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Innovator’s Name: 
Sachin Chaudhry, CEO, TrustCircle
Innovation Title: 
Peer-centered mental health network for consumers, caregivers and healthcare providers improving accessibility, affordability and quality of mental healthcare globally
Project Description: 
According to the World Health Organization, there are over 450 million patients (peers/consumers) and over a billion family members (caregivers) affected by mental health issues globally. All seek solutions to two core problems: 1) trustworthy community support and 2) access to scarce mental healthcare professionals. TrustCircle, the world’s first peer-centered mental health network for consumers, caregivers, and healthcare providers, offers a solution. Sign-up is free and accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Users build their “Circle of Trust” to learn, be inspired, and take action. Users will also access professionals/facilities in a HIPPA compliant way. Currently, 150 peers and healthcare providers around the globe have signed up for private launch. Our target is to have 30,000 peers and caregivers and 500 healthcare providers by end 2014. TrustCircle’s goal is to simplify life for all those impacted by mental health issues by improving accessibility, affordability, and quality of mental healthcare.
Creativity and Innovation: 
TrustCircle’s innovation is recognized by the World Health Organization and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s Centre of Global Mental Health, which have included TrustCircle in the Mental Health Innovation Network that premiered at the World Health Innovation Summit 2013.     We know what it means when you or a family member is diagnosed with a mental illness. The founder’s brother was diagnosed with Schizophrenia in 1994, and since then his family has struggled to find quality care and community support. Peers/caregivers were central to the development of TrustCircle. The team gathered input from over 200 peers/caregivers and over 100 mental healthcare providers across the globe by conducting personal interviews, email exchanges, surveys, and by attending all major mental health conferences in the United States. A supportive network of peers and professionals is vital for people with mental illness, and TrustCircle provides a unique service by creating these connections.
Leadership:
TrustCircle is creating ripples in the healthcare industry, as the venture is backed by revered medical experts and consumers in the field of mental health including Dr. Keris Myrick, Board Chair of NAMI and President/CEO of Project Return Peer Support Network, and Dr.Matcheri Keshavan, Stanley Cobb Professor of Psychiatry and Vice Chair of Public Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. TrustCircle encourages leadership and action among users by enabling users to:

  • Find Peers to build their “circle of trust” with those who are facing similar challenges, get inspired, and take action.
  • Share & Learn by commenting, uploading videos and photos, etc.
  • Search & Add Providers they would like others to know about.
  • Ask Questions of the experienced community members.

In later stages of development, TrustCircle will enable members to track their health in a HIPAA-compliant secure online environment, book appointments, and conduct telepsychiatry sessions.

Sustainability: 
TrustCircle is built upon passion, vision, and personal savings. We have personally invested $25,000 to develop and exhibit the TrustCircle solution at all major mental health conferences across the nation. Our operating budget for 2014 is $1 million as detailed in our financial plan. This operating budget includes hiring employees and all expenses such as Marketing, R&D, Sales, Utilities, Infrastructure, and Legal. Our business model is strong as we plan to disrupt the in-person consultation or outpatient mental healthcare services market by introducing efficiencies through technology innovations. For example, we will be able to generate revenue via HIPPA compliant telepsychiatry services, enterprise implementation subscription model, etc. TrustCircle is seeking social impact investors who believe in our vision of creating a lasting social impact that will improve the lives of more than 1.5 billion people impacted by mental health issues globally.
Replicability: 
TrustCircle is implemented as “Software as a Service Model” and requires only an internet connection and a browser for access. It is accessible globally and sign-up is free for all. We envision a global reach, targeting 30,000 peers and caregivers by end 2014. Initial Target segment for TrustCircle is peers/caregivers impacted by Schizophrenia and related disorders in the U.S.(9+ million including 3+ million peers), then expand to Schizophrenia population globally (200+ million including 70+ million peers) and finally expand to serve all mental health issues (1.5+ billion including 450+ million peers). The TrustCircle team has partnered with key mental health organizations which are planning to pilot our product at launch including SARDAA (www.sardaa.org) and PRPSN (www.prpsn.org).  The team also has received support in their efforts from NAMI, PsychCongress, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University to expedite its goal of delivering hope to millions.
Results/Outcomes: 
TrustCircle will measure its goals with its user outreach, feedback, and the impact it will create. Our target is to have 30,000 peers and caregivers and 500 healthcare providers by end 2014. Thus far, 150 peers and healthcare providers have signed up for private launch. These users are from Africa, India, and United States. The ripples of hope are being created simply by word of mouth. Users will be an integral part of TrustCircle’s evolution because we plan on monitoring their feedback and latent needs. The machine learning algorithms we are using will analyze user behavior and predict patterns for community, based on their needs and preferences. Therefore, users will be able to easily tap meaningful information they need, resulting in efficient use of their time and money. TrustCircle will also provide its users voice via blog so as to to de-stigmatize mental health issues on a global scale.

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