One of the first tenants at FastForward 1812—a Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) innovation hub of office, co-working, and conference space—emocha Mobile Health is officially moving to our newest location. As of May 6th, emocha will formally call 916 North Charles Street our home and headquarters.
Our time at Fast Forward has been excellent, the perfect place for us to grow and achieve traction. I’m going to miss the JHTV team - true partners in our business development - and other entrepreneurs in the space. When I mentioned our imminent move to the JHTV team that operates Fast Forward, they pitched in to help us find our next home, in the same way that they helped us find investors, new customers, direct lines of communication with regulatory authorities, and some great service providers. We were looking for a space where we would be comfortable today with room to expand. With the company growing from 13 this past December to 22 employees this month, the new 5,000-square-foot office in Mount Vernon represents both emocha’s developing culture and its burgeoning and successful business model. We are committed to growing our workforce in Baltimore City, and are excited to join the Mt. Vernon community.
Our partnership with Johns Hopkins is deep and long-standing. emocha’s technology was originally developed in 2008 by infectious disease clinicians and public health experts at the Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education (CCGHE) to support care for patients in rural Uganda with HIV. My co-founder, Morad Elmi, and I commercialized the platform and launched emocha Mobile Health Inc. in 2014. The technology is now implemented in more than 75 programs across the United States and abroad, including more than a dozen ongoing research studies at Johns Hopkins. Most recently, Johns Hopkins received a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a study to determine whether combining financial incentives with emocha’s video Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) improves adherence to buprenorphine therapy, a medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.
Despite recognized economic and health benefits of medications, nonadherence remains a significant, yet preventable public health burden. While emocha’s initial applications at the company’s outset were primarily focused on tuberculosis adherence, we have expanded to help patients with hepatitis C, HIV, opioid use disorder, heart failure, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Recent additions to the technology have included a scalable backend for complex chronic regimens, in addition to semi-automated engagement, analytics, and financial incentives. As we look to the future, we plan to build in more opportunities for patients to interact with their care teams through emocha since human engagement drives adherence.
The connections fostered through Johns Hopkins have allowed emocha the opportunity to focus on expanding and developing our product and business. In our new location, we will be able to leverage our growing team and resources to focus on newer audiences and sectors, including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). We will be keeping a small space at Fast Forward for meetings with our research partners at Johns Hopkins, so expect to continue seeing emocha team members at Fast Forward for some time to come.