Magazine Store

10 Best Healthcare Companies to Watch 2020

‘Scaling Clinical Best Practice Treatment Management’: Rethink Autism, Inc., a New York-based Global Health Technology Company, Develops the Right Treatment Protocols while Facilitating the Predictability of Outcomes


“We offer the industry-leading practice management platform for behavioral health providers specializing in individuals with autism and related disorders.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in six newborn children will be diagnosed with a developmental disability (such as autism), making such conditions more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the main treatment methodology recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the US Surgeon General, and the US National Institute of Mental Health for treating individuals with developmental disabilities such as autism. However, the highly limited availability of credentialed ABA providers -- only approximately 30,000 Board Certified Behavior Therapists worldwide -- severely limits its potential benefit for the hundreds of millions of individuals globally with such disorders. Limited public support services, including in the education and healthcare systems, further amplify this challenge.

In light of the foregoing, we’re pleased to present Rethink Autism, Inc. Rethink Autism operates as a health technology company. The company offers cloud-based treatment tools, training, and clinical supports for individuals with developmental disabilities and their caregivers.

Rethink Autism was incorporated in 2007 and is headquartered in New York.

Daniel A. Etra, Rethink Autism, Inc. Co-founder/CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Kindly walk us through the inception of Rethink.

Rethink was founded with a mission to address the significant challenge of how to effectively and affordably meet the treatment needs of the growing autism population worldwide with a significant dearth of trained professionals. The company determined that the only way to deliver clinical best practice treatment in a scalable way was to leverage technology to train whoever was caring for the individual with the developmental disability on how to deliver the treatment. This would impact all the entities revolving around the care of this population, including in the school, in the home, and in the healthcare system. Rethink found extensive research on the effectiveness of video modelling for training in fields such as medicine and the military and decided to combine this proven method of instruction with the proven and medically-recommended ABA treatment methodology, creating an online training and support system for individuals with a developmental disability and their caregivers worldwide.

Q. What are the emerging trends in the healthcare technology industry today? How is Rethink adapting and incorporating those trends to serve customers better?

One of the emerging trends in healthcare technology today is Big Data and the use of AI to give medical professionals valuable insight into how best to treat their patients. Today, there is no way to accurately predict the outcomes of interventions among individuals with developmental disabilities. Rethink is helping address this issue by gathering the largest data set of outcomes associated with this population, a data set that one day will be used to develop the right treatment protocols and facilitate the predictability of outcomes.

Q. Kindly provide a brief insight into the challenges Rethink is trying to address?

With a significant dearth of trained professionals (there are only approximately 30,000 Board Certified Behavioral Therapists globally) available to meet the needs of a growing population with a developmental disability (approximately 450 million individuals birth-21 globally), Rethink set out to create a scalable solution that would make clinical best practice treatment tools and supports available to the individual and their caregiver(s) no matter where they are located. Providing research-based teaching strategies grounded in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the award-winning Rethink program includes a comprehensive online individualized treatment program with over 1,500 video-based demonstrations -- developed by internationally-recognized experts in the field -- to train caregivers, parents, professional and paraprofessional staff how to manage problem behaviors as well as teach an individual with a developmental disability critical skills. Automated data-based reports track progress in real-time, facilitate coordination across care team members, and allow for robust data analytics on outcomes. In addition, Program Specialists can also utilize Rethink as a form of job-embedded professional development and to augment coaching caregivers and other support staff. Rethink also offers a range of technology-enabled remote service options, ranging from short-term web-based consultations with Rethink’s Board-certified behavioral therapists to on-going program development initiatives supported by an in-house team of clinicians. In addition, Rethink’s practice management offering allows for the tracking of service authorizations and the cost of treatment as it relates to clinical outcomes. Rethink serves individuals at all levels of development and ages ranging from point of diagnosis through early adulthood.

Q. What is Rethink Behavioral Health? What are the features and benefits your clients gain out of this?

Rethink offers the industry-leading practice management platform for behavioral health providers specializing in individuals with autism and related disorders. Used by hundreds of providers serving tens of thousands of children nationwide, the software helps improve treatment outcomes by simplifying/automating workflows, improving staff training, and ensuring standardization and clinical fidelity of care delivery.

Q. How is your Employee Benefits and Rethink Ed solution enabling a much swifter and intuitive experience to your clients?

Employee benefits – Rethink offers the industry-leading training and support platform for employees caring for dependents with a developmental disability. Rethink’s clients range from employers with under 1000 employees to over 500,000 employees and across its book of business, Rethink covers over 7 million lives. Research clearly demonstrates the impact of caring for a dependent with a developmental disability – from over twice the rates of anxiety and depression to thousands of dollars annually in lost productivity. Indeed, over half of caregivers work fewer hours or leave the workforce to accommodate the needs of their child. The Rethink program helps support these employees, directly impacting their productivity in the workplace, and helps employers create a culture of wellness for their entire workforce.

Rethink Ed – Rethink offers the industry-leading special needs management platform for public school districts. Serving all students with a special need as well as those requiring behavior support, the Rethink program is used by hundreds of districts in all 50 states, ranging from large urban systems like New York City, San Francisco, Dallas, Denver, and others, down to small rural districts. The Rethink program allows districts to fully meet Federal IDEA requirements as well as a variety of state-based legislative mandates to provide an adequate education to students with a special need. The program also helps districts train staff and accurately measure the progress of a student population not subject to mainstream standardized testing. District clients have reported superior student outcomes and significant cost savings in mitigating the need for out of district placements than can run up to $100,000 per year per student for private programs.

Q. Please provide us with a case study with one of your clients elaborating on how they have benefitted from your solutions.

One of the most critical needs in employee benefits is supporting employees caring for a child with a developmental disability such as autism or ADHD. Costco Wholesale decided to be proactive and offer unique supports such as the Rethink program to these employees, who make up nearly 20 percent of the workforce. As Donna Sexton, the Director of Employee Benefits at Costco noted: “I can’t think of any benefits we’ve ever added to our suite that got so much attention and so many letters to our president, thanking him for bringing Rethink on, and what a difference it was going to make in their lives.”

Q. What is the roadmap ahead?

We are in the process of expanding our core product offering beyond treatment tools and supports for dependents with a developmental disability and their caregivers to adults with a developmental disability, including supporting those individuals with a Neurodiverse condition in the workplace.

“Our mission is to inspire and empower individuals with developmental disabilities and those who support them.”