David is an entrepreneurial leader who has built four successful startups as founder, member of the board, and line executive in product development, sales, and business development.
As entrepreneur, he developed multiple products leveraging technology to provide new customer value in telecom, diagnostics, and medical devices; as angel investor he has coached dozens of technology companies from concept into commercialization.
David’s business leadership includes recognizing market shifts in time to pivot the business focus, hiring standout teams from CEO through Engineer, managing IP portfolios leading to 62 issued patents, and leading an international team for four years in Europe; raised $50 M from Tier-1 VCs and strategic partners; BS in Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and PhD in Physics, Stanford University.
One out of every ten Americans has a condition doctors call Alcohol Use Disorder or AUD. If you have AUD, your choices and activities begin to be changed by your drinking habits. With so many people affected, we should call AUD an epidemic. Instead, most people suffer in silence. Because of that silence, we get a very warped impression of alcoholism. A few late stage cases, like the derelicts passed out in the streets, are hyper-visible, while the millions of early stage cases are invisible. Yet people avoid treatment out of fear of being stigmatized for AUD, and it’s all due to visibility bias.
Alcohol abuse disorder must be treated effectively like any other disease. It’s not a disease of the willpower. It’s a chronic condition that arises when your brain reward systems get “hijacked” by the addictive substance. Some people’s neurotransmitter systems are more vulnerable than others, and the more vulnerable ones get locked into the addiction cycle. It is neurotransmitter malfunction that locks in the addiction, and studies show that neural system recovery can take most of a year, depending on severity. Like any addiction, alcoholism continues to get worse if left untreated.
Most people have only two choices of treatment modality today: Alcoholics Anonymous, a support group which is available everywhere but not very effective; and Rehab, a residential dry out approach which is effective near-term but impossible for most people to use. Given these choices, it should be no surprise that so few of the 34 million AUD sufferers get any kind of treatment at all. Out of the big six chronic diseases, AUD stands alone in that barely 7% get treated each year.
What I find most surprising is that effective medical treatment has been available for almost 25 years without being broadly adopted by the medical profession. I am referring to “Medication-Assisted Treatment” with naltrexone, which has been tested and shown effective in multiple clinical trials. Why is this treatment not widely available today? What does it take to make this treatment available to everyone? Can a technology-enabled medical service company break through the barriers?