Can a Free Lyft Ride Help Combat Opioid Addiction? Philly Startup Gets $252,000 to Find Out

A Philadelphia-based tech company is joining with the University of Pennsylvania, Lyft and a California health system to test out a thesis — affordable and reliable transportation can make it easier for patients to recover from opioid addictions.

Roundtrip, based in Old City, makes a platform that helps health care providers coordinate patient transportation, anything from a Lyft to a follow-up appointment to a medical transport to a rehab facility. The company received a $252,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to conduct the study focused on patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) along with Penn, Lyft and Contra Costa Health Services in California.

During the first, year-long phase of the grant, Roundtrip’s platform will be used to mostly coordinate rides through Lyft for adults who attend outpatient programs for OUD and deal with transportation insecurity. Roundtrip has an existing partnership with Lyft and the ridesharing service is already integrated into Roundtrip’s platform. The rides will be covered by Medicare or Medicaid and will be free to patients.

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