April 21, 2016
The story behind Prevail is unparalleled starting with its Founder and CEO, Richard Gengler, who flew F-18s for the Navy. While finishing his MBA at The University of Chicago, he realized an enormous opportunity to utilize technology to help provide behavioral health treatment to Veterans and others. Thanks to this special social entrepreneurship story, Prevail has been lucky enough to have the support of top-tier foundations and organizations almost from the very beginning including the Veterans Administration, Goldman Sachs Gives, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. Prevail worked through the prestigious Small Business Innovation Research grant program in collaboration with the National Science Foundation. After successfully completing all three phases, building enormous amounts of technology, Prevail started its clinical validation.
The first clinical trial was completed with the Veterans Administration and went extremely well. The results were published in VA’s journal. Based on that success, the VA wanted to see if Prevail could truly engage Veterans to use the program and completed a national pilot engaging over 200,000 Veterans. This continued progress lead to a ‘gold standard’ randomized controlled trial funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation in partnership with Rush University Medical Center. The trial’s findings showed that Prevail’s technology provides roughly equivalent care as face to face care for about 1/30th of the cost. The findings were accepted for publication in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
Third party verification and validation of Prevail’s model is imperative. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), under the Department of Health and Human Services, independently reviewed Prevail’s technology giving it the highest evidence rating of strong. Additionally, 94 percent of users through the program would recommend it to their friends. People using the program are receiving clinical benefit while at the same time enjoying it so much they would tell their friends about it. This is the strongest form of marketing.