and more patients with a wide array of conditions are looking to marijuana to help treat their conditions, possibly without the need for powerful pharmaceutical drugs. Resolve Digital Health is committed to developing technology and products that will not only help the end user, but also change the face of the healthcare industry as a whole. Resolve’s Breeze vaporizer provides precision dosage and smart technology to help both patients and caretakers understand the unique needs of each individual consumer. The company is currently private but has plans to go public in 2018.
CFN Media sat down with Rob Adelson, CEO of Resolve, to learn about how the company’s products are disrupting the medical cannabis space and how its technology could help change the face of the global healthcare market as a whole.
Rachelle Gordon: What is Resolve and what is its place in the marijuana market?
Rob Adelson: Resolve is a digital health company; we focus on applying technology, intellectual property, artificial intelligence, and branding to the medical marijuana space. We started the company specifically to try to make medical cannabis scientifically medical. We started with a set of observations that the industry currently is not really a medical experience for somebody who’s suffering.
The typical patient must figure out what strain to use and they have to figure out dosing. They might have to walk into a recreational environment and get advice from somebody who doesn’t really have medical experience. Once the appropriate strain and dosage is determined, they then have to figure out delivery – for example, if they’re going to smoke it or vape it. They have to figure out how much to consume. There are a lot of things that are very intimidating to a new patient. Our goal is to improve the experience for the patient.
RG: How did those observations lead to the development of the company and its products?
RA: We thought, “If the entire cannabis space was medical, what would it look like?” What we realized is we need a medical device; we need something that works at a standard quality that’s substantially higher than vaporizers. The status quo right now is if you’re smoking or even vaping cannabis, it can irritate your throat or your lungs. We don’t think that a patient should have to have an uncomfortable experience, so we built a vaporizer that is very easy to use and quite mild, so the dosing is very easy to handle.
The other thing we recognize in our device is that we need to have something that’s smart and keeps track of what people are doing. Patients have the ability to rate their current condition, take a dose, and then rate how they’re feeling after. We wanted the ability to be able to rate the effectiveness of each individual dose. Our device had to do that.
Our overall goal is to provide the patient with the best support possible, so to do that, we need to understand who they are. We need to understand their family history, their personal medical history, and the medications that they’re taking. There is a huge amount of data that we can collect so that we can serve patients better, and gain a better understanding of cannabis benefits and use.
RG: What exactly are you doing with the data collected?
RA: We capture data every time somebody doses. We’ve got a number of health-oriented algorithms that help us look at this vast amount of information. Through artificial intelligence, our device can better understand each individual patient and help them determine the most appropriate dosing. We’ll also share this information with their health care providers to improve the level of service they receive. Lastly, this intelligence we gather through this data can be shared with growers to help improve the efficacy of their products. Our ultimate goal is to serve patients better and to ensure reliable and consistent results.
RG: How is your product disrupting the global cannabis industry?
RA: The thing that’s really disruptive about what we’re doing, is it’s not just for the cannabis industry. It’s about the healthcare and wellness industry overall. If somebody has a headache, you go grab a pill, take it, and then hopefully half an hour later, your headache is gone. That’s the old way.
The new way is the company that makes the pill could know when you have a headache, know that you took two doses of their product, and could come back to you and say, “Based on our data, you probably had a headache because yesterday you didn’t drink enough liquid.” They could come back with insights into what you can do to minimize your headaches going forward. That is the new model.
The new model is available to us right now. Netflix has algorithms to help you predict the next film to watch, and we can also apply algorithms to approach healthcare in a very different way.
And it’s not about just better serving the medicinal marijuana community, but it’s expanding the medicinal marijuana community and attracting patients that are used to taking strong pharmaceutical drugs. We’re seeing our product as a way to help patients get off opioids. We disrupt a very big part of the pain industry by monitoring a patient’s opioid addiction, by providing cannabis as a solution, and by providing doctors with solutions that help patients get off of opioids, We can do that with great formulations, smart devices, and data.
RG: Can you please explain more about your Smart Inhaler Ecosystem technology?
RA: What patients see first is our vaporizer. We knew we needed to hit it out of the ballpark when we made our vaporizer. We listened to a lot of patients, and put together a list of criteria based on their needs. It took three years of development to create the product we have today.
We also have an app that focuses on pain management. A patient checks in and notes how they feel at any point of the day and the app provides dosing recommendations. The app also tracks other medications the patient is taking. Our app is more than a tool to manage our vaporizer. It’s a pain management tool that empowers people to understand and control their pain better.
Our devices have a smart processor built into it, so the app and the device are integrated into one piece of equipment. On the backend there are machine-learning algorithms that go through all the data that we collect, so all those pieces are connected.
Lastly, we wanted to connect patients with each other so they can talk about their experiences, share ideas and feel empowered. So, part of our ecosystem involves bringing patients together, all with the focus of helping people feel better.
RG: How will patients get access to the Breeze Smart Inhaler in different markets?
RA: So to start, we’re working in each state and each country we go into with a small group of really solid dispensaries that are focused on medical and want to help us collect data and use that data to improve quality of service. In pretty much every market we go to, we’ll start with one or two dispensaries and then expand.
Additionally, we intend for our products to be available online through our website. While equipment could be purchased at dispensaries or online, the pods and the cartridges will be sold in the states where legal through authorized dealers.
In Canada, we’re working with a licensed producer called Aphria. We love the people there and the fact that they lean in when we talk about data. They’re really committed to providing the best quality service to patients. We’re planning to offer a Breeze-focused experience for patients that includes working with Aphria to have them fulfill orders for cartridges and pods.
In Florida, we’re working closely with Liberty Health, who have a plan to have 25 stores across the state of Florida. Liberty Health has agreed to license our current offering, including our services, to be available in their dispensaries across the state. We’re not really just putting product on the shelf and so it’s very exciting for us to be able work so closely with patients. It’s a very high touch relationship we have with dispensaries.
RG: What are your future plans in terms of entering the public markets and offering a broad investor base exposure to the company?
RA: Resolve expects to go public in 2018 and we are currently in the process of determining specifically when that’s going to be. In the interim, we plan to work to continue developing more intellectual property, branding and formulations as well as work to expand our distribution network.
We’ve seen interest from not just Canadian investors, but also American, European, and Australian investors. This really is a global opportunity. Cannabis is a global industry.
Cannabis is going to be moving around the world. Investors are thinking that way, and we’re talking to investors who are already investing in global opportunities. Many investors would love the opportunity to get into an earlier stage global business.
RG: Why should potential investors look at Resolve Digital Health?
RA: There will be a small handful of companies in the near future that are driving the medical cannabis space. We believe that Resolve will become a leader in this industry through our technology, our data, and by developing meaningful brands that connect with our community of patients.
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